Not sure if this place is popular with hounds or not, but my husband and I went with a friend the other night...it was fresh, delicious, inventive and fun. I hadn't been there in a long time, but have always enjoyed my visits (it's kind of far from my house). Anyway, their most popular non-sushi item has got to be their crispy rice crackers. They make small, 1/2 inch thick rectangles out of pressed rice and deep fry each piece until the outside is crispy and the inside is tender and chewy. They top with thin avacado slices and your choice of a spicy shrimp, lobster or tuna salad. The combination of chili with the flavors of fresh seafood, creamy mayonnaise, rich avacado and the texture of the rice is amazing! I highly recommend to even the purists out there. They also had baby octupus which they served 2 ways on the same plate- whole and lightly sauteed, and in a salad with red peppers and citrus. Delicious! The toro was buttery and smooth, and they sear each order of albacore individually so you have the combination of slightly warm/cool albacore and the smoky aroma that gets lost when sitting in a glass case all night. The blue crab roll was packed with fresh meat, and the shrimp and shishito appetizer looked beautiful (I only had the chance to see it, but will order it next time)
A wonderful place to enjoy standards and creative appetizers. Atmosphere is great and the sushi chefs gladly drink beer with you.
Japanese Restaurant Iwata
14423 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone: (818) 386-1980