Leave It Up to the Chef: Wakasan

Wakasan, a quiet and cozy izakaya hidden in the street of Westwood, helps put an end to the popular misconception that Japanese food is only about sushi and tempura. Sure, sushi and tempura are an important part of the Japanese cuisine, but there’s much more to the Japanese culinary tradition than just raw fish and fried whatever.  Just come by Wakasan and you’ll discover the wonders of Japanese homestyle cooking yourself.

I would have to say that izakayas rank as one of my all-time favorite places to dine because you get to sample variety of dishes with absolutely no guilt. Each dish is served in a tiny portion so there’s no fear of over indulgence, and those tapas-like dishes are generally cooked steamed or sautéed with little or no oil. This explains why Japanese women are so darn thin. But of course, I too am Japanese but I’m also American bred, so I’m the super-sized version of those Japanese women.

We ordered the “omakase” dinner so we were able to relax and talk without stressing over what to order. With “omakase,” which literally translates to, “I’ll leave it up to you (the chef),” the dishes just keep coming and coming. Because the menu changes daily, it’s a mystery as to what you would get, but everything served here is nothing but perfection.  And the friendly and skilled servers deliver those treasures to your table at a perfect timing — never too fast, never too slow.

I don’t want to ramble on about how the food tasted and all the technical stuff because no words will do justice, but I hope these pictures would illustrate how magical this place and the food truly is.

The night’s offerings were (I think there were more dishes but I was too busy eating):


Crab Sunomono and Kongnamul


Grilled Salmon and Assortment of Sashimi

Spinach tossed with ground sesame


Fried Shrimps


Somen with a hint of plum

A special birthday gift for mom, courtesy of Wakasan himself

Chawanmushi, the perfect way to conclude the fabulous dinner

Wakasan: 1929 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

8 thoughts on “Leave It Up to the Chef: Wakasan

  1. ooh! don’t forget to mention we sat across from KEN WATANABE and his family! lots of celebs go there!

    everyone please note:
    we were afraid that mr. watanabe might of thought she was snapping shots of him, but she was actually too busy observing & taking pictures of the food that she didn’t notice the big time oscar-winning actor…

  2. Pingback: Birthday Bash at Wakasanchi « Time for Dinner

  3. Pingback: My Sister’s Birthday Ritual: Wakasanchi « Time for Dinner

  4. I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented on your post. They’re really
    convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for novices.
    May you please prolong them a bit from next time?

    Thank you for the post.

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