What You'll Be Eating and Drinking at Maru
Chef Jason Park has been running a restaurant called Maru for years. First in Valencia, where he made a name for himself with seasonal, French-California cuisine with Japanese influences, plus traditional sushi. He closed that location in 2012 and started running Maru pop-ups at the old Sasabune sushi space in Santa Monica, a sort of a placeholder for his latest version of the restaurant, which is now open. With cathedral ceilings, warm woods and slate grays, Maru has the zen-chic, minimalist decor of a contemporary Japanese restaurant. There's a sushi bar for chef Itsuroku Kimura to work omakase magic, a cocktail bar for Matthew Biancaniello to create his garden-inspired concoctions, and lots of banquettes along the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Park, who once worked at Campanile, staged in Osaka, and designed small desserts at Ramekin in Los Feliz, has once again turned his main focus to seasonal ingredients he picks up at the local farmers markets alongside top-grade, sustainable seafood and meats from around the globe. While there is a full sushi menu, with things like spiny lobster, jellyfish, sea bream and other Japanese nigiri specialties, Park's array of sandwiches and salads at lunch, and small and larger composed plates at dinner, are center stage. Take a peek at some of the dishes and drinks below. Maru opens for lunch Tuesday through Friday from noon to 2:30 PM, and for dinner daily at 6 PM. The bar, featuring beer, wine, sake and Biancaniello's "Eat Your Drink" cocktails, stays open until 11 PM during the week and midnight on the weekends.
12400 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-820-7240