Location: 11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604. (818) 760-3348
Date: March 1, 2023
Rating: Very good creative Japanese
Asanebo has been a high end valley classic spot for a long time and we come periodically to enjoy the omakase. The previous meal is detailed here.
Chef Tetsuya Nakao came to America in 1982. Him and his younger brother, Shunji, were the original chefs that helped start Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills. After establishing the restaurant as one of the best in Los Angeles, the Nakao brothers ventured out to start their own place. “Asanebo” opened in September 26, 1991. Over the years, “Asanebo” was recognized as one of the top Japanese restaurants from Zagat, LA Times, LA Weekly, and more.
“Asanebo” also accomplished one Michelin Stars in 2008 and the other in 2009. It is part of chef Tetsuya’s standards to provide the best quality fish, meat, vegetables, and other ingredients possible to his customers. Not only is the food so great, but it is his warm character that brings in new customers from all over the world.
Post pandemic they have this nice outside tend/patio in the parking lot.
The menu is big with a mix of traditional and that style of late 1990s and 00s LA Japanese that is heavily Matsuhisa influenced but not focused on the style over substance greatest hits (Katana and Sushi Roku I’m looking at you). It’s much closer in both period and style to Takao.
Carrot Salad. Ruby and Gold Carrot, arugula, portabella mushroom, seared Hoikido Scallop. The texture was nice, although the salad itself lacked acidity. The scallop was great though.
Seafood stick. Shrimp, White Fish, Shitake Mushroom, Shiso, Citrus Pepper Paste, Sweet Onion Salsa. Really great dish. That salsa would make anything taste amazing.
Lemon Basil King Salmon Sashimi. New Zealand King Salmon, Marinated Ikura, Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Garlic, and Lemon Basil Dressing. This was incredible, and very zesty. Probably my dish of the night.
Halibut. Italian Truffle. Sweet ponzu. Pickled cherry tomato. A bit too sweet and distracting.
Albacore, garlic, ginger, and ponzu sauce.
Sazae on Fire. Japanese Conch, Quail Egg, Shimegi Mushrooms. Nice little “clam soup” in the creature’s shell. Disturbing if you think abot it.
A5 wagyu with heirloom tomato and peach. Very sweet classic Japanese flavor.
A5 sizzled with enoki mushroom, truffle butter, and truffles.
Small flight of sushi. Mackerel, Blue fin tuna, Snapper, and Chu-toro.
White fish sushi and crab battleship.
Toro Takuan Roll (awesome).
New Flavor — Cherry Bakewell Tart Gelato — While watching every episode of the Great British Baking Show I was introduced to the Bakewell Tart, which I liked it enough to make a gelato — Sicilian Noto Romano Almond Custard Base is layered with house-made Honey Almond Graham Crackers and Cherry Preserves. For extra fun I made an Almond Icing and glazed the Grahams with it in the traditional pattern (first time trying it) — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #Sicily #Almond #Cherry #GrahamCracker #BakewellTart #tart #bakewell #jam #icing
The full wine lineup.
Sadly a little advanced, had to open the PYCM as backup.
A little advanced as well, heavy with no acid.
Very nice and surprisingly young.
Asanebo has been around since 1991 and as he was an early chef at Matsuhisa (along with his brother Shunji) the food very much reflects that. Like Takao (also at Matsuhisa) it’s positioned somewhere between a classic broad menu 1980s style sushi place and the more Peruvian influence Nobu style. But it’s definitely got strong California influences from the 1990s in a way I never saw in Japan during that period. While the style here is a bit 1990s (unlike Shunji who has massively “updated” recently) the execution remains excellent. I myself do slightly prefer either the very updated traditional or modern styles at the top end right now but there is no question that Asanebo is a great place and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s also not as expensive as the painfully bleeding edge places at current like Kaneyoshi.