11777 San Vincente Blvd
We were lucky to get a reservation at the Brentwood store. Store is a term used by Americans sometimes when referring to restaurants. Designed renowned architect Phillip Starck, who also designed Asia da Cuba in New York, it offers a variety of seating. There are normal tables in the centre of the room, semi private banquettes along the side, a rectangular bar
at the far end separated from an open kitchen,
and a large side room, The Dragon Room, named after a back lit great dragon on the far wall. Able to seat over 160 patrons it was near full on Monday, their quietest night.
We were warmly, greeted, and seated, by the manager, Takeshi Salto. Moments later we were offered the menus and left to make our selections. Starters began with a dish of endame, ($10)
soy beans in their pods. Easily shelled, they tasted fairly bland but all the same were very moorish. A dish of cold seared chili rubbed albacore sashimi topped with fried thin sliced onions and ponzu sauce. ($16), part eaten by the time I took this photo,
the fish having extremely delicate flesh was in no was diminished by the mild chili. This was not actually what we ordered so our server offered to provide us with a crab,
the meat picked from the crab for us instead. They were also quite happy that we ate the finished the previous dish and removed it from the bill! A second very different appetizer of almond crusted scallops in a crisp but light batter, ($15.50)
made a nice contrast.
An even milder dish followed, 6 pieces of jumbo scallop sashimi served atop sliced kiwi then drizzled with yuzu vinaigrette and olive oil, and topped with yuzu pepper paste.($16).
This created a light sweet/sour combination that was very refreshing and would be easy to make at home. It will certainly get on our repertoire. The next dish was graphically called Lobster Dynamite ($23).
It was a half lobster, mushrooms and shrimp pan sautéed stuffed back in a lobster shell with dynamite sauce (a spicy mayonnaise) and baked. Again characterized by balanced tastes, despite the name, the cream sauce, mushrooms and sweet lobster meat were mouth wateringly combined. A Kobi beef and foie gras ($20) with a plum wine reduction,
was a total surprise on a Japanese menu and we couldn't resist. The tenderloin, known as fillet at home, was juicy and the lightly seared foie gras fabulous. For desserts we had a hot chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream ($10)
and a and a profiterole,
mini cream puff's drizzled crème anglaise with chocolate sauce ($8).
I drank cold saki
and loved that too.
A really great meal.