Dinner In L.A.

Yesterday, Rick and I drove up to LA to help me move into my new apartment (for school). Afterwards, we hit the streets of Westwood to enjoy some city night life.

City of Angels? Been living here three years, and I'm pretty sure I have seen no angels. It kind of cracks me up when people say they that "love" LA. I'd ask them why, and they'd say "Because there are TONS of things to do!" Yeah? What do you do? "We go out to eat. Clubbing. Eat. Dancing. Eat... Eat..." Wow. That's like 6 things! I guess that's considered a lot of things, if you're interested into that sort of thing. As for me, I wouldn't know because I only sleep and read here. I spend most of my life avoiding crowds.

Despite all the smog, the traffic, the noise and all the weird people, LA does have tons of interesting places to eat. I have to give the city that. I think that's all people do here, really. 

Picture courtesy of Yelp.com

Although Rick and I will never consider living in such a big city, we both still enjoy it when we are there. It's different from what we usually do. I took him to one of my favorite places to eat in Westwood: sushi at Yamato Restaurant.

(I know sushi isn't as popular in other parts of the country/world, but if you get the chance, I encourage you to try it. Dishes with salmon and tuna are easy to eat, especially for those who are on the fence. Just stick to the kind of fish you know you already like, and then go from there. And for the love of God, please DON'T overdo the wasabi. I hate wasabi. Rick loves it. You can have sushi with or without it. But I always make a point to try new things, at least once. If you don't like it, then you don't. But at least you know you tried.) 

** Photos below are not ours. We didn't bring a camera, and kind of feel awkward taking photographs of our food in restaurants. So we will steal from others who don't mind. :-)

The crunchy roll is always safe. There's nothing raw in it. The sweet, salty and crunchy textures provide great contrast. The sticky rice wrapped around fresh tempura shrimp is both warm and cool to the palate. Crunchy rolls never disappoint. Sushi is all about texture and balance. It wasn't till later that I began to appreciate sushi for what it is.

Our taste buds were doing flips and somersaults all night!

But perhaps my favorite dish of all at Yamato is the orange dragon roll, which is filled with crab and topped with fresh salmon and eel sauce. The salmon just melts in your mouth. Mmmm....

Rick told me about when he went out fishing once. The chef on the boat made sushi right after the catch, then and there on the boat. It was the freshest sushi he ever had, he said. And that's how sushi should be. Fresh.

I dream of going fishing in Alaska one day...

Then the rainbow roll, which was almost too pretty to eat. It was topped with fresh salmon, shrimp, tuna, albacore, yellowtail, white fish and avocado. 

We also ordered Panko fried oysters, which we thought were good, but a little on the greasy side. 

Green Tea Creme Brulee

  And perhaps the star of the night was the green tea creme brulee. It was different, but delicious. We could definitely taste the green tea, but it wasn't overpowering at all. The caramelized sugar on top was yummy, of course. It tasted amazing with the strawberries. 

Since Yamato is located in a college town, they decided to make it student friendly. Sushi here is half the price of higher end sushi restaurants. In my opinion, those other, more expensive places don't taste THAT much better. If you're ever in Westwood, we suggest you come try the sushi and green tea creme brulee.

Afterwards, we checked out the Halloween superstore across the street. Seems like they've been popping up everywhere, on every street corner. 

Then we went to a new soda/candy shop called Rocket Fizz that just opened on Westwood Blvd., where I found this: 

And this... Japanese Kit-Kat balls...
We bought a 4-pack of sodas we've never even heard of, some Mexican candy, 2 apple-caramel lollipops and a package of Claey's Horehound drops. 

I was a happy camper.

Visited Trader Joe's on our way back to the truck and became disgusted at how expensive lamb has gotten. Like, why? If we had some land, we will surely be raising some sheep.

Traffic was smooth sailing on the 405. We were glad to get out of Westwood before the crowds came in. The streets were closed by the Fox Theater for the premier of Contagion. Hadn't heard of the movie till last night.

Still have some wahoo steaks in the freezer. Still thinking of what to do with them tomorrow... stay tuned!

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