13362 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066 | Map
The relationship of kids and any green-colored food? Too often their reaction is straight out of a famous Carl Rose cartoon in The New Yorker: a mother saying to her daughter at the dinner table, “It’s broccoli, dear” and the little girl replying, “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”
Take those kids – take yourself – to Sakura House, a small place that concentrates on kushiyaki, food cooked on skewers. Order up some of the maki specialties, Maki meaning there’s a thin layer of pork wrapped around an ingredient before it’s grilled.
The standard maki menu items are asparagus, green bean, okra, mushroom, and garlic sprout. There usually is a cherry tomato available as well as daily specials on a whiteboard behind the men who do the grilling – working directly in front of a long curved bar. There are also tables that seat perhaps 30.
In addition to the maki skewers don’t miss the crispy chicken addiction, well named spicy chicken nuggets that have been quickly deep-fried. My family is partial to the charbroiled rice balls as well as a seasoned mixed rice that puts most Chinese restaurant fried rice to shame. I also love rice bowls topped either with broiled eel or chicken.
The passion of the owners seems to be Mustang autos, judging from photos on the walls, and the Beatles, judging from the music that’s piped in.
There are lists of specials of sake in addition to those on the menu.
Sakura House is tucked into a little mall across from the giant Costco on West Washington Boulevard, two blocks east of Lincoln Boulevard. Parking in the little mall can be difficult at peak hours but there usually are spaces available on the street.
Service is attentive, but not rushed – those skewers are being grilled on order. The smoke is sucked into a huge hood, although you’ll have a trace of the delicious odor following you in your nostrils or hair.