HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What's your latest food quest?
TELL US

Koi or Matsuhisa??

s
shb123 Oct 27, 2006 03:35 AM

My wife and I are traveling in from out of town this weekend and have one night out without our one year old son. Where should we eat Koi or Matsuhisa?

Thanks

  1. j
    JSny Jan 7, 2007 05:31 PM

    Matsuhisa for food but the place is UGLY. Koi for scene and ambiance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JSny
      eezerik Jan 9, 2007 01:37 AM

      Yeah. To me, the place is just no bullsh!t just straight up good food

    2. m
      marjoriegabriel Oct 29, 2006 10:06 PM

      if you're willing to travel, nobu in malibu is worth the trip. otherwise, hamasaku on little santa monica in west l.a. is fantastic. sure, koi has great food, but the service is mediocre at best, and it's a real scene so the noise can be deafening - not exactly ideal for a quiet, relaxed evening out without the kids. i've never been to matsuhisa, so i'll defer to others on that one...

      1. Amanda Enclade Oct 29, 2006 01:30 PM

        Matsuhisia is considered one of my all time favorites. It is an original as far as this kind of japanese food goes and everytime I go there I am in food heaven. The sushi is plain and not that special compared to places like sasabune,nozawa, hikko, etc. but the sashimi and cooked food such as toro tartare, scallops on fillo, yellowtail with jalepenos,black cod, rock shrimp tempura, etc originated here. Please tell me if I'm wrong chowhounds, but I have been coming here since the early 90's when it was still one room with 6 tables. There are always celebs here and it does have a vibe of upscale fine dining. It still is LA so you can wear anything but they do take themselves seriously which I like especially if I'm out without the kids. I've been to Koi, fun and pretty good, but in the end just a knock off of the food created by Nobu Matsuhisisa.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Amanda Enclade
          eezerik Jan 6, 2007 07:24 AM

          I agree, I wouldn't get just the sushi. IMHO the only thing that separates fresh fish is the quality of the fish, how well the rice is made and the cut. If you are going for fish... you can always catch it yourself.

          Miso fish anyone?? Rock Shrimp??? Now everyone is trying to do miso-fish..

          I still like this place!!

        2. s0memale Oct 29, 2006 01:03 PM

          any fans of Japanese food, MUST visit Matsuhisa for the food. Maybe not as great as many places are trying to catch up to there. But its still great in my books. If you're looking for just sushi, LA has many many great places.

          1. u
            USCott Oct 28, 2006 09:00 PM

            koi for the scene and celeb sighting, but matsuhisa for the food. matsuhisa's chow was leaps and bounds better.

            1. b
              banquisha Oct 28, 2006 04:53 PM

              My vote goes to Matsuhisa for the food. Re: all comments above complaining about the sushi... Matsuhisa is better if you order the stuff you usually can't find elsewhere. Such as the new style sashimi, lobster ceviche, etc... there are tons of things on the menu that just aren't duplicated elsewhere. The food is great and innovative. If you do go, please try not to waste precious stomach space on sushi. The food there IS good.
              I've been to Koi, the food is good too but, I like Matsuhisa's better. However, if you want pure SCENE... hit up Koi.

              1. c
                comidachameleon Oct 28, 2006 04:45 PM

                Matsuhisa (sceney-ness and attitude at Koi definitely a downside, not to mention sushi is better at Mat.), or, if willing to drive, head to Nobu in Malibu. But agree with other posters; there is excellent sushi elsewhere in town...

                1. t
                  tdo ca Oct 27, 2006 06:50 PM

                  Neither. Instead head to Ventura Boulevard (Asanebo, Katsu-ya), Sasabune, Hide, or maybe even Little Tokyo.

                  1. jcwla Oct 27, 2006 05:35 PM

                    KOI.

                    Koi is one of the underrated, over-picked-on restaurants in town.

                    Yes, it's a tremendous scene -- Matsuhisa is positively dour by comparison.

                    But there are several delicious items on the menu, none of which are the sushi: seared albacore w/onions, tuna tartare "taco", rock shrimp tempura, spicy tuna on crispy rice, and best of all the addictive large warm crab rolls.

