Yamato ups the ante on Westwood’s cheap college spots and generic ethnic joints.
The latest outpost of this successful Valley sushi franchise presents beautifully prepared modern Japanese dishes in an art deco setting unlike anything else in this campus-centric neighborhood.
You're here for the atmosphere. This former bank features vaulted ceilings, with bars on either side (one for sushi, one for booze), stained glass, and plenty of room between tables. If that doesn’t sound like a typical Asian restaurant, a colorful arrangement of sake bottles smack in the center will remind you.
The food, often topped with tiny floral arrangements, is every bit as pretty as the space. While none of the dishes on the menu can compete with LA’s high-end sushi spots, nothing is quite as pricey either. The space is special, the sushi’s fresh and the SoCal specialties (black cod with lime miso; crispy rice with tuna; wasabi guacamole) get the job done.
1099 Westwood Blvd., Westwood (310) 208-0100
Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: Valet or street
Scene: Dressed-up locals, collegiate to geriatric
Best bets: Black cod with lime miso; chrysanthemum shu-mai; steak frites with miso and wasabi soy sauce; molten chocolate cake
Nearby: Westwood Brewing Company; Nine Thirty at the W; Palomino
Box seats: Reserve the single private balcony table, which overlooks all the action.