In English: “We’ll eat”! And so we do. Probably around once a month or whenever we get around to it. Ari-Ya is a wonderful sushi bar in the heart of vibrant West Hollywood, on Santa Monica Blvd. almost next door to Celebuhangout Pinkberry. I was a late starter to Sushi – Asian food (other than Cantonese) didn’t really exist when I was growing up in the UK, so on my trips to Japan I’d always opt for french fries at every meal.
Only after I’d lived in LA for a while did I try sushi (at the behest of a friend who insisted on it), and I randomly chose a restaurant that was very close to where we were hanging out. Back then it was called Murakami (of Murakami Salad fame), but of late it’s been renamed to Ari-Ya, yet has the same menu and some of the same staff.
The sushi spectrum runs from the incredibly exotic to grocery-store style mass produced stuff, but neither suit me very well. I like good mid-range sushi served in a relaxing environment with plenty of vegetarian/vegan options. You will not find that in LA at anywhere better than Ari-Ya.
The thing I like best about Ari-Ya is the consistently high quality of everything they serve, the quick and polite service and the best sesame tofu salad I’ve ever eaten. They have a couple of vegan options that work well, and can be surprisingly filling. We usually order the edamame to start with, which is usually a large enough portion to last through the meal along with one or two Tofu Seaweed Salads along with two orders of Veggie Maki Roll.
The Veggie Maki Roll has lovely crunchy avocado, mini carrots and asparagus in just the right proportion to be readily soaked in wasabi-infused soy sauce. Two orders are a pretty healthy size.
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