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“Friendly service, fabulous food!”
Review of Oba Izakaya

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Ranked #429 of 741 Restaurants in Pasadena
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Reviewed 29 July 2011

This has become my favorite 'treat' restaurant for mother-daughter lunches with my mom. They have a great inexpensive lunch special menu, but my favorites are the specialty rolls. They have the best rainbow rolls I've found - it's a standard, but this one melts in your mouth. The Paradise Roll has become my new favorite, I wasn't sure about a roll with a 'sauce' on top but once we had finished the roll I really wanted to lick the plate (I didn't). We always get those two and then try one new roll each time, everything has been good as we work our way through the list. My 8-year-old has been asking to go to a 'real' sushi restaurant so this week we took the two boys to Oba. Everyone had always been nice and we had great service before, but they went above and beyond with boys. We were greeted warmly and immediately after being seated the boys were given origami frogs. The 8-year-old ordered the popcorn shrimp roll and his less adventurous little brother ordered the chicken from the Izakaya menu, my first experience with that side of Oba. The little Panko-coated triangles looked and smelled delicious and by the way they were gobbled down I'm sure they were. The popcorn shrimp roll was good and huge, as it had a pile of popcorn shrimp on to of the roll. Mom and I had our usual two, delicious, and tried the dynamite roll -my first try with a cooked roll. It was good, the scallop and mushroom topping was yummy. What really struck me this trip was the special attention the boys were given, first the frogs then special chopstick holders, then origami elephant puppets and decorated boxes they used as puppet theaters. The final touch was a chocolate sauce Mickey mouse design on the moochi plate for desert and the origami boats with candy for each boy. My guys are usually pretty good at restaurants, but with all the distractions they never had a chance to play-up. I loved Oba before but this experience put it over the top for me.

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Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 10 of 10 reviews

Reviewed 19 July 2011

I have been eating here since it opened. We followed Kunchi, the manager, from Sushi of Naples. She runs amazing restaurants. She knows her sushi, sake and especially service. I love the restaurants design. Tables are far enough away from each other that you don't feel like you can reach over and take some sushi from the next table!

I especially like to have lunch here. The service is quick and I can enjoy a great lunch easily in my lunch hour.

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Thank KSparrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Diamond Bar, California
Reviewed 14 November 2008

They have a very good plum sake, very smooth.

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Reviewed 25 September 2008

This is not a bad joint. We tried it for the first time last weekend, after reading a few reviews on CitySearch. The quality of the fish is not as good as Yoshida's, but it's not so crowded yet that there is a wait, and it's still pretty quiet. The sushi bar is small, and doesn't seat many people, but they have a pretty good sake selection, and their waitstaff are pretty well versed in it. The head sushi chef used to be at Sushi of Naples, so some might be thrown by the fact that sushi chefs are Mexican and not Japanese, but Alfonso is pretty good. Quiet, but his sushi is consistent and reliable. Their spicy tuna on crispy rice is just the right bite size. The best sushi we had was one he had given us back at Naples, a Japanese Mackerel (Shima Aji) with lemon and ume salt (plum salt). The taste is awesome, we had two orders each. The only thing we were disappointed with was the albacore; it seemed a little blah, but after you have had Yoshida's peeled albacore, nothing else really compares. Overall we had a good experience and feel that Oba is a good value - they have a long list of small plates we need to go back and try some more off of, but we spent about $140 for 2 people, and that included 3 bottles of cold sake, sushi, tax and tip. In Pasadena's wasteland of sushi places, this is worth trying.

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