July 4, 2008

LMC Eats LA: Yabu

When Mr. Tall and I visit Los Angeles, there are three things we always do: visit my sister at UCLA, lunch in Thai Town, and dinner at Yabu. Located on West Pico Boulevard in the West Hollywood area, Yabu is a small and inconspicuous gem of a restaurant. The place probably seats only 25-30 people so the tables and sushi bar are always occupied, but we have managed to get a table without too long of a wait as long as we don't get there too late.

The first time Mr. Tall and I visited Yabu was for my sister Pinnerton's birthday. There is a set menu, but the daily special changes depending on the availability of seafood. We started with an order of crispy fried Japanese black-back sole. The fish was so fresh, simply cooked, and simply delicious. The best part was probably the fish's bones--crispy and yummy!

Mr. Tall is not a fan of sushi and sashimi, but my sister and I are so we tried some new dishes we had never had. First up was the Suzuki, or the sea bass sashimi. It's no Blue Fin tuna, but the fish was fresh and beautifully cut to nearly translucent, paper-thin slices. Mr. Tall ordered the next dish, which was the Japanese-style chicken wings. Probably not the most authentic dish, but still absolutely delicious.

The chicken wings, simply broiled and sprinkled with Japanese sea salt, went fast.

Mr. Tall steered clear of this one: Santa Barbara sea urchin. I thought it was creamy and fresh, but Pinnerton didn't really enjoy it very much. My sister and I are always up to trying new things so that was probably our adventurous dish of the night.

Although the seafood is well known at Yabu, its soba dishes are the most renowned because the soba is made in-house every day. My sister and I have tried a cold soba dish, but we enjoyed soba soup dishes the best. Our favorite was the Tanaki, or soba with tempura batter vegetable paddy. There are a variety of other noodle dishes, but soba is definitely the way to go. The "before" picture on the right ...

And here is the "after" ... We devoured it and licked the bowl clean. The soup was flavorful and the soba was amazing. A must-try.

Mr. Tall was quite full yet so we order the broiled black cod with shitake and enoki mushroom. This dish was such a wonderful preparation, and we all enjoyed it very much.

The birthday girl had to have dessert--even though I had baked her a dozen Lemon Poppy Seed cupcakes, which were awaiting in her dorm room. The green tea parfait consisted of crispy corn flakes, red bean, green tea ice cream, and whipped cream, of course. Yabu is undoubtedly one of our favorite restaurants in LA. It is unpretentious, reasonably priced, and served delicious and straight-forward food. The food culture in LA is greatly diverse, and there is a vast availability of all sorts of restaurants around the city. Yabu is truly one of a kind and worth a visit if you're ever in the area. Have a happy 4th of July!

Little Miss Contrary

Coming up: vacation and good eats in Santa Barbara with LMC & Mr. Tall and San Diego Restaurant Week!


Kat said...

P! =) Another mouthwatering post, as usual. Now I have another restaurant to add to my Yelp "To Try" list! Yabudabadoo.

Man I miss you! I hope everything's going well! Write me an email/FB msg soon and catch me up on your life, Twizz

Bessouiket Benamara said...

very nice dishes in japan, I am also a fan of japanese food.Nice pictures
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