Talk about location: This mod spot is next to Trader Joe’s and a parking lot and is a stone’s throw from the Pacific Culver theaters. Sit at the sushi bar, sake bar, or a table and let the chefs provide, or pick your way through top-drawer sushi (the Spicy Tuna Crispy surpasses all others), salads (beet and goat cheese), and small plates of, say, gindara saikyo (miso-marinated black cod). Sake is offered in flights.
Best Spicy Crispy Tuna, September 2007
It’s an ideal finger food: raw tuna mixed with chili oil, sometimes a dab of mayo, smeared on a toasty lozenge of rice. Interpretations of this sushi sidekick vary, and top contenders include the rendition at Katsu-ya in Studio City, where the rice is seared on the outside, left soft on the inside, and dosed with just the right dash of sesame oil before getting its creamy crown of mildly spicy tuna and a slice of green chili. We’re partial, though, to the treatment at K-Zo. Here the tuna is equally fine, but the rafts of rice are double wide and have been lightly baked so that they’re exquisitely crunchy without being dry. They release a popcorn perfume with every bite.