Since my return to LA in mid-2008, this town has been under the treacherous grip of the KKK. I don’t mean those racists in white hoods, I mean the holy trifecta of Japanese hot spots Koi, Katsuya, and Katana. Of course, Koi is long past its day of Entourage appearances and paparazzi stakeouts. Katana was never that great to start with. And Katsuya? Well, as much as I love it, it can now pretty much be classified as a chain.
So, in the wake of this trinity’s fall from dominance, a bunch of new Japanese and pan-Asian restaurants have opened shop. One of these, Agura, seems to be making a run to be a LA must-visit spot. Located in a renovated church/antique shop, the restaurant consists of a huge main dining room with a side bar, outside patio overlooking La Cienega, and three private dining rooms. The food is excellent. From the yam fries that taste like tempura and honey, to the perfect black cod that melts in your mouth, every item we had was incredible. The Red Dragon roll was a particular favorite. And I’m not the only that feels this way.
The small private rooms looked like great venues for a small birthday or intimate night out with friends. Although it was too cold to enjoy this particular evening, the patio also looked like it could be an amazing summer watering hole. The best part? After 10PM nightly and all day Sunday, the patio and bar areas host happy hour with rolls under $5, edamame for a buck, and drinks at half price.
So, avoid the lameness of Koi, the reality star trashiness of Katana, and head to Agura instead. Did we mention the main dining room has a 13 foot tall Buddha overlooking you? If I wasn’t such an eating disordered freak, I’d end up leaving Agura with a belly like his. It’s that good. Even the LA Times agrees.
Also…don’t tell them I sent you, but if you do tell them Yelp did, you’ll receive a 10% discount.
Agura is located at 514 N. La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood.
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