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Omakase ideas in Los Angeles area

zzztimbo Mar 6, 2007 10:43 AM

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for Omakase for 4 people.
We've been to Tama and liked it there. Tama is about $50 per person for Omakase.

Here is hour short list of other choices:

Nozawa
Mori Sushi
Sushi Zo

We have never been to the above three. If anyone has an idea about cost, that would be helpful too.

  1. ipsedixit Mar 6, 2007 11:04 AM

    I don't know about Mori, but Nozawa will run you more than 50/person for omakase. You can probably do Zo at about 50-60/person, but you have to watch yourself (or, more precisely, the chef).

    1. m
      MeowMixx Mar 6, 2007 11:09 AM

      My sister and I did Mori's omakase last year - I believe it was about $100-120pp (before tax, tip or alcohol)

      1 Reply
      1. re: MeowMixx
        m
        mc michael Mar 6, 2007 08:34 PM

        I think it's more in the $75 per person range at Mori plus extras. Of course, if you get full and stop you might save a little. Likewise if you ask for more of something....

      2. SauceSupreme Mar 6, 2007 11:31 AM

        Two words: Sushi Sasabune. Two more words: Iced toro.

        Sasabune on Wilshire is my group omakase destination. Cost is ~$75.

        11 Replies
        1. re: SauceSupreme
          e
          epop Mar 6, 2007 06:53 PM

          one word: disagree

          1. re: epop
            Porthos Mar 6, 2007 08:30 PM

            Agree with your disagree. Omakase is chef's choice based on what's fresh and in season. Sasabune serves the same menu with minimal variation and poor quality. Especially at $75pp you're approaching real omakase places/prices where fresh wasabi and more exotic selections like needlefish, warasa, hiramasa, etc. are offered.

            1. re: Porthos
              e
              epop Mar 6, 2007 09:00 PM

              i tend to fear agreement. i can't understand the praise Sasabune gets here.

              so i'm curious to know your top choices for omakase when in LA. i read some of your posts and we seem to have
              been on the same circuit on both coasts.

              i've had some beautiful moments at Zo and Kiriko but am still with my eyes open. respectfully, epop

              1. re: epop
                Porthos Mar 7, 2007 03:56 PM

                In LA, I like Mori for the quality and the "good stuff" and Kiriko for the experience (especially during matsutake season). Mori's selection is pretty good, the quality is pristine, and the rice is very well made. I like Kiriko but I don't think they're in the same tier both quality and price-wise. I've yet to go to Zo. If you go to Mori, you'll have to let me know which you feel is better in terms of quality and variety.

                Obviously, for the optimal expierence, omakase in front of Onodera-san is best but I've also had a pretty good experience from one of his apprentices. Omakase contains some grilled/cooked items so if you want straight nigiri, you may have to ask for it.

                1. re: Porthos
                  e
                  epop Mar 8, 2007 12:11 AM

                  agreed also on yr old post on Yasuda--- a great place, especially for NY.

                  strange: i was cooking matsutake all season but didn't have it the several times i went to Kiriko...

                  I have to revisit Mori, will let you know what i think. In the past I didn't like it as much as Kiriko but that was years ago. Zo is wonderful---

                  1. re: epop
                    Porthos Mar 8, 2007 08:12 AM

                    I'm looking forward to going to Zo the next time I'm in town. Just so I know what to expect, how would you compare it to Yasuda in terms of rice, quality of fish, and selection?

                    I really like Kiriko but the kohada, saba, and other such oily fish were consistently weaker and not as well prepared as Mori's. I also thought the rice itself was a touch better at Mori.

                    As for matsutake, Kirko has a great matsutake dobinmushi. How do you remove the fine grains of sand from the cap of the matsutake?

                    1. re: Porthos
                      e
                      epop Mar 8, 2007 10:12 PM

                      sand: oh, practice. i had a stand of oaks once upon a time that produced about 30 lbs of wild maitake so i learned to brush what i could. sometimes the skin has to come off; other times i washed it off (the washing vs. scraping debate hasn't conclusions). i had 5-8 lb single specimens sometimes....

