best sushi/sashimi place(s) in LA area
sashimi connoisseurs step right in. i'm looking for some places to try that have amazing sashimi: amaebi, uni, o-toro, hotatagai, kanpachi, hamachi, ikura, lobster. i'm talking about fish and seafood that melts in your mouth when you eat it. of course if it's decently priced even better. :)
i don't need a place that has great california rolls, spicy tuna rolls, spider rolls, or stuff that like that.
places that i have heard of that are good and i'd love to hear a personal review if you've been there. other suggestions welcome too.
sasabune (i heard it isn't as good anymore since it moved)
Don't believe the hype about Sasabune in its new location. Although we can't compare it to before since we've only gone since they moved (just moved to LA last year), I can tell you that the sushi is THE most buttery I've ever had.
That being said, if you're ever on the Westside, you'd be remisce to not stop at Irori in Marina Del Rey. Tucked away in a little strip mall, it's an oasis of pure, traditional Japanese atmosphere (no shoes allowed) with food to match. This place is accessible and reasonably priced enough to eat at on a weekly basis (which my BF and I do), but the quality is such that it's a serious treat. We just returned from our first Omakase at Irori, and each one of the dozen plus dishes was fabulous!
I'm probably opening a can of worms, but Nozawa has the best sushi I've had in LA. Even with the reputation, the first time I went there was a near religious experience. The original Sasabune was close, but just shy of the same level of greatness.
I've never had or seen any problems with Nozawa to validate the wild stories I've heard. Some people are perturbed about paying so much for fish served on Ikea ceramic, but keep in mind that Nozawa is about the sushi only. I've been in McDonalds that have better ambiance.
Its not cheap; the last time I had omakase it was around $50/person for lunch, and I believe dinner is even more. Although if Urasawa is on your list then maybe its a relative bargain.
Echigo on Santa Monica is another gem, and considerably cheaper than anything on your list so far ($12 for an omakase lunch!).
Nozawa is probably my all time favorite as well. I've been to Sasabune several times, old location and new and was just not blown away.
Irori omakase will run about $60-75 per person. I really enjoyed the omakase there as well. They have some creative dishes as well as the traditional pieces of melt in your mouth hamachi, toro etc.
I haven't been to the Hump in years, but it used to be excellent and in addition to quality sushi, it's in quite a nice space and serves milk tea ice cream!
Mori sushi is another amazing, but pricey sushi place. I had the best uni ever there.
A new one to add to your list is Sushi Zo. Definitely a must try at least once. You'll get to experience new flavors that will delight your palate. Do a search and you'll find many rave reviews. It is also on the pricey side, probably around $50-$75 a person. They have amazing amberjack, ikura, butterfish, ankimo.
On another hand, for really fresh fish, and at a much more reasonable price, I would go to Echigo. The chef does the butterfish and ankimo and the blue crab roll the same as Nozawa, Zo, Sasabune, all in the warm rice style. I've had some of my best uni at Echigo.
One of these days I'm going to make it out to Urasawa . . .
if it's sashimi (not sushi) you're looking for, can't go wrong with 2 studio city spots: asanebo and tama. tama has $50 omakase with premium items that you mentioned. asanebo is great as well for sashimi, although at slightly higher price.
although excellent sushi, nozawa doesn't serve sashimi except for 1 dish (baby tuna).
Sushi Iki in Tarzana has the freshest and best fish and shellfish in L.A. The live sea scallop and toro was the best ever.
I highly recommend Shima on Abbot Kinney in Venice. It's easy to miss since there's no sign - a single 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper stapled to the wooden gate points the way. Some of the best sushi/sashimi on the Westside. Quality and presentation are on-par with The Hump. Prices too, unfortunately.
1432 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291-3741
Cross Street: California Avenue
Senari has good scallops but the service and overall experience was bad for me. I went alone for lunch and they told me to move to the corner of the sushi bar which started things off bad. Then the sushi chef didn't know how to speak english well enough at all. (at least get the basics) And in front of me, switched yellow tail and I got the worst piece of yellow tail ever.
i'll admit i haven't hit up most (if any) of the westside spots being mentioned, but i'll second the studio city recs for asanebo and tama, particularly asanebo for sashimi. i've had great sushi (omakase for about $40) at azami in hollywood.
and i'll have to report back on urasawa; i'm going tonight!!!!
Merely an aside -- I find it very interesting that the mere mention of "sushi/sashimi in LA" always draws a multitude of responses. Why are we so passionate about our sushi experiences? Is it just my imagination? I don't see this happening in quite the same way with other food categories?????
Urasawa is special and fabulous because of the entire experience -- from watching Hiro do his thing like peeling prawns, slice Kobe beef, or crack open a lobster to the staff anticipating your every whim and needs.
The real highlights at Urasawa, IMO, are the cooked dishes, or at least the more inventive raw dishes that really have nothing to do with fish. The different tofu preparations are divine, the shabu-shabu courses are always a treat, and the fish cakes or the roes never really disappoint (even for someone who doesn't like fish eggs).
I feel the same way about Matsuhisa ... sashimi is fine, but the real reason to go there is for the cooked items (or at the very least, the non-sashimi items).
I think Nishimura has the best sushi/sashimi omakase in LA. It is equal or superior quality to Urasawa and about half the price. It is a very tiny resturant on Melrose across from the pacfic design center (just east of robertson on the south side of street).
They have the best fish I have tasted in LA as well as some very creative, albiet authentic, japense kaiseki style dishes.
For sashimi, Asanebo in Studio City is one of the best that specializes in sashimi. Great presentation and very fresh fish.
Nozawa and Sasabune are well known for their warm sushi rice. I'm not sure if they do a sashimi only omakase with their trust me attitude.
The omakase at Irori was an incredible value at $65/pp, and it rivaled everything we had at our Matsuhisa omakase that was almost triple that! I highly recommend....
Shima's lovely, but a tad overpriced. Don't get me wrong, the quality's great...and I love their brown rice sushi, but you can spend a lot and come away still hungry.