Noma: Japanese restaurant and sushi bar 08/26/2011
I had driven past this place numerous times after work without a second glance until one day my hunger got the best of me. Craving sushi and a Sapparo I decided to stop in with my new purchased Vogue magazine and treat myself to a little after work wine and dine. The "parking lot" is very small so if its a busy time or day forgot about close restaurant parking. Fortunately for me it was a rather dead time so I found a spot right upfront and ushered myself inside. The waiting area is basically non existent and the hostess was running around doing other jobs so I stood there for about 5 minutes before she noticed me and ushered me to a booth. Once inside I immediately order a Sapparo and was handed a menu. The menu was like the decor, very sparse and to the point, and the prices ranged from reasonable to spendy. I settled on my favorite spicy tuna roll along with a new adventure the dynamite plate. The dynamite hot appetizer plate was absolutely delicious- baked seafood and mushroom with a thick creamy sauce and topped with green onions. In all honestly that plate alone would have served as enough to eat, but I was spoiling myself and therefore enjoyed the roll as well. The Spicy tuna was adequate (as to be expected). Nothing spectacular about it, but nothing horrible either. After I had my fill I asked for the check- which was reasonably priced. In all it was a fine experience, I wouldn't rush to go back or have it be my first to recommendation but I would have a second go at it if I was in the neighborhood. Try for yourself... its a go.
Noma: Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar
2031 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403(310) 453-4848
Sushi Roku 07/14/2011
I was taken here on an anniversary date by my wonderful boyfriend and let me tell you it is beautiful. Here is the breakdown of my experience... we had reservations at 6:30pm and he requested a seat with the view of the ocean. The beautiful hostess quickly escorted us to our table, which was located in an intimate setting on a covered outside patio area with a gorgeous view of the ocean. The decor was very Japanese chic with rice paper lanterns, stone columns, and a stunning wall waterfall separating the outside patio from the inside seating area as well as a sushi bar. The waitress did take awhile to finally greet us and ask for our drink orders which was slightly irritating but she promptly made up for it with enthusiasm and stellar service. I immediately ordered a cocktail (duh! have we meet?) and miso soup. The Strawberry cocktail was very sour, and had in my opinion not NEARLY enough alcohol to satisfy my liquor craving, therefore forcing me to order another. Crafty ploy by the restaurant owners to squeeze another $14 out of its patrons (sigh). My next drink was a Champagne St Germain and was absolutely delicious, much better then the first slightly poured "alcoholic" drink.
The miso soup was good (which it better be, if you screw up miso soup we have issues!) and we sipped our tofu delight while deciding on which sushi roll to divulge in. We landed on the caterpillar roll, yellowtail roll, spicy avocado roll and spicy shrimp tempura w/jalapenos. While I am a sushi LOVER I was not fully loving the array placed before me. The best was the spicy shrimp tempura w/jalapenos, 10 points for creativity and excellent execution. Paired with spicy mayo and sweet eel sauce it was absolutely divine! But sad to say the other rolls were adequate at best, which is not ok seeing as the the price range was $11- $18 per roll! Sadly this is no Katsuya, Geisha House or Ra, the pricing does not match the quality. Our bill was $100 for the 2 of us and although the company couldnt have been better, for the price the food should have! In my opinion its a pass...
1401 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401