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Sushi Nishi-ya in Glendale

Had a very nice lunch at Nishi-ya today. It's on the Glendale/Burbank border at the corner of Victory and Western. The chef formerly worked at a sushi bar in Santa Monica and has now started his own place. It's omakase only, meaning he sets the menu; you can specify any dislikes and he will not include them.

The quality of the fish was excellent (Boston tuna, Japanese yellowtail, East coast blue crab, Norwegian salmon, Scottish salmon, and others). The sushi rice was very good, but perhaps not as skillfully shaped as I have experienced elsewhere. One special touch was the addition of a slice of sweet kelp to the Scottish salmon. The offerings were generally traditional, with the exception of the spicy tuna handroll. I also noticed he served fresh water eel, which I understand is not traditional in sushi bars (sea eel is served instead).

I found the price very reasonable, particularly given the quality of the fish. He serves only sushi, so do not expect to find chicken teriyaki or tempura. It is certainly the best sushi bar I've found in that particular area. I recommend it.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up.

    How much is omakase at lunch and/or dinner? Do they serve alcohol? Were there any interesting fish specials (i.e. needle fish, flying fish, butterfish, Sea Bream,etc...)?

    1. As for price, here's what I had for about $30:

      1. Tuna appetizer (2 slices of fish in a miso sauce with greens & seaweed)
      2. Yellowtail nigiri
      3. Salmon nigiri (two types, one piece of each)
      4. Blue crab handroll
      5. Albacore nigiri (ginger, scallion, ponzu)
      6. Spicy tuna handroll

      It was quite a lot of food. I had tried to stop after #5 but
      he interpreted my words as wanting just one more.

      As for prices at dinner, I can only assume they are the same.
      I did not notice whether he had a liquor license. As for
      fish specials, I did not see anything posted, but he did
      describe each piece as he delivered it. The salmon
      and yellowtail were particularly distinctive.

      I should also mention that the restaurant is very small, seating about
      8 at the bar and having a few tables.

      1. awesome. i'm gonna go try this week. i hope it's delish as i'm always looking for sushi places in my neck of the woods. thanks for the post!~

        1. Does anyone have the exact address and phone number of this place? Do they require advance reservations for the omakase menu? I've googled the name and can't find it. Thanks

          1. Sushi Nishi-ya
            1712 Victory Blvd
            Glendale 91201
            818-244-2933

            open for lunch 12-2
            closed Sundays

            Excited to have omakase nearby, we went tonight for dinner. We were the only customers. Bill came to $113 before tip.

            (this is not the order of what was served)

            1. tuna with mustard miso, seaweed and daikon sprouts
            2. monkfish liver which had a different texture and color b/c chef removes muscle grinds it
            3. yellow tail - one from the back, the other piece from the belly
            4. hokkaido scallop
            5. blue crab hand roll
            6. snow crab and Alaskan king crab
            7. salmon - one smoked, the other served with a slice of kelp the chef makes
            8. salmon roe - the chef has his own marinade
            9. sea cucumber -- crunchy, in a marinade like a pickle, hardest part is getting over its looks, chef gave this to us on the house,
            10. spanish mackerel
            11. halibut
            12. black cod (cooked) sushi
            13. one large asahi beer
            they do serve beer and wine

            1. Now when you don't specify a price limit for omakase, and when Kenji Nishi is not able to interpret whether you are satiated, the food just keeps coming.

              Lunch today included twelve servings - most served in the traditional two pieces with ika served up three ways - and two small sakes, the damage came to $65 before tip. So be warned, lunch omakase does not automatically stop at $30.

              As for the quality of the sushi, Scottish salmon was the best, mirugai too fishy, and some of the fishes would be better if served closer to room temperature. Sushi Zo is a cut above.

              1. sounds like these omakase type joints keeping popping up all around town, in the past couple years, all probably somewhat related to or acolytes of nozawa.

