Sushi in San Fernando

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With an arsenal of informative magazines, elegant photographs, and illuminating documentaries, National Geographic has inspired planetary responsibility and natural wonderment for more than 120 years. Their latest filmed adventure, The Last Lions, ushers viewers into the wetlands of Botswana's Okavango Delta, where a lioness named Ma di Tau and her cubs fight for their survival. From fleeing raging fires and cub-killing rival prides to wading through crocodile-infested rivers and the supermarket at rush hour, this family suffers perils that leave audiences touched and awestruck. Crafted by award-winning filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and narrated by Jeremy Irons, The Last Lions aims to raise awareness of dwindling big-cat populations while sharing a compelling story of hope. The film is rated PG for depictions of the food-chain cycle without the accompaniment of an Elton John song.

17237 Ventura Blvd
Encino,
CA
US

Jason Park’s connection to culinary ingenuity began before he was even born. His grandmother, a native Korean, began experimenting with blending Japanese and Korean cooking styles after she studied in Japan. She passed on her techniques and recipes to her daughter, who did the same to a young Jason.

From a young age, Jason showed his affinity for gourmet food by dutifully watching international cooking shows and sounding a trumpet whenever he bit into a perfectly salted popcorn. During college at UCLA, he dabbled in biology and psychology before returning to his true passion for cooking. After spending the next few years honing his skills in the kitchens of restaurants in Los Angeles and Osaka, he opened the doors of his own establishment as the executive chef.

At Maru, Jason draws on his grandmother’s principles of culinary fusion as he blends the flavors and textures of French and Japanese fare. He assembles dishes that range from Mediterranean risotto to sushi rolls using an ever-changing assemblage of seasonal ingredients, which he hand-selects each week at the Santa Monica farmers' market. He also has fresh fish flown in overnight from Japan’s seafood markets.

To complement Maru's continent-spanning dishes, sommeliers assemble balanced lists of local California wines, imported French blends, and Japanese sakes.

24250 Town Center Dr
Valencia,
CA
US

Since 1979, Teru Sushi has treated diners to a menu of fresh seafood prepared with traditional Japanese recipes and served amid elegant zen-like décor. Prep palates with a dish of steamy edamame before helping chopsticks to specialty rolls such as the Dragon Ball, which disguises a classic california roll in a costume of freshwater eel and avocado. The 911 sets taste buds ablaze by bundling shrimp tempura and avocado with spicy tuna, fanning the flames with even more spicy sauce that yields only to the placating coos of crispy flakes and sweet eel sauce. Rice-free morsels such as the albacore-wrapped Geisha Lips and the cucumber-bundled Twilight roll cater to special diets, while piping hot carafes of sake or a dessert of tempura-fried ice cream balance palates better than a perfectly seasoned triple beam.

11940 Ventura Blvd
Studio City,
CA
US

Gonpachi fashions its menu of authentic Japanese fare and Edomae (Tokyo-style) sushi from locally sourced ingredients, as well as authentic foodstuffs purchased from Tokyo's Tsukiji Market. Gonpachi hand-pounds its soba noodles daily from buckwheat flour threshed and milled on the premises. These freshly noodled noodles can then be served chilled with a dipping sauce as seiro ($8) or in a hot broth as kake soba ($8–$9). Gonpachi in Beverly Hills also practices the slow-cooking robata-style, preparing delicacies such as Chilean sea bass ($6) and bacon-wrapped cherry tomatoes ($3) over the gentle firelight of a traditional oak-charcoal pyramid. On the other end of the cooked spectrum, sushi fans can trap spicy tuna rolls ($5) between the bamboo chopsticks in their hands or the insect pincers on their faces. Chopsticks also protect hands from the flavor explosion of the dynamite roll ($16).

134 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills,
CA
US

Matsuhisa

When asked, world-renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa willingly reveals the secret ingredient to every one of his dishes: kokoro, aka "heart." He claims that his unique personality goes into each plate, imbuing it with flavor that can't be replicated, even by someone who has the exact ingredients and instructions. But heart isn't the only key to Nobu's success in cooking: he also cooks smart. His stints at sushi bars on three continents have led to a spicy, experimental streak that combines aspects of Japanese, Peruvian, and Argentinean cuisine and separates his seafood from the pack. That innovation is just one of the reasons why the critically-acclaimed chef has earned no fewer than nine James Beard Award nominations since 1997. A la carte servings of sushi and maki rolls headline the menu at Matsuhisa, but it's the signature hot and cold dishes that draw the eye, from lobster ceviche with limestone lettuce to king crab tempura, spiced with Amazu sauce and jalapenos. Alternatively, Chef Nobu can choose a set of surprising courses for an omakase meal, which encourages diners to sample new, exotic flavors and prepare for a future where the world has run out of cheeseburgers. As for drinks, the Hokusetsu Brewery in Japan crafts sake exclusively for Nobu and his restaurants, and servers pour it by the bottle or glass or mix it into sake martinis with Asian vodka, Japanese pickled ginger, and cucumber.

129 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills,
CA
US

The chefs of California Roll Factory churn out more than 100 specialty sushi rolls given creative names such as the Picasso and the Some Like It Hot. The sushi-bar creations combine a huge variety of ingredients such as freshwater eel, spicy tuna, baked seafood, and avocado to fill out the broad menu. Diners can also sate their appetites with hot and cold Japanese appetizers and combo meals of tempura- and teriyaki-coated shrimp, salmon, beef, or chicken with sides of rice and miso soup.

9174 W Olympic Blvd
Beverly Hills,
CA
US