The origin of sushi can be traced back to the 4th century BC in Southeast Asia as a means to preserve food. In Japanese culture it was a way to eat rice and fish together. What has always been an important part of Japanese culture has become a large part of our society’s cuisine.
With numerous places to order sushi around CSUN, students shouldn’t have trouble going out for some fish wrapped in seaweed. However, one place in particular stands out from the rest.
Located in the outskirts of a shopping mall, Asahi Japanese restaurant in Granada Hills is the perfect place to eat when you’re craving Japanese cuisine.
Asahi has a large selection of sushi rolls. A patron favorite is the baked salmon roll for $8.50. It has cream cheese and avocado wrapped in rice and seaweed with salmon on top. Other popular rolls include the baked scallop on California roll, also known as b.s.c.r. for $9.50, and the tiger roll that includes shrimp tempura, crab meat, cucumber and avocado on the inside and topped off with shrimp. All rolls come with the house sauce, a sweet teriyaki-like dressing. The fish is always fresh, the rice is never soggy and rolls are under $15.
For diners deciding to forego the rice, they can still have salmon, albacore or spicy tuna with salad for under $11.
Non-sushi lovers have nothing to fear. Asahi has something for everyone. The combination platters come with green salad, steamed rice, miso soup and your choice of teriyaki-chicken or beef, pork cutlet, shrimp and vegetable tempura, or fried mussels. Lunch prices range from $9-11 and dinner combinations are between $11-13.
No meal is complete without dessert. Along with a few choices of mochi balls, Asahi also has green tea ice cream deep-fried in tempura batter served with chocolate sauce and whipped cream for $6. Sounds a bit weird, but definitely tastes delicious.
For those that are picky about ambience, Asahi was just recently renovated. Simple wooden tables and chairs have been replaced with large chocolate-colored booths. The sushi bar was also given a makeover. The walls have been adorned with golden tiles and bigger flat-screen televisions have been mounted on the walls so customers can now watch the big game and converse with their favorite sushi chef.
As far as service goes, the staff is nothing but friendly. Sushi chefs stay cheery throughout the night, and no matter how busy it gets servers never forget to check in with their tables to make sure everyone has everything they need. Chefs joke around with their guests at the bar and even take sake bombs with customers-provided the customers pay for the alcohol.
The only down side to Asahi is that the restaurant doesn’t come with a view. Balboa Street and a wide parking lot are pretty much the only scenery around. If you don’t care about the view, the large lot offers plenty of parking so customers won’t have to deal with expensive valet or the hassle of looking for street parking.
The restaurant doesn’t take reservations so seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Friday through Sundays during dinner hours are the busiest times and the wait can be a bit long. The food is definitely worth the wait and thanks to recession, CSUN students get 15 percent off their entire bill with their student ID.
10375 Balboa Blvd. Granada Hills, CA 91344 (818) 360-8499 Hours: Monday through Thursday 11:30a.m. ‘- 10:00p.m. Friday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. ‘- 10:30p.m. Sunday 11:30a.m. ‘- 10:00p.m. ‘