                1. My wife found this thread and suggested we try it because we have been looking for a great, cozy sushi restaurant in the the neighborhood for quite some time now. First, let me start by saying that we have been going to Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo's Honda Plaza for years now. Since trying this restaurant several months ago, we have not been back to Little Tokyo. We use to go to Sushi Gen any where from 2 - 3 times a month (on average). WE HAVE FOUND OUR NEW FAVORITE SUSHI RESTAURANT! I am SO excited about this place! The sushi is the best tasting sushi I have ever had. We've gone here at least 10 times now. This is the kind of restaurant that I would make an effort to drive to if I lived in LA. But since I live in Glendale, that just makes it an added bonus! I've taken several different friends and they all agree that this place is the best sushi they have had as well. Beer and Sake are available to accompany the many different fresh selections that KenGi offers. He goes to the fish market every morning and picks out only the best fish. So, what he serves is the freshest and best quality he can get. We are surpirsed that there is not a line out the door to get seated in this small and cozy restaurant.

                  Prices are reasonable, but our bill comes out to be quite expensive becasue of the amount of sushi we eat and beer and sake we drink. I take every opportunity I have to spread the word about this great new find, but I have to be careful because if this place becomes too popular, I'm afraid the quality may go down and I might not be able to get a seat the next time we visit. Right now, we are averaging 2 visits every 3 weeks.

                  The chef, Ken-Gi, is VERY nice and soft spoken. Loves to serve. The only server is his wife, Masako. I'd love to make this hard working family successful!

                  Because Nishiya is omakase style, you shouldn't compare this place to Nozawa... the service is much better and for the time being (due to lack of popularity) there is no wait.

                  Some cons: Don't go with children - no high chairs, tempura, teriyaki, california rolls, etc.

                  The average check for eating and drinking is about $60 per person for dinner. We eat and drink alot!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: shabushabulova

                    is the fish quality better than nozawa, sasabune, or zo if you've been to these places.

                    i realize the service is gruffer at nozawa, but on a pure food basis?

                    1. re: kevin

                      I'm constantly baffled when folks bring up Nozawa for fish quality. They are all gimmick and nothing more in my experiences. Sasabune is better, but now that they've moved, not as good. Zo is good stuff.
                      This place is on my list.

                    2. re: shabushabulova

                      I have to jump on the bandwagon here. Very good sushi for the price and by far the best in the area. The chef is super nice, very eager to please and it's not too crowded. What I had today:

                      Tuna sashimi - Boston
                      Yellowtail sushi - Japan
                      Salmon sushi - Scotland, two ways, one with sweet kelp
                      Scallops sushi - Japan
                      Blue crab hand roll
                      Halibut sushi - East coast
                      Toro sushi - Spain
                      Albacore sushi - Cabo San Lucas
                      Amberjack sushi
                      Hama Hama Oyster (raw in shell) - Seattle
                      Black Cod (cooked) - Florida

                      11 items plus one beer for $55.00..not bad. I didn't have to eat as much as I did but I wanted to try as many things as possible. I guess I do eat a lot...the average person could get away for much less.

                    3. I have eaten at Sushi NIshi-ya 3 or 4 times since discovering it and I can't say enough good about the quality of the fish. Kenji and his wife are most hospitable and they serve both sake and beer. By far, the best sushi I've had in Los Angeles in quite sometime and that includes Matsuhisa and SushiGen in Little Tokyo. I am so happy to have this gem in my neighborhood!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: alohaanna

                        Sorry to bother the board, but I haven't been able to track down their dinner hours yet. Any locals care to fill me in? I have to pick up my Volvo at the repair shop and it's just kitty corner from Nishi-ya, so I'd love to time things so I can have dinner.
                        Thanks!!

                        1. re: annalulu

                          I think I remember the owner telling me he reopened for dinner at 5pm and closed again at 9pm. Not 100% sure since I haven't been there for dinner but I think that's right.

                          1. re: rubygirrl

                            Thanks!

                            I was running late because of the fire, but it turns out they open at 5:30 for dinner, so it was perfect. I was the only customer.

                            This place is an ABSOLUTE JEWEL! I was alone because it was so early, but I was warmly welcomed and well taken care of.

                            I didn't document exactly what I received (it's all omakase only, as huge banners around the restaurant kept reminding me) I know I had about 11 orders of 2 pieces each, and my total was just shy of $60 before tip. I only drank green tea.

                            All the offerings were absolutely fresh and all ingredients used were top notch, including the nori, which was so delicate and easy to bite through.

                            As much as I love Azami, battling traffic and hoping I arrive before it gets too crowded, have turned me off it a little. Now I have a place much closer to where I live.

                            I also loved the small space and intimate feel.

