GENERAL COMMENT: I’m a big fan of lobster rolls in general. Not only do I like to eat them, but I’m always interested in the surprise of what comes out of the kitchen — sometimes it’s like a sushi roll with fried chucks of lobster inside; sometimes it’s like a California roll, with avocado and other veggies. One of the very best I’ve had is this one at Tomadachi. Yes, it’s east of the I-10 Freeway, but I voyage for lobster rolls.
WHERE: 10975 Weyburn Ave., L.A. 90024 — the north end of Westwood Village. Telephone (310) 824-8805.
WHEN: approximately 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., sometimes later.
BEST DISHES: There’s a full Japanese menu. In addition to the baked lobster roll I’m particularly fond of the Citrus Garlic Ponzu Albacore.
BEST FEATURE: Good food at incredibly reasonable prices. The baked lobster roll is $9.95 and plenty for two people. The roll comes with the typical “secret sauce” on top, but this one is unusually rich and flavorful. The Albacore is $13. Dinners are from $8.50 to $15.50. Lunches are about $9. And they have one of the widest selection of rolls in town.
WORST FEATURE: Westwood Village is not known for easy parking.
WHAT TO DRINK: I almost always drink a beer in this kind of a restaurant. But you might want to try the “Sake Bomb Package” — a large beer and small sake, for $9.
BOTTOM LINE: Be sure to order the baked lobster roll — the regular one ($7.95) is more ordinary. And try out a few other dishes — this is one of the more imaginative Japanese menus in town.
Merv Hecht, the food and wine critic for the Santa Monica Daily Press, is a wine buyer and consultant to a number of national and international food and wine companies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.