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Sushi recs in the West LA/Santa Monica Airport area

swsnan Mar 6, 2007 01:32 PM

Have a friend flying in to SM Airport this weekend. He's been to the Hump and wants to try something else in the same area for comparison. I know what I like, but what's the consensus from others?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. tony michaels RE: swsnan Mar 6, 2007 01:38 PM

    Sushi Mori in West LA or Sushi Tenn on Sawtelle or Kiriko http://www.kirikosushi.com/ on Olympic Blvd. (all of these should be no more than 5 or 10 minutes drive from SM Airport)

    2 Replies
    1. re: tony michaels
      igj RE: tony michaels Mar 6, 2007 01:59 PM

      Those are the three I would have picked as well. Kiriko is one you want if you want sushi AND cooked items. Kitiko's entrance is on Sawtelle, just north of Olympic, although its street address is on Olympic.

      1. re: igj
        omotosando RE: igj Mar 6, 2007 02:55 PM

        Actually, you can get pretty good cooked food at both Mori and Sushi Tenn as well. I don't know if you can get it at dinner, but at lunch, Mori has really good tempura - probably the best tempura I've had other than at the old Ginza Sushi-Ko and at a couple tempura-only restaurants in Tokyo.

    2. v
      vnehring RE: swsnan Mar 6, 2007 03:05 PM

      The Hump is right there at the SaMo Airport.


      Kiriko is good too!

      2 Replies
      1. re: vnehring
        tony michaels RE: vnehring Mar 6, 2007 03:07 PM

        The OP said that his friend had been to the Hump and wanted to try another - hopefully comparable place.

        1. re: tony michaels
          calabasas_trafalgar RE: tony michaels Mar 6, 2007 03:32 PM

          why not try something better instead? The Hump is about as pedestrian as it gets, and way overpriced, too!

      2. v
        vinosnob RE: swsnan Mar 6, 2007 03:26 PM

        Sushi Zo, my new favorite go-to sushi joint. On National, call for a rez (310) 842-3977.

        My other favorite on the westside is Echigo (12217 Santa Monica Blvd, 310-820-9787). It's similar (edo style, no cooked foods) to Zo, but Echigo's rice is decadent; very warm and creamy, almost like risotto and the ponzu sauce tends to dominate everything. It's not as close to airport as Zo.

        3 Replies
        1. re: vinosnob
          omotosando RE: vinosnob Mar 6, 2007 03:55 PM

          I hated Echigo the one time I went there. You either like warm rice and sauced soft fish or you don't (I don't). Hiko (which somebody else on this Board recommended as the best sushi in L.A.) is in the same vein and I found it equally dreadful. It just depends on what you like. I actually like to taste the fish rather than to taste hot rice and ponzu sauce. Maybe this is sushi for risotto lovers - I don't like risotto.

          1. re: omotosando
            vinosnob RE: omotosando Mar 6, 2007 04:50 PM

            "Hate" is such a strong word; what's wrong with dislike? And only based on one experience? Yikes, you're tough.

          2. re: vinosnob
            westsidegal RE: vinosnob Mar 6, 2007 06:37 PM

            second the sushi zo recommendation

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            epop RE: swsnan Mar 6, 2007 06:51 PM

            everybody is right (except the one that hates echigo) but Hump seems like the obvious choice fresh off the plane

            2 Replies
            1. re: epop
              tony michaels RE: epop Mar 6, 2007 07:54 PM

              "He's been to the Hump and wants to try something else in the same area for comparison."

              1. re: tony michaels
                epop RE: tony michaels Mar 6, 2007 09:02 PM

                i know but i find it odd (especially the words "in the same area"). i guess i look fwd to one day getting off a plane and
                heading to the Hump. forgive the 007 in me

            2. c
              chowmominLA RE: swsnan Mar 6, 2007 10:01 PM

              Hey, I have an idea... what about the Hump? just kidding...

              Sushi Zo is a good recommendation as long as he is okay with just sushi (they have no cooked food), otherwise I'd try Kiriko (haven't been to Mori or Tenn but now I want to.)

              Hope you're eating on Friday or Saturday and not Sunday, as many restaurants (including Zo) are closed on Sunday, and those that are open may not be at their freshest since fish markets are closed that day. Not sure if Kiriko is opened on Sunday.

              1. f
                Frank_Santa_Monica RE: swsnan Mar 7, 2007 02:50 AM

                Yeah, that Hump place is as good as it gets in SM area. Akwa is good, but I find it very expensive I tell ya. It's in downtown SM, about 5 min drive from the SM airport. Also in Downtown SM there's a new place called Tengu in the old Ivy space. I'm trying the place next week for the first time. What about Sushi Roku? It's on Ocean.

                Sushi King is good cheap neighborhood sushi on Wilshire and 15th (I think). But, it's all about The Hump for me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica
                  epop RE: Frank_Santa_Monica Mar 7, 2007 03:51 PM

                  expensive is: i won't eat at sushi roku... quality first//

                2. s
                  swsnan RE: swsnan Mar 7, 2007 07:47 AM

                  Thanks for the recs. Yes, we love The Hump but I was thinking Sushi Tenn or that place on Gateway (can't remember the name). Been to Mori and had an awful meal for $450. Will never go back. Hiko is great, but we've been there too. Wanted to try something new and close by (Friday night, only staying for a few hours).

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: swsnan
                    Jwsel RE: swsnan Mar 7, 2007 08:54 AM

                    If you're going to Sawtelle, Kiriko is vastly superior to Sushi Tenn both in sushi and cooked food. I've been repeatedly disappointed by Sushi Tenn.

                    1. re: Jwsel
                      liu RE: Jwsel Mar 7, 2007 09:17 AM

                      Agreed, Jwsel. Kiriko offers a wide selection of items, both raw and cooked. But beware: you can get to four dollar signs very quickly!

                      1. re: liu
                        Jwsel RE: liu Mar 7, 2007 09:30 AM

                        True, but I'm not sure it is much more expensive that Sushi Tenn for cooked food and sushi.

                        1. re: Jwsel
                          liu RE: Jwsel Mar 7, 2007 09:35 AM

                          Whoops if I implied that...I would absolutely choose Kiriko over Sushi Tenn. Last time we left Kiriko, however, I was comfortably full but still could have had a few more; after seeing the bill, I was glad we stopped where we did. Their sushi is really delicious and I would return again and again!

                          1. re: Jwsel
                            omotosando RE: Jwsel Mar 7, 2007 09:40 AM

                            When I had the omakase at Sushi Tenn for $80, I thought both the sushi and the cooked food were great. I have never had an equivalent meal at Kiriko for $80 - more like $120 - $150. I also think the service at Sushi Tenn is vastly superior to Kiriko.

                            The only thing that I would say at Kiriko that is vastly superior to Sushi Tenn is dessert