Before you say anything, yes I live in Los Angeles. Yes, I work in Entertainment. And yes…my two year old eats Sushi & Japanese food! I get the strange looks and comments quite often, and to be honest I could care less! I am raising a picky toddler and if he wants seaweed, eggplant with Miso & tempura fried veggies then so be it!! At this point, I take what I can get! LOL! The great thing I think is that he does like something other than chicken nuggets & “pinch pies” (french fries)! And though it goes against what most American Mommies and Daddies would do, I have let my son try a little raw fish. VERY VERY little yellowtail carpaccio. He loves it! I figure the acid from the lemon and olive oil help with the killing of any left over bacteria. Now I wouldn’t allow my son to eat raw fish from a place that has their sushi on slashed prices, but only from this place I’ve been going to for years where I know the fish is amazingly fresh!
So last night along with my mother and our good friend, Joy, we feasted at my favorite little spot! Jax dressed in his lab coat from his doctor’s costume, Brobee crocheted hat & Brobee backpack was able to sit at the sushi bar for the first time! He really thought he had hit the jackpot! He was inches from the food and there was a person standing there the whole time preparing more of it and taking orders! On top of all that, he was closer to the door and was able to greet each and every person who entered and exited with “Merry MisMus! Happy New Lear! Happy Hol-day! PEACE!”. He was also able to place his orders with the sushi chefs, talk with them about Yo Gabba Gabba, Dr. Seuss, his bike, being a doctor for the day and the republican debates that were taking place last night….or whatever it is that 2 year olds talk about! We dined among other families, couples, celebrities, teens and hipsters with the comfort and ease of being at home with old friends. In fact Jax was so comfortable that he not only proclaimed TWICE to me that he had to go potty, but then announced each time to the small restaurant that he went potty as he exited the bathroom. And to his surprise and pleasure he was met with a few congratulations from patrons! Yes, I know. One thing you have to understand about my son, he befriends just about anyone wherever he goes and will soon become the ambassador of that place. Whenever we enter a place he greets everyone he comes in contact with, and as they exit he sends them off with a “Buh Bye. See Soon!!! Lay-ler!”. And when he leaves he makes sure that everyone gets a proper goodbye, perhaps a handshake or two, certainly a wave! Sometimes I feel like I’m with President Clinton!
I probably shouldn’t do this because then I may never be able to get a seat in this Sherman Oaks sushi jewel that is about as big as my living room, but the food is so great I just have to share it! We go to Iwata on Ventura & Van Nuys Blvd in Sherman Oaks. It’s really small and quaint, the owner is the head sushi chef and the food is fresh and yummified! It’s family friendly and adult friendly all at the same time! I’ve taken my son & nieces to have dinner, had business lunch meetings here and dinner dates. The prices are pretty reasonable for the food and service you receive. Jax usually gets the chicken & tempura combination that comes with miso soup, rice, teriyaki chicken, tempura, and salad. If I am able to get my chopsticks in there without getting assaulted by his fast-moving fork, we share it! LOL! He also loves the Eggplant with Miso, cucumber roll, pickled ginger, cucumber & seaweed sunomono salad, california rolls and the little bean sprouts they bring out. He attempts to use the kiddie chopsticks they give him, but soon he gives that up for a fork and finger instant gratification!
Mommy’s favorites include the yellow tail collar, spicy shrimp on rice cake, salmon sushi, Huba Huba Roll w/spicy shrimp inside (instead of spicy tuna. It’s great with spicy tuna, but I LOVE his spicy shrimp), seared albacore with crispy onions, yellow tail carpaccio, tuna roll, halibut sushi, blue crab roll in rice paper, vegetable tempura, eggplant with miso, Shishito Peppers, chicken teriyaki, lobster roll, spicy tuna nachos, cucumber & seaweed sunomono salad. This place is sooo much more than a rainbow or california roll!!
Now not to say that this is the BEST sushi in the valley, but once you try this place it will be very hard to eat anywhere else. Personally, I love Katsuya, but Katsuya isn’t so friendly on my mommy budget, this place is as good and easier on the wallet This place has been my staple for years now and it’s never disappointed! I mean if you can find a place that your child gets excited about visiting when he sees it and it doesn’t have a big golden arch on top of it, you gotta shout it out!! And hey, if it’s good for the Jaxomous and Miley Cyrus, then it’s gotta be good!! LOL!