                    Koi is also on a stretch where there's fun window-shopping if you choose to take a walk while waiting for the valet.

                    Matsuhisa, on the other hand, has been living on its early-years reputation for way too long: mediocre, overpriced food, served with gobs of attitude, TIMED TABLES per reports on Chowhound, and a history of C ratings from the health board. There's nothing nearby and the overall feeling it will leave you with is, where did my money and my one night of fun go?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: jcwla
                      e
                      epop Oct 28, 2006 05:17 AM

                      ditto, jcwla, especially regarding Matsuhisa. shows how far reputation goes, with some. i'll never go back there, on anyone's tab, especially in this city of sushi. dank, dour + hyped

                      1. re: jcwla
                        CynD Oct 29, 2006 05:12 AM

                        Just came from my first time at Matsuhisa. No timed tables, not even a smidgen of attitude, quality of sushi excellent, as was the variety. One of our party had omakase, we others ordered a mix off the menu. Not a bad or so-so item in the bunch. Expensive, yes, but worth it for a once in a while treat. Based on this experience, I recommend it.

                        1. re: CynD
                          e
                          epop Oct 29, 2006 06:44 AM

                          hard to believe b/c i've been to matsuhisa's on numerous occasions (not my choice always) and i never enjoyed myself, though i tend to at most selected places.

                          my experience: the sushi is average, the cooked food above average but none of it worth the troubles mentioned above

                          1. re: CynD
                            russkar Oct 29, 2006 02:50 PM

                            Most of Matsuhisa's best Chefs moved up the street and opened their own place call WA just north of Santa Monica Bl. Omakase is amazing. Like the old days at Matsuhisa.

                            1. re: russkar
                              e
                              epop Oct 29, 2006 07:52 PM

                              good to know. what do you recommend having at WA, russkar?
                              sushi too?

                              1. re: epop
                                russkar Oct 30, 2006 01:42 PM

                                OMAKASE at WA made by TT
                                Sushi is good also, somewhat fusion like Matsuhisa's

                                1. re: russkar
                                  e
                                  epop Oct 30, 2006 03:50 PM

                                  thank you, russkar. i'll put it on the list

                        2. n
                          nimo Oct 27, 2006 05:18 PM

                          Matsuhisa. Better food and more refined, although you'll still fulfill your celebrity quotient. Koi is loud, obnoxious and mediocre.

                          1. j
                            JudiAU Oct 27, 2006 03:23 PM

                            I wouldn't choose either but if you are looking for a "scene" Koi is probably your choice.

                            1. j
                              jeffrey7471 Oct 27, 2006 11:04 AM

                              Matsuhisa has the better sushi but Koi is a lot of fun and does have good food.

                              1. chica Oct 27, 2006 09:02 AM

                                MATSUHISA. Go omakase. There's a lot of variety.

                                1. e
                                  epop Oct 27, 2006 06:59 AM

                                  if i had to i would walk by both and enter neither. there are hundreds of better places in LA

                                  1. c
                                    cls Oct 27, 2006 05:39 AM

                                    Pick a sushi bar in LA at random and you will probably have better sushi than either. On the other hand if you want a scene, it seems that Koi blocks the street with more valet parked Hummers than Matsuhisa does.

                                    1. j
                                      Jwsel Oct 27, 2006 03:40 AM

                                      What are you looking for? Celeb-siting? Top-quality sushi (Matsuhisa is better than Koi, but there are better sushi places in LA)?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Jwsel
                                        s
                                        shb123 Oct 27, 2006 03:47 AM

                                        We have a reservation at both places and are looking for great food and a fun scene. Any suggestions besides these two?

                                      2. y
                                        yogachik Oct 27, 2006 03:37 AM

                                        If you can get a reservation, Matsuhisa. But, good luck with that.

                                        1. c
                                          cupcake Oct 27, 2006 03:36 AM

                                          Matsuhisa for sure, unless you want to feel hip and tendy and sacrifice quality.

                                          Show Hidden Posts