Since my favorite sushi restaurant closed and became a mysterious Thai-Japanese joint, I’ve been in search of the “go-to” sushi place in the neighborhood. You wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to find a good sushi restaurant in the Valley where Japanese restaurants ranging from high-end to whole-in-the-wall are all vying for your attention, but it’s quite the contrary. I guess it’s like dating — when you’re only given a few options, it’s easy just to settle because you don’t know any better. But when you have so many options, the choice can get a little intimidating (not that I know what that feels like).
Lucky for me, I hit the sushi jackpot recently when my mother introduced me to Ichiban Kan in Woodland Hills, where she dined with her friends and returned with a raving review. We went to check out the restaurant on our regular Sunday night family dinner (where we usually end up at some Japanese restaurant) and we were all happy with what we found in this little gem of a place.
Ichiban Kan, which translates to “The Best Sushi House,” is the new home of Chef Hirosuke, the former owner of the popular Encino restaurant Hirosuke, as well as the highly respected Kabuki in Northridge (please don’t get this Kabuki confused with the other, nasty chain restaurant with the same name – they are different). Ichiban Kan might have a different zip code from Hirosuke and Kabuki, but I found that it has the same delicious selections of fresh sushi and sashimi, creative side dishes, and other Japanese staples, that made the former two restaurants the Valley’s sushi sweethearts.
Just try a crab sunomono (sliced cucumber, crab legs and seaweed marinated in sweet vinegar), and salmon (tossed with onion slices and cucumber slices), and let the fish melt in my mouth. It’s heavenly!
I also recommend the Seafood Salad (loaded with sashimi, seafood, and cucumber on the bed of lettuce), Rainbow Roll, and Spicy Yellowtail hand roll, if you’re looking for something satisfying!
I suppose I can go to Katsuya for the best sushi in the Valley, but when you’re in the mood to enjoy a good sushi and sashimi without dealing with the rowdy crowd, this place is the answer. Make sure to check this place out before it gets so popular that you would need to wait for hours for a table — because it will!
I’m so happy that I’ve finally found my Mr. Right. And this is one love I’m willing to share!
19723 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364