                      Yasuda vs. Zo : well, until moving out here I thought Yasuda was the greatest. I still think it has a lot to offer but often given the same fish i find the quality higher in LA. Yasuda has all the eels, oysters, for example; i haven't found the same variety here. unfortunately i haven't been back to NY in a while but will go to Yasuda to see how it compares now. the rice at Zo suits the fish well. i like that it isn't too warm. Zo can be more limited in range than Yasuda but my last meal at Zo was one of the best ever of any kind, in terms of quality. my next stop is Japan
                      i posted my Zo meal here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/378689

                      1. re: Porthos
                        e
                        epop Mar 10, 2007 11:25 AM

                        went to Mori again and enjoyed the rice, especially. also some of the fish, such as the barracuda and wild giant yellowtail belly. also the fresh wasabi is a treat.
                        but i wished that i'd been at Zo, where things are a touch more personal

                        1. re: epop
                          Porthos Mar 10, 2007 03:29 PM

                          Oh man, are you telling me Mori has kan-buri? I can't find it up here in the bayarea. The season may even be over.

                          Anyways, you've convinced me to try Zo the next time I'm in town.

                          1. re: Porthos
                            e
                            epop Mar 10, 2007 10:17 PM

                            yes, wild kan-buri. i ordered the kama (collar) from it and will go back for round 2 this week. it was the best i've ever had

                  2. re: epop
                    vbabe Mar 23, 2007 05:51 PM

                    Sasabune is the worse sushi experience I have ever had!!! the rice was warm and gooey and drowning in sauce. Couldn't even taste the fish or the rice for that matter, and the presentation and ambience was on the level of a kaiten belt sushi...

            2. e
              ew84 Mar 6, 2007 08:07 PM

              there is a place on Beverly Blvd in Historic Philipino Town (East of Virgil) that is supposed to be great- for get the name and have never been myself.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ew84
                HPLsauce Mar 6, 2007 08:33 PM

                Shibucho. I haven't been either, but it's on my to-try list (pretty pitiful since I could walk there...).

                As far as the other mentioned places: I like Nozawa and Mori. Nozawa is comparable to Sasabune in price and similar in style (though Sasabune serves single ngiri and Nozawa serves pairs) but the fish is better at Nozawa. My omakase at Mori cost at least as much as mentioned above; I think it was just over $130 with a little sake.

                Also consider Kiriko and Sushi Tenn. Kazu on Ventura, about halfway between Nozawa and Tama.

                If cooked courses are appealing, consider Asanebo (on Ventura) or Kappo Ishito (downtown).

                1. re: HPLsauce
                  o
                  ostudio Mar 7, 2007 04:32 PM

                  shibucho's is fantastic. top quality fish. omakase may include sauteed scallops with a foie gras sauce. BUT expect to pay min, $75pp. I suggest telling him a max. at the beginning of your meal.

                  1. re: ostudio
                    k
                    kevin Mar 8, 2007 08:26 AM

                    what other interesting dishes have you had there.? the past few times he hasn't had the foie gras.

                    1. re: ostudio
                      vbabe Mar 23, 2007 06:44 PM

                      When I went to have omakase at Shibucho, on top of the amazing sushi and sashimi, we also had a grilled fish collar with a touch of salt (amazingly moist and flavouful) and a light fluffy crab salad that was very refreshing...

                      1. re: vbabe
                        r
                        rickym13 Mar 24, 2007 12:36 AM

                        what did omakase at shibucho set you back? went there few years ago with one of the regular and cost us about $130 each

                        1. re: rickym13
                          vbabe Mar 24, 2007 01:02 AM

                          Wish I knew, haha. I was lucky enough that my friend was treating, so have no idea. Although he did mention that at that price, it's an at most once a month type of place. But judging from the quality and amount of food, my guess is probably easily more than 100/person.

                2. m
                  murrayg Mar 6, 2007 10:25 PM

                  asanebo by far is the best. it is across from tama in studio city.

                  1. meganinlosfeliz Mar 7, 2007 05:16 PM

                    I love Azami. It's about $45/pp for omakase (add drinks, tax and tip). Other than the not-great decor, it's a great experience. Note that service can be a little slower at a table than at the sushi bar. I have a photo review from a dinner in Nov. at the link below.

                    http://meganinlosfeliz.blogspot.com/

                    1. b
                      BabyLitigator Mar 7, 2007 05:21 PM

                      Dollar for dollar, Sushi Zo is probably your best bet. Mori is of a similar quality and more creative (Zo is pretty straightforward), but significantly more expensive, certainly more than $100 a head. Kiriko also does an excellent mixed hot/cold omakase, for a bit less than Mori. The seared kobe beef sashimi is excellent.

