Four years at my job in the Valley and I only discovered fellow sushi loving co-workers in the last few weeks - story of my life.
And there are surprising a large number of good sushi restaurants on Ventura Blvd too, which I will miss. So, as one of my last weekday lunches in Studio City (before moving on to a new job I am super excited about in West LA, which will of course have its own stellar lunchspots) - "Gaston" and I decided to check out Kiwami in Studio City.
It's owned by and co-branded Katsu-ya, and the staff even wear hats etc. emblazoned with the Katsuya logo - but for some reason they don't accept the SBE loyalty card. In any case, a chic, modern, clean space that still feels intimate, not pretentious, and one that fits in the Ventura Blvd neighborhood.
I was excited to see some lunch specials that aren't exorbitant in price - and went with the $17 Sashimi lunch - chef's choice of the freshest fish of the day.
First up was a nice salad and miso soup.
Then the Sashimi plate - the fish came beautifully plated and was just enough to fill up on. A nice selection including salmon, ahi tuna and octopus. Everything tasted fresh and delicious.
Gaston got some soft shell crab rolls wrapped in rice paper which looked delicious - and we loved that each roll was topped by a piece of fried garlic for contrasting crunch and bold burst of flavor.
At the end of the meal we also got some free sliced oranges for dessert.
All in all, not a bad deal for the lovely environment and mid-day getaway. And a good more upscale spot for lunches with the VIPs in your life but at a not so exorbitant price if you're not on an expense account. They have a pretty large menu of lunch specials ranging from $12-$20, bento, miso cod, hamachi kama, tonkatsu, tempura and teriyaki as well as sushi rolls and sashimi. Service was a little slow even at the bar, but it's to be expected as the place gets pretty crowded at lunch.
Will have to go back soon for weekend lunch or dinner!
On a 7 point scale:
Flavor - 6 bites
Presentation - 6 bites
Originality - 5.5 bites
Ambience - 6 stars
Service - 6 stars
Overall experience - 6 bites
Price - $$ (2 bite marks)
Probability of return visit - 100% ___________________________________________________________
11920 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604
Parking: Valet (complimentary at lunch) or meter parking on Ventura
OpenTable: Look for reservations