Monday, May 26, 2008


11266 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Truthfully, I've been having a bit of difficulty writing new entries into this blog. I started this thing because I have such a passion for eating and such a great love for this city. I mean, some people eat to live, others live to eat. For me, it's more of a drug. Finding that next incredible meal brings me that rush that's not unlike doubling down on a $500 blackjack hand and hitting the perfect card. The rush is what it's about for me.

I guess I've been in a rut...I've actually been to a bunch of restaurants recently, but I have not been inspired to pen my thoughts. I have realized that the experience is much more important than I previously gave it credit for. To make a meal amazing and touching, great food is a must. But I'm learning that the company, the experience and a myriad of other factors make a meal memorable or forgettable.

My experience at Yuta was definitely a great experience. I went with a group of friends the other night and right away, I could sense a special night. From the moment I entered, I felt a familiar sense of family. Chef Yuta and another gentleman were the only ones working that evening. It was a slow night, as we were the only ones in the small restaurant. This really played to our advantage, as we had the complete attention of the staff.

Throughout the evening, we paired different wines and different sakes with different dishes. Pictured above we have spicy tuna on toasted rice sheets, topped with avacado. It was a bit strange, but the dish definitely inspired a lot of conversation. Below, we have beef sushi. The Kobe-like meat was sliced and heated with a blow torch. The hot flame quickly softened and caramalized the fat in the well marbled meat. Chef Yuta described the beef as better then Kobe, and I could not disagree...which is why I ordered two more orders for each person.

We not only had sushi, but we had a variety of izakaya dishes. He served an incredibly moist and flavorful beef tongue, an amazing squid ink pasta, and pictured below, a spinach pasta with seafood, to name but a few.

Overall, the impeccable palate of the chef came through with each cooked dish and with each sushi creation. Throughout the meal, the chef participated in conversation with us. He explained how fresh the fish was; how he polished his own brown rice for the sushi; how he only used the best imported Japanese soy sauce, etc.
On the menu, it clearly states that soy and wasabe can be requested, but otherwise the fish would come with Chef Yuta's specific preparation. I've read up on this establishment and have not seen too many positive reviews. I think this has a great deal to do with it. We are used to using soy and wasabe with our nigiri and sashimi. Chef Yuta takes the sushi experience to another level...a level that may be too complicated for most. For a new and exciting experience, I think this is the place for sushi.

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