Everyone must go to Sushi Masu at least once!!
I have been dining at Sushi Masu on Westwood Blvd for some time now, off-and on, maybe 1 or 2 times per month. I have, however, been attempting to broaden my horizons a bit and try other sushi establishments in the area. Having now done so, I can unabashedly and unequivocally say that Sushi Masu is the BEST in town (especially on the West Side) when it comes to quality and affordability. He tends to stick to the more traditional preparations but that is only to his credit. His portions are very, very generous and his fish is of the highest quality. His tuna handrolls are to die for and his shellfish is delicious. Staff is super-friendly and the atmosphere is very casual. Be brave and go omakase! We recently tried Takao in Brentwood which has high zagat ratings and were relatively disappointed -- the owner and his staff seem to have forgotten what sushi is about. They are too caught up in the local "scene" - portions are tiny, prices are outrageous, and offerings are surprisingly skimpy.
Go to Sushi Masu sometime! Especially over the weekend if you are looking for a delicious alternative to Thanksgiving leftovers -- he will be closed on Thursday, but open to the public Friday through Sunday. I was just there last night (hence the accolades), but you might even see me there. :-)
I'm so sorry, but I have to disagree. Sushi Masu is very hit or miss. Granted, I have not explored a lot of sushi on the Westside, but I had a very disappointing experience at Masu.
Our food took an HOUR to arrive. We sat down, ordered, and waited. We had one friend who hadn't arrived yet, so we waited. Then, he arrived and ordered a few things. His food appeared pretty quickly. Ours was still not there.
We asked the server what happened. She said that oops, they forgot. How do you serve one person at the table and not notice that the other four people who have been sitting at the table for half an hour have not yet been served?
Then, instead of bringing out one sushi roll or some edamame to tide us over, they completed a few other orders (we saw others get served) and then finally brought out all our orders together. It was an HOUR since we sat down, and by this time our friend who was originally the last to arrive had finished his meal.
The food was okay, not great. Kind of a step above takeout from Nijiya market, and fairly priced, but nothing spectacular.
Are you sure you're not getting great service because you a) sit at the bar or are b) recognized by staff?
Because as first timers seated at tables, we had a pretty sub par time.
Sushi Karen in Culver City cost a good bit more, but both SO and I thought the quality of fish was better and the skill higher. So though we think Sushi Karen is a bit overpriced, we think it's a better restaurant than Sushi Maru.
Sadly, in a way you are correct, Pei -- I bow to your infinite wisdom. I think the problem here is that Masu's quality has lately been slipping. I don't know why, it makes me sad -- his really was once our favorite sushi hangout -- but we have since moved on to other sushi bars in the (relative) area. Our new favorites are Kiriko (on Sawtelle) and Izayoi (downtown). The latter is actually an izakaya place, but Hiro behind the bar serves up fabulous sushi dishes, as well. I heartily recommend either, or both of them. The omakase at Kirko is inventive, delicious, and beautifully presented.