                            HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

                      2. I was pleasantly surprised by Sushi Nishi-ya. The quality of the fish is EXCELLENT! The sushi chef even got me to try sea urchin, which I normally can't stomach, but the quality of the sea urchin was so fresh, it tasted like butter when I ate it. The same goes for the Oyster in ponzu sauce that he serves. I have to eat there at least once a week. I love how the waitress mentions where the fish came from before placing the dish on the table. Everyone I've taken there loved the restaurant. Now I can't help comparing every sushi joint to Sushi Nishi-ya. So far, I haven't found any better.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: benster68

                          Just had a transcendal dinner at Sushi Nishi-ya last night. We have been Sushi Gen regulars for a few years, but I'm afraid we won't be going back now that we discovered this gem thanks to you CHers. Here's what we had:

                          1) yellowfin tuna sashimi in a mustard miso sauce with seaweed and daikon sprouts (real umami and great texture with the seaweed)--Boston
                          2) bluefin tuna--Spain
                          3) yellowtail back and belly--Japan
                          4) albacore sashimi with scallion/garlic/ponzu (on the house)
                          5) salmon, smoked and fresh with a sweet kelp on top (kind of like an intense aspic)--Scotland
                          6) Spanish mackerel--very fresh tasting and not at all fishy--different from anywhere else I've had it (on the house)
                          7) fresh water eel (crispy yet tender with a savory eel sauce which had hints of lemon)
                          8) scallop (very rich)--Hokkaido
                          9) Hama hama oysters on the shell in a light citrus sauce--Seattle (on the house)
                          10) sea urchin--also the freshest tasting I've had--like cold seawater--Santa Barbara
                          11) Maryland blue crab hand roll

                          With 2 large Sapporos and a sake the bill came out to $138. This is also a better value than Sushi Gen (probably b/c of lower overhead.) We got there right at 5:30 on a Saturday and it wasn't crowded but was starting to fill up as we left. No more rushing to get to Sushi Gen right at 5pm! Also the atmosphere was a lot calmer than Sushi Gen. Just a different experience. Kenji is an artisan--and also generous, as you see above. We found our new sushi home!

                          1. re: sibaik

                            Kenji-san also makes a really good jellyfish w/ponzu -- delicate, crisp. His nori is so nice, fresh not stale and chewy. The blue crab hand roll is divine, oysters with ponzu from Seattle. Sea urchin is like butter. I love how he calls his dishes like they do at Providence, and how he doesn't load you up on rice. It isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for. I had a business mtg the other day at another sushi joint, it just didn't rate.

                            1. re: luswei

                              Please, please, please, check out Sushi Nishi-ya on the Burbank/Glendale border.

                              Amongst the myriad sushi jaunts in L.A. County, this is truly "a diamond in the rough"!

                              Favorites include;
                              -Santa Barbara Sea Urchin,
                              -Scottish Salmon "Two Ways"; Smoked and with a sliver of Sweet Kelp
                              -(I think she said); "Japan Scallop" -It was INCREDIBLE!
                              -Hama Hama oyster w/light citrus sauce
                              -Maryland Blue Crab-hand roll

                              and dessert;
                              Tomago (when he has it)

                              A place like this doesn't last long unless folks like us support them.

                              In case it doesn't make it, go now!

                              Sushi Nishi-ya
                              1712 Victory Blvd
                              Glendale 91201
                              818-244-2933

                              open for lunch 12-2
                              closed Sundays
                              $$

                              1. re: lance25

                                the only problem is the prices, and it's hard to go to a sushi bar that's 60-70 buck per person on a weekly basis.

                                and there are some omakase joint out there.

                                but as far as joints in the burbank/glendale area, there are no omakase joints, the closet would have to be Studio City.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  I recently spent $100 per person for omakase at Asanebo (Studio City) and it was mainly crap. I appreciate the quality of fish at Sushi Nishiya for the price.

                                  http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

                        2. luswei turned me onto this place and I am so glad that she did! For what others pay for omakase ($300 and up), Sushi Nishi-ya is extremely cheap for the excellent quality. I brought a very picky friend with me once and he was literally crying tears of joy since the fish was so fresh.