                      1. meganinlosfeliz Mar 7, 2007 05:26 PM

                        Where is Sushi Zo? I'd love to try it some time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: meganinlosfeliz
                          s
                          slacker Mar 7, 2007 05:29 PM

                          Sushi Zo
                          9824 National Blvd Unit C
                          Los Angeles, CA 90034
                          (310) 842-3977

                          sort of northeast of Culver City. I need to try it too. Badly.

                        2. c
                          chowmominLA Mar 7, 2007 06:12 PM

                          I have a slight preference to Sushi Zo's omakase over Sasabune's (I agree that Sasabune's is not quite as creative each time, although it is similar and still very good), except the pricing is a little more arbitrary at Sushi Zo (comes with the creativity, I guess.) The menu doesn't say how much or offer different "sizes" of omakases. But I've asked Keizo-san for a "small" omakase that was less than $60 with tax, tip and a glass of wine. It was the best omakase I've ever had (though I haven't had many.) Then next visit to Sushi Zo the omakase that was about the same size and quality of fish was $100. I was actually more full after the "small" omakase on my previous visit. So I was a bit stunned at the difference in price. I order my favorite things a la carte from now on, and when I do the omakase, I'm going to tell him how much I want to spend.

                          Haven't been to any of the other places mentioned to compare but I will someday.

                          1. c
                            chowmominLA Mar 7, 2007 06:19 PM

                            Oh, and Sushi Zo is a bit tricky to find. It's not right in but adjacent to a mini mall with Vons and a 76 station, visible from the 10 fwy (north of the 10) at the National exit. Keep going north on National past the mini mall, and you'll see Sushi Zo next to "Taco Time", on National.

                            I would say it's where Palms meets Beverlywood, rather than Culver City.

                            1. w
                              writergirl Mar 7, 2007 06:39 PM

                              Sushi Zo is wonderful. The most I ever spent (for one, I've always gone alone) is $110 but that included two drinks & tip. Also, I don't eat sushi very often because Mr. Writergirl doesn't care for it, so when I go, I really chow down. I think most people who aren't sush-starved can get out for far less. Chowmom describes the location pretty well, the environs don't bode well, but once you're inside it's a little oasis. IMPORTANT NOTE: Sushi Zo ONLY does sushi/sashimi. So if you're going with someone who thinks "I'll just get some teriyaki or something else on the menu" they're screwed.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: writergirl
                                westsidegal Mar 10, 2007 09:21 AM

                                also, they don't do 'california rolls' or anything like 'em.
                                to me that is one of the reasons i like zo; others may not like it.. .

                              2. e
                                epop Mar 8, 2007 12:05 AM

                                if he had enough of the Hump, it is true that an extraordinary experience awaits your friend at Zo.

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/378689

                                1. j
                                  joshekg Mar 9, 2007 05:51 PM

                                  I'd go for Mori - though I have not eaten at nozawa or sushi zo. I love the rice at mori it is always the perfect temperature with the sushi and the fresh wasabi is great. Last time I had omakase there it was around $100 w/o drinks. The hump can be a lot of fun too overlooking the airport, but I think the fish is better at Mori.

                                  1. w
                                    weirdboy Mar 10, 2007 11:14 AM

                                    Wow, all these replies, and nobody has pimped Wasabi in Tustin? Fantastic sushi, extremely friendly family-run service.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: weirdboy
                                      russkar Mar 23, 2007 06:02 PM

                                      One of our favorite places. Going there (Sushi Wasabi, Tustin) tonight to celebrate a friends birthday.

                                      1. re: russkar
                                        k
                                        karynx78 Aug 30, 2007 11:31 PM

                                        Where exactly is Sushi Wasabi? I tried to look for it one time but never found it. I hear that it closes on some random days?

                                    2. e
                                      epop Mar 10, 2007 11:19 AM

                                      and an extremely inconvenient location for some of us...

                                      1. m
                                        maudies5 Mar 10, 2007 10:29 PM

                                        Takao can be hit or miss. When it is a "hit" it is really sublime.

                                        1. e
                                          epop Mar 11, 2007 06:12 PM

                                          i go to Takao but it isn't in the same category as the others but the
                                          prices do not reflect that.

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