Sushi Encino

Fish House Lets the Sauce and Seafood Do The Work in Encino

Chef Hilo may not be as well-known as other sushi experts on the Boulevard, but Fish House in Encino can hold its own with the Valley’s best.

The Boulevard abounds with great sushi bars, but some top places can still fly under the radar. In an Encino complex best known for Phillip Frankland Lee’s restaurants, 30-year sushi veteran Hilo Mahelona runs one such place: Fish House.

Fish House is best known for omakase, an anything-goes procession at the chef’s discretion that keeps in mind any dislikes or allergies. That said, diners can also enjoy a standout à la carte meal. Here are some of our favorite options.

Sushi typically comes two pieces per order. Hilo only uses wild fish, which joins rice folded with minimal vinegar. As the chef says, “Let the sauce and fish do the work.” Hawaiian fish like opakapaka (pink snapper) and kahala (amberjack) are included in sushi and sashimi preparations.

Opakapaka is a rosy fish garnished with arare (tiny rice balls), soy sauce, spicy shichimi and tangy slurry of lemon, yuzu, herbs and vegetables. Kahala is dressed with shaved Italian black truffle that marinates in ponzu-like sauce for three months. Other highlights include rich yellowtail belly, silky Australian ocean trout and Fijian albacore with punchy toasted garlic.

Notable pupus (small plates) include six Peruvian pink scallops (pictured) baked on the half-shell with garlic shiitake egg whites and citrus and plated on mixed greens. Slurp and repeat.

The warm, unassuming space features a small, plant-lined patio, painting-lined blue-grey walls and black-clothed tables. Hilo reserves his four-seat wood bar for omakase. No matter where you sit, expect jazz to play and plates to sing.

16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-981-9133

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