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RESTAURANT REVIEW

Dining Details for Kiwami

March 4, 2009

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Kiwami **

LOCATION

11920 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 763-3910; www.katsu-yagroup.com.

AMBIENCE

Sushi restaurant with spare, contemporary decor -- and comfortable chairs. Most seating is at tables, but there are a few seats at the sushi bar, plus a separate omakase room where master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi presides.

SERVICE

Gracious and attentive.

PRICE

Dinner starters, $2 to $14; cold seafood dishes, $12 to $16; hot seafood dishes, $14 to $23; meat dishes, $14 to $28; tempura items, $3 to $8; nigiri sushi, $5 to market price. Omakase, $70 per person. Less expensive items at lunch.

BEST DISHES

Katsu-ya famous trio, seaweed salad, halibut carpaccio, crispy rice cake with spicy tuna, seared kanpachi salad, mixed sashimi, nigiri sushi, steamed shabu shabu Kurosawa beef in bamboo leaf. And sushi omakase from Uechi himself.

WINE LIST

Some excellent sake from small producers; minimal wine list. Corkage fee, $10.

BEST TABLE

A seat at the sushi bar in the omakase room.

DETAILS

Open for dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and to 9:30 p.m. Sunday; for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday. Full bar. Valet parking, $4.50 at dinner, $3 at lunch.

Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.