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.
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.
11941 Ventura Blvd (at Radford), Studio City, CA
(818) 760- 3348
Open Tuesday - Friday (Lunch and Dinner)
Saturday - Sunday (Dinner Only)