Asanebo – A Michelin Star Hidden Gem

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I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason, so I don't stay disappointed for long and tend to go with the flow when things don't go as planned. So when I had that mid-afternoon craving for the original Katsu-ya in Studio City for dinner, I knew that in order to get seated without any wait, I needed to plant myself there before 5:30 to ensure an early seating. Although I was ready, my dining partner wasn't and that resulted in us arriving at approximately 5:38 and literally one person away from securing an early seating. At first I was a bit bummed, but then I thought, hey, this is L.A. and that means there is a fantastic sushi bar just around the corner. Boy, was I right.

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Sea Bass in Butter Lettuce

So I get to Asanebo and this is definitely one of those don't judge a book by it's cover restaurants. From the outside, the place is no frills, in a strip mall and seemingly quite ordinary. But once you step in to Asanebo, it is a whole different story. The restaurant design is minimalist chic, modern and very calming. The menu is extensive and offers a wonderful selection of both hot and cold dishes. We sat at the sushi bar and started with shishito peppers, nameko miso soup, and a California roll (my partner's selection). We then had a selection of nigiri sushi including the sockeye salmon, saba (mackerel), uni (sea urchin), and hamachi (yellowtail). The fish was extremely fresh and the saba was succulent and melted right in the mouth. We also shared the black cod miso and the chilean sea bass in lettuce cups which was the unanimous favorite dish of the evening. I loved the way they turned the buttery sea bass in to a finger food with the crisp lettuce cups. Their service was gracious and friendly and I will definitely make a return visit. Also note that they are a recipient of one Michelin star in the current 2008 Los Angeles issue. Reservations recommended since it is a small place and fills up very fast. Average bill $45-$75 per person.

Asanebo
11941 Ventura Blvd (at Radford), Studio City, CA
(818) 760- 3348

Open Tuesday – Friday (Lunch and Dinner)
Saturday – Sunday (Dinner Only)

Asanebo on Urbanspoon

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5 comments

  1. Whenever I visit los angeles from my home in seattle I make a stop at asanebo. Actually prefer it way over katsuya. They have the best fish ever.

  2. Food Fashionista, the Chilean sea bass in the lettuce cup is heavenly. I also enjoyed the miso glazed cod and shishito. I have heard the fish is amazing from a few sources; however, the sushi was a real disappointment for a Michelin restaurant in LA (a city known for sushi). The Uni was not fresh, the salmon and hamachi were tough and the rice was undercooked. I recommend Nishimura on Melrose in Beverly Hills for great sushi and sashimi.

    GGK

  3. Love your review Food Fashionista! I’m a big time devotee of Asanebo… my husband & I have been going there regularly for about 2 years now. I highly recommend sitting with Shige at the bar. If he’s not available, Tetsu and Koji are just as good! We just had the Chilean Sea Bass in butter lettuce last night for the 2nd time and YUM! So delicious! I also highly recommend the quick seared king scallop, the red snapper sashimi with rock salt & citrus and the halibut with chili paste, uzu & rock salt. Everything there is ALWAYS fresh & amazing… I have never once had a disappointing experience!! :)

  4. Hi Lydia! Thanks for sharing your insight on Asanebo. I am definitely going to try out some of your suggestions on my next visit. Hopefully I will run in to you at the sushi bar one day :)

  5. I just went to Asanebo last night for my birthday. I did sit in front of Shige-san. He is a master of his craft. I can’t say enough of his work. His food makes me want to cry for joy. Shige-san used to work at Matsuhisa’s private room and he moved to Asanebo from there. After he left Matsuhisa I was in shock. I went out to find him and I am so glad I did. You can see from Zagate that Asanebo was rated a lot lower and when Shige-san went there it jumped over Matsuhisa in one year. (2007) I believe it was from #17 to #3 and Matsuhisa was #1 and dropped to #4. That tells you a lot about this persons ability.

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