Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Yabu @ La Cienega

I thought I had it made when I started working in Century City. The mall was across the way and the renovated food court offered all sorts of tasty options. But with anything in frequency, it got old fast. A couple months went by and I started packing my own bento box mainly in protest against the mall's high-priced mediocrity.

If you work anywhere near West Hollywood I recommend heading to Yabu. They're open from noon to 2:30 pm for lunch and their set menu is on par with your typical Tokyo eatery. (i.e., sensible portions with delicate flavors.) Though just like Mishima, it's a carb-lovers' combo -- soba/udon and rice bowl for just around $10.

On this day, I got the soboro-don -- ground chicken seasoned with mirin, soy sauce and ginger paired with finely scrambled eggs. (Get it? Mother and egg.) I recommend their tempura bowl, too.

The way I see it, when a Japanese restaurant sells out to their Big Mac-eating constituents they start doing things like doubling portions and squeezing globs of teriyaki sauce on things. So it's nice to see Yabu hasn't lost their touch. Take their pickles for example:

You have shreds of kombu on one side and pickled things on the other. Most people will look at the pint-size accoutrement and think, "What's the point?" But it's this attention to detail that speaks the loudest. And then there's the other small dish of diced scallions and wasabi. It might just be a dinner thing now but they used to give you a raw quail egg, too, which is a slurping essential.

During the midday rush hour, Yabu is a 15 minute drive from Century City and can easily turn into a 90-minute lunch break. The boss might be mad but in my opinion it's worth the trek.

521 N. La Cienega Blvd.

W. Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 854-0400

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H. C. said...

All that wonderful Japanese carb sounds perfect after a nice run ~ provided I'm not lured by Clementine's baked goodies & various delish salads.

Pirikara said...

Ahh~ Clementine... yes. I think it's the fact that I have to go there by foot or else spend time circling around for parking which keeps me longing for their 3-salad combo. =P