Best Sushi on Ventura; a question with no clear answer?
So in my search for dinner in the Valley tonight, I've been scanning through all the posts regarding Sushi on Ventura Blvd. And it's kind of overwhelming. I know this question gets asked ad-nauseum. But there are so many split opinions (perfect example being the variety of posts regarding Sushi Mac).
What I'd love to find is a place that is cheap (and I define cheap as $4.00 to $5.00 an order). Fun and comfortable but not packed with 20-somethings on cell phones. The one place I have been that (to me) fits this bill is Sushi 101 on Moorpark. But it'd be nice to try something new. Preferably in Studio City or Van Nuys. Thanks!
The only "cheap" place that I would recommend is Cho Cho San in Tarzana (on Ventura near Vanalden), but it has plenty of 20-somethings on cell phones. But a lot of the nigiri and many of the rolls are under $5.00. It's definitely not a purist place, but if you like Sushi 101, then you aren't adverse to California-type sushi rolls. The spicy tuna is excellent (and I think $3.65 for a hand roll), as is the rock 'n' roll (baked scallop and avocado) hand roll. There also are a bunch of larger, more expensive rolls (e.g., $10-$12 per roll) tht can run up the total, but if you choose carefully, you can stay in your price range.
You can do much better than Sushi 101 at the same price point, unless my one (awful) visit was an aberration. From your post, I'd probably recommend the Studio City outpost of Katsu-Ya. It is fun and comfortable (much more than Sushi 101 imho), but will tend to be packed, but not so much with the 20-somethings jamming Sushi Dan. (The Katsu Ya demographic is late 20's, early 30's, young but successful crowd, yet friendlier than is typical for places that cater to that demo.) Katsu-Ya has a nice vibe, but to be honest if I really want sushi I'll head downtown to Sushi Gen.
Better sushi in a comfortable environment (but perhaps not "fun") is found at Tama. Some here swear by Nozawa, but I wouldn't describe it as comfortable or fun (or at Sushi 101's price point, for that matter.) Kazu as well is neither cheap nor fun. Even if you sit at the bar, the dude will not speak to you. You have to write down your order and hand it to the waitress. (Even Nozawa will address you, if only to tell you that you can't order.)
And Midori is ultra cheap all you can eat, but the sushi's only okay and it's not particularly fun. Or is it that cheapskates aren't particularly fun? :-)
Katsu-Ya is good, but nowhere close to the price point the original poster wanted. It is definitely not $4-$5 per item. (I know menupix has a sushi menu that lists the nigiri between $3 and $5 per item, but it was more expensive than that when I went a few months ago.)
Less expensive than Katsu-Ya, but far better than Sushi 101 (in my opinion, at least) is Hirosuke in Encino (Ventura just east of Louise). But even that will run you more than $4-$5 per order. Nigiri is probably in the $4-$6 range, but the larger rolls tend to be $12-$15 (and the larger rolls are their speciality).
I actually like Sushi Dan when I'm in the mood for non-traditional sushi. I think their fish quality is pretty good and the nigiri pieces are huge. I really like their albacore and yellowtail. Most nigiri is $4-5. And the rolls are good if you like that... plus they are huge so you get your money's worth. Rolls are $7-12.