One of my favorite things to eat is sushi, but finding a good sushi restaurant is rare even in Los Angeles where sushi is a favored and popular meal choice. Part of the problem is what I call the “pizza phenomenon” which is when everyone eats it, but more people are interested in fast and cheap than in quality and taste.

Unfortunately, I recently ate at one of the restaurants I used to like, but it has changed and the quality is no longer what it used to be when it opened. Keeping prices down is great, but I would rather have paid a little more for better quality. There is one sushi place in Beverly Hills (which shall remain nameless) that is so expensive that it is affordable only to trust fund babies. I am not saying quality at ANY price, just a fair one. I could not say my taste buds could tell between their $15 per order for ONE piece of fish flown in from Japan and another restaurant’s $7 per order of two pieces for the same fish, also flown in from Japan (probably on the same flight). So now my hunt is on for a new favorite sushi restaurant.

Today I ate at Asuka, located at 1266 Westwood Blvd., L.A., CA 90024 Tel 310-474-7412. It’s next to Westwood Village, but south of Wilshire with it’s own lot, so parking is not a problem here. The fish is fresh, with some specialty items like Blue Nose and Halibut which are flown in from various countries like Japan or South Korea. The nice twist here is that they have a Robata grill, so skewers of duck breast, beef, chicken, or vegetables are available for non-sushi eaters. It’s a nice neighborhood place with friendly service and clientele; someplace you could drop in as virgin client or a regular and be treated equally well. They do big specialty rolls like the Futomaki or the Nomo, but they also have daily fresh fish specials which may include Halfbeak or Shad. It’s a good combination place for both sushi enthusiasts and Japanese food novices to eat together and maybe strike up a friendship over a new find. Definitely worth a return trip.