Tama Sushi lives in the heart of fishie row on Ventura - there are stacks of sushi spots along this stretch, and it's tough to stand out. Tama succeeds.
Place: Tama Sushi, Sunday, 1/29 - 8:00 PM
Myself + 2 guests
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - C+
It's clean and minimal, but something doesn't work for me - maybe it's the cheesy red wall, maybe it's the not-quite-there decor - it's comfortable but not attractive.
Service - B
Always a little spotty but polite - sitting at the bar rocks, however. Though it's super small and not always an option.
Food (Taste) - A-
I've never had anything but sushi/sashimi here (they have a rather extensive cooked menu list as well, but I can't speak to any of it 'cept the miso) - really truly, this some of the best fish in the city.
Food (Presentation) - A
Gorgeous plating, beautiful presentation
Wine/Drinks - C-
Not excited by wine and/or sake listing here at all.
Value - B+
It's not cheap, but a great value due to the quality and freshness.
Overall Experience - B+
I've been here many times, and feel it deserves some accolades. True, I'm not crazy about the decor. Yes, the service can be a little - unattentive. But sit at the bar and order the omakase and you'll be transported . . .
Avoid 'em. Or just have a Sapporo. I've had bad luck with the sake here.
The best damn live scallop sushi - drizzled with the tiniest lemon essence - you'll find in this city. Down right unbelievable.
The toro is magnificent (ok, that's redundant), as is the albacore. Tuna is usually (but not always) ultra-high quality, along with salmon.
And don't miss the Mushroom Miso soup - woodsy salty warm - and just freaking heavenly.
They have lots of Omakase choices on the menu - very reasonable. I always choose the Sashimi A - 4 kinds of fish, $30. There are several sashimi and sushi listings as well as a great Bento Box full dinner option.
Tama stands as a gem in the valley of the raw-raws, without attitude, a long wait, or the fun of sitting in the laps of your table-ing neighbors. Those are high marks in my little black sushi book.
11920 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA
Ciao, 'Hounds :)