The space above the 7-Eleven at Holloway Drive has a terrific view down La Cienega Boulevard to the net of lights thrown over the city after dark. I've watched this West Hollywood location morph from a cobbler restaurant into a country Korean kitchen into something else again, already forgotten. Now I notice it's become a sushi restaurant named Wa.
Chef-owners Tomofumi Igawa, Toru Takenaka and Hiruki Imai, all alums of Matsuhisa, obviously didn't have big bucks to start this diminutive sushi restaurant. The kitchen is hardly a beauty queen, and the equipment has seen some hard use. But what Wa lacks in appointments (other than that view and a few tables), the sushi chefs more than make up in friendliness and the desire to please their customers.
Working seven nights a week, the trio is clearly charged with the thrill of owning their own place. For a couple of regulars one night, a chef merrily seared the outside of a salmon roll with a blowtorch.
Another return customer brought a friend to try the Chilean sea bass topped with seared foie gras that he'd raved about. Confronted with the reality, his friend declined the foie gras and went for the straight fish.