so after being dragged from my cubicle (and thus from chowhound) by a coworker who promised 'the best sushi ever', a band of us merry IT brothers and sisters made it alllllll the way up lankersheim to a nondescript, run-down neighborhood where, lo and behold, chiba sushi made its home.
i was surprised to open the door and find a full on sushi restaurant hustling and bustling and packed to the brim with diners in an otherwise bleak and uninviting corner of the san fernando valley/north hollywood area.
"hmm this looks promising," i thought, "what the hell." i ordered the 10 piece jyo nigiri sushi - a "half" omakase of sorts, for $20. not a bad deal but more than i usually spend on a workday lunch. with toro, uni, etc. etc., i guess just this once i decided to splurge... kind of.
it wasn't bad, but surely it wasn't much to write home about. they did fry up the ama-ebi heads and serve it as a separate side - a definite high end touch along with the sushi chefs each having their own names embroiderd on their frocks (in english, of course - the place is made for corporate lunchheads i think), but beyond that, the sushi was only mildly fresher than at most average sushi-yas in town.
i judge a sushi bar by its toro - which i think was just chu-toro, not o-toro, and it lacked the pristine butteriness of say, a prime piece of fish at nozawa
the other nigiri was quite competent, but definitely not worth the drive.
on top of that, the service was ridiculously bad. maybe because it was packed (and we weren't actually sitting at the bar), but the waitresses bringing our dishes consistently ignored us, forgetting my friend's rainbow roll and, amazingly, bringing it WITH THE CHECK at the end of the meal.
i guess you could say that chiba is the sushi bar that took a wrong turn and lost its way on the way to studio city lol. interested in what others who've been there have to say, but for me, at least yesterday, it all added up to one big... blah.