Oba Oba
181 E. Glenarm St., Ste. 110 (Arroyo Pkwy.)
Pasadena, CA 91105
Cuisine: Japanese / Sushi / Izakaya
Oba offers a wide selection of very respectable sushi, saké cocktails and pub fare like spicy crab-stuffed jalapeños.
Openings: Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly


Oba Restaurant Review:

With its sleek maple surfaces and soothing sage and taupe palette, Oba transformed the site of a tired old Japanese restaurant into a brighter, more hip sushi bar and izakaya. The sushi, which can be consumed at a translucent bar in a separate room, is very good and generously sliced, and the cooked specialties from the kitchen can be equally satisfying. Four fat tempura-fried jalapeños are stuffed with spicy tuna or crab, and this dish cries out to be washed down with a Hitachino Nest red rice ale. More subtle are ponzu-drizzled yellowtail sashimi topped with jalapeño and crispy onion, and the delicate kisu (Japanese whitefish) tempura. The requisite sushi rolls are offered, as well as small entrées like a combo of short rib and tempura, grilled fish, and yakisoba. One can finish with a tempura of cheesecake or ice cream, or just linger over another saké-based cocktail scented with blood orange and jasmine.

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