Walk into Sakana Japanese Sushi and Grill and you will immediately feel welcomed. The warm colors of the restaurant draw you into a unique dining experience for Crescenta Valley.
As diners enter the front door they are greeted with “Irashai Mashei” which is said by all employees to patrons as they enter. This means Hello, how are you and welcome.
The owner/manager David Bang’s goal is “friendly service from the heart.” That goal is definitely met as this hands-on restaurant owner moves from table to table personally making certain everyone is happy with their food and service.
And who wouldn’t be happy? The foundation of a good sushi restaurant/bar is fresh fish. This does not mean fish that was purchased a few days prior and frozen until needed but really fresh from the market.
“I go to the fish market every morning and personally purchase the fish,” Bang said.
That is obvious with the first bite of tuna or salmon. The sushi is flavorful without being too fishy and the consistency is perfect. Japanese sushi chefs dressed in crisp black and white uniforms work behind a long bar preparing the orders that are presented as cuisine art on beautiful earth tone plates.
This is not just a sushi bar however; there are choices for everyone. There are baked rolls, the lobster roll is a must try. There is also tempura, teriyaki bowls and even a Japanese hamburger.
The restaurant stays open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, a different twist for the area. There are florescent neon screens that gently flash the specials. Of course flat screen televisions are tuned into whatever sporting event is airing. There is the bar for those who enjoy watching their meals prepared and then there is the regular dining area with table and chairs and booths that are in the back of the room in quiet cubbyholes. In the front of the restaurant is a community room perfect for parties or meetings.
With its subtle tones and sleek wood and mirrored finish, Sakana has mixed the sophistication of a New York restaurant with the balance and nature of Southern California. But Bang has added another element—Crescenta Valley tradition of community support.
Local high school and college students can receive a discount by showing their student identifications. Bang has reached out to Verdugo Hills Hospital, local law enforcement and fire fighters. He has also been supportive in school projects with offering his restaurant and chefs’ experience to the CVHS Bistro as part of a class project.
The waiters, chefs and hostesses all work in unison to make certain their patrons dining experience is pleasurable.
The prices are reasonable to the expensive with Toro sushi at the high end of three pieces for $19.99.
There is a Happy Hour from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and a Sushi/Sake Happy Hour from 8:30 p.m. to midnight where certain selections of sushi and sake are half price. For those that thought there was only one or two types of sake come to Sakana for a sake education.
The restaurant is located at 2382 Foothill Blvd, just east of Briggs Avenue on the north side of Foothill Boulevard. Their hours are: Monday –Thursday, Sunday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. –midnight.