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Daichan: Japanese Soul Food
Studio City's Daichan is heaven for a Japanophile like me. It will quite possibly take a lifetime to eat my way through its massive menu that has countless selections based on the combined and varied influences of Japanese and Hawaiian cuisine. You'll find everything from basic sushi and sashimi dishes to traditional curry and katsu (like the popular breaded and fried pork) plates, along with dozens of tempting appetizers, noodle bowls, rice bowls, and poke (cubes of raw fish seasoned and served on rice). If the menu's not overwhelming enough, just let your eyes meander along the eclectically covered walls and see what of the many hand-drawn menu items up there you might want to try.
I've barely scratched the surface there, having had my first experience comprised of Stuffed Lotus Root (indulgently fried, the lotus root light but snappy, the filling savory--pictured above), and the Mixed Poke (more fish, please! and next time brown rice), then returning to sample the fried oyster plate (good, but nowhere near as phenomenal as Glendale's Takeshi Ramen's), some decent tuna sashimi, among other tasty bites I stole off my dining companions' plates. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun; Daichan is super casual and funky, which makes it easy to sit there solo with a good book or go with friends, or even kids--who'll dig the colorful decor and love to slurp up and handle all the bite-sized foodstuffs. It's low profile but big flavor and not hard on the wallet. So if you end up in the valley (the SF Valley, that is) with an appetite for some Japanese Soul Food (hey, that's what they call it!), give it a try. And give me a call when you get there--it's so much more fun to share, isn't it?
11288 Ventura Boulevard, Suite F, Studio City