Hak Heang. In the Little Phnom Penh neighborhood of Long Beach is Hak Heang — all glowing neon, elaborate live-seafood tanks and yawning seas of tables, waitresses whipping around the room with endless streams of Tsingtao, fried fish and sputtering skewers of Cambodian shish kebab. 2041 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-0296. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Full bar. Lot parking. Takeout. Cash only. Dinner for two, $18–$28. Cambodian. JG ¢ The Hump. This little crow’s-nest sushi bar, named for a difficult Himalayan airway, sits atop Typhoon at the Santa Monica airport. Eat kampachi sashimi off Mineo Mizuno’s ceramics and watch the planes pop on and off the runway. Much of the fish comes directly from the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, and the chefs can go as simple or sophisticated as you like. Try the chopped Tataki-style sashimi. 3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, Third Floor, Santa Monica, (310) 313-0977. Lunch Mon.–Fri. noon–2 p.m., dinner seven nights 6–10:30 p.m. Full bar. Lot parking. AE, DC, MC, V. Entrées $35–$150. Japanese. MH $$$ Kani Mura. Kani Mura comes off as a little obsessive, a restaurant devoted to all things crab, from steamed crab to crab cakes, soft-shell crabs to crabs sautéed in the kind of Continental garlic-butter sauce you may never have experienced outside the context of a red-leather booth. It is pleasant to be confronted with the condition known as Too Much Crab, to pry cylinders of snowy meat from their expertly incised shells with long, narrow spoons, to season them with the rather tart ponzu sauce, to experience the calm of shellfish-fueled satori. 456 E. Second St., Little Tokyo, (213) 617-1008. Open Mon.–Sat. 5:30–10:30 p.m. AE, MC, V. Beer and wine. Lot parking $2.50. Dinner for two, food only, $35–$50. JG $$ Matsuhisa. Nobu Matsuhisa was the first sushi master to introduce Americans to yellowtail sashimi with sliced jalapeños. Playing with tradition has made him an international star. Locally, you can try his food at the modest Ubon noodle house at the Beverly Center and the high-end Nobu in Malibu, but his original, stunningly uncharming location on La Cienega is still, to our mind, the best bet — especially if you sit at the sushi bar and give your chef free rein. To this day, despite many attempts, nobody has improved on his innovations. Reservations are a must and, at times, a pain. 129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 659-9639. Lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:45 a.m.–2:15 p.m. Dinner nightly 5:45–10:15 p.m. Beer and wine. Valet parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $15–$50. Japanese. MH $$$ Ostioneria Colima. This is a perfect spot to kill a hot Saturday afternoon, slurping fresh oysters and drinking cold cans of Tecate from the supermarket next door. Chase your beer with tostadas de ceviche, thick, fried corn tortillas spread with a chopped salad of marinated raw fish, onion and shredded carrot, sharp with the tang of vinegar, mellow with toasted corn, sweetly fishy in an extremely pleasant way, dusted with fresh cilantro — it goes with Tecate the way Roquefort goes with Sauternes. Then order camarones rancheros, and you’ll get a dozen meaty shrimp sautéed with crisp green peppers, swimming in a light, buttery tomato sauce touched with garlic — the minimalist kind of thing Angeli’s Evan Kleiman might scour fishing villages for if she specialized in Mexico instead of Italy. 1465 W. Third St., (213) 482-4152. Open seven days, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Lunch for two, food only, $6–$20. Lot parking. No alcohol. Cash only. Mexican. JG ¢ Sushi Tenn. The basic sushi platters at Sushi Tenn are pretty good, and a decent value. The first pass at an omakase menu is also good (though quite expensive), a run through the selection of fish, including their extraordinarily mellow yellowtail. But the crab sushi is probably the best I’ve ever had — a single, uninterrupted slab of meat laid across a faintly sweetened lozenge of warm sushi rice, no soy sauce, no yuzu, no wasabi, garnished only with a single lentil-sized glob of pea-green crab innards, possibly a sweet bit of liver, possibly the esteemed kanimiso, or crab brain. 2004 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 473-2388. Lunch Mon.–Fri. noon–2:30 p.m., dinner Mon.–Sat. 6–10 p.m. Beer, wine and sake. No takeout. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Lunch for two: $20–$60; dinner for two: $50–$150 and up. Japanese. JG $$
Water Grill. Created and owned by the King restaurant group, the Water Grill is a big, big-city, downtown restaurant. The vast dining-hall-bar-lounge, with its fat faux pillars and seaside murals, has a slick, corporate gloss — which clearly appeals to the corporate suits who fill the booths. Desserts are erratic. Impersonal professional servers get the job done. Lunch is far less impressive and almost as expensive as dinner. Still, slurping down a dozen shucked Kumamotos at the bar may be as close to New York’s Grand Central Station Oyster Bar as any Angeleno can hope to get. 544 S. Grand Ave., downtown, (213) 891-0900. Mon.–Tues. 11:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Wed.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Sat. 5–9:30 p.m., Sun. 4:30–8:30 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, D, MC, V. $25–$50. American. MH $$$
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