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Very…standard…incredibly standard…Japanese fare at Hollywood and Highland.
We’re in California, particularly Southern California. When you walk out your front door, you deserve to know that you’re can get your hands on some primo first class Japanese food if you want. And why not? The Japanese community here has a tremendous (if not tragic) history here in Los Angeles. They’re a vital part of who we are as a city, if not as a country.
So why the hell do I keep coming across places like Cho Oishi? No, Cho Oishi doesn’t suck, but…damn…it’s not a place you’re going out of your way to find either. Go ahead, take a look at the menu. Scroll down and click on “What Should I Get”. Look at what they have offer, and you’ll see what I—zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
O-o-oh (cough) sorry. I’m awake. I’m awake.
I will give this this. They are in Hollywood and Highland, and the survival ratio for Hollywood and Highland restaurants hasn’t been all that high. There’s been a lot of turnaround at Hollywood and Highland, so just hanging on there should get you some credit. Granted, it’s a Sushi joint, and you’re trying to appeal to the one Food Blogger who isn’t going to be down with Sushi. On top of that, Hollywood and Highland ain’t Torrance, and it sure as hell ain’t Little Tokyo, so most of the people who will be coming in through these doors, won’t be Japanese-American.
So don’t be surprised with what you get at Cho Oishi, and I guess it’s on me being as disappointed as I am.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Okay, you saw what I said. I’m not into Sushi, so I decided to go after a bunch of their appetizers to get that burst of Japan that I wanted when I walked through the door. Thus, I tried the Yakitori, and it was…bland. Seriously, it tasted like it was boiled instead of charbroiled. Not impressed in the least. I also tried the Gyoza, which wasn’t bad. I don’t think they screwed it up, nor did I think they did anything to earn accolades or admiration. Solid B. Then I tried the Agedashi Tofu, which again wasn’t bad, but wasn’t extraordinary either. I try not to penalize restaurants for not being extraordinary. Again, B.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just be aware going in that this is a Sushi place first…since that takes up like 80% of the menu. Yet, for some reason all the tables are configured for Shabu-Shabu (Swish-Swish), the thing where you put razor thin cuts of mean into seasoned water for cook for less than a minute.
Like I indicated before, stepping into this place is like watching a compass spin ‘round and ‘round. Cho Oishi wants to be all things to all people. It’s trying to do too damn much. Just know that going in.
PARKING: Fine. Decent. You’re going to be parking in the Hollywood and Highland Complex, which is massive, which is massively well organized. Truth be told, it’s the best organized Garage in town. Easy to get in. Relatively easy to get out. The only problem is going to be availability. Hollywood is still Hollywood, and the thing can get real crowded.
Also, bear in mind, because I’ve done this myself a number of times, wherever you go, make sure you get your card validated by someone. Otherwise what is a very inexpensive place to park will get real expensive, real quick.
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 464-0500
Hours: Everyday 11am to 11pm