                          http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bon Vivant

                            Thank you to all of you for recommending Sushi Nishi-Ya! My husband and I had dinner there last night and loved it! The fish was some of the freshest and most delicious I've tasted. The server introduced each new item by telling us where the fish came from. This place is very friendly and relaxed. Parking is easy, there's no line of hungry diners extending out the door like at some of the more popular places. We'd called for a reservation and they took it though when we got there we saw that this wasn't needed. They serve beer and sake. We will return!

                          2. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

                            I read the reviews on here and the wife and I went tonight and it was amazing. The best Sushi I have ever had. I can't wait to go back. We were there around 7pm, and the restaurant filled up to where every table and seat were occupied.

                            I would highly recommend this place, it is at the very least the best sushi in the glendale/burbank/pasadena area, if not one of the best in LA period.

                            1. Another rave review here. I went last night with my girlfriend and we were the only people in the restaurant. However, the service was lovely and the sushi was absolutely excellent. Favorites were the albacore, seabass, and salmon two ways. Unfortunately we filled up quickly so we didn't get to some of the more exotic offerings, but the quality of the fish was world class. The meal was expensive (I am a student, so everything seems expensive) - but it was a special occasion and at $115 including tip I still feel like I got a bargain considering the quality of the meal and how much I would have to spend to get a similar omasake experience in my hometown of London. All in all it was a great meal, I hope this place gets enough business to survive as I would love to make a return visit when my pocketbook recovers.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: spotonjane

                                So, I'm like all, "Me Too!"
                                I just stumbled onto this place one afternoon, I forget why I was on that corner looking for lunch, and I went in and SHAZ-BOT! It was wonderful, but just too far from my area of operations to get back.

                                1. re: Otius Gojius

                                  okay, the wife and i went back for round 2. Second time is 1 week, but we could not stop ourselves.

                                  UNREAL.

                                  so so so good. I had to close my eyes when eating the spicy tuna hand roll, the salmon and the tuna.

                                  5 stars. yes, the location and restaurant are a dive. but the food is second to none.

                                  i think we are going to go back before the year is out.

                                  1. re: mindblowin

                                    Ok, everything has simply already been said. I went for the first time today. They open @ 5:30 PM on Saturday. I arrived at 5:25. There was a lady waiting outside when I got there. It was she and I through the whole meal. She preferred sitting at a table. You can order anything you want, still no wacky rolls and stuff. I sat at the bar. Omakase all the way for me. However you choose to do it, just do it. I have gone to Sushi Roku in Pasadena and usually get omakase from Chef Shin. He is a must try as well. Nishi-ya is truly some of the MOST AMAZING sushi I have ever put in my mouth. I will go back and soon. OMFGBBQ! I loved it. Everything Kenji put in front of me rocked! You have to go.

                              2. Just wanted to update you on how this place compares to Sushi Gen. My hubby wanted to go back and give Sushi Gen another try a few weeks ago since we hadn't been there for a year and a half after discovering Sushi Nishiya. We'll never go back to Sushi Gen. The toro was stringy, and the fish all tasted dull compared to Sushi Nishiya, which is sparkling fresh. The tempura is what we'll miss from Sushi Gen, but I'm so happy that we'll keep on going to the best--Kenji at Sushi Nishiya.

                                1. I took 2 co-workers to Sushi Nishi-ya after enjoying a wonderful dinner there with my wife several weeks prior. My co-workers both loved it! The sushi was fresh and very delicious, but the menu was identical to my dinner. I wonder if he ever changes his dishes or gets new types of fish? The only real drawback is lunchtime visits are difficult when the restaurant gets busy. Since Kenji works alone he can only do so much and the lunch-hour can only go so far (they close at 2 for lunch). Price was equivalent to 1st visit. I paid $57 pre-tip for 7 dishes (compared to $75 pre-tip at dinner). I would've eaten more had time allowed. Great restaurant and I had wondered how it fared during lunch, now I know!! I actually prefer it empty so I can get Kenji's full attention! :-)

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: stevel74

                                      I LOVE this little place.
                                      Lunch time is pleasantly bustling.
                                      People are polite...no wanna-be-sushi-elite-ism going on here. Just people who enjoy great quality of fish prepared by someone who pays close attention to details. No bells and whistles, just GREAT traditional preparations, and high quality fish.
                                      Mmm, I think it's been too long since I've gone, I think it's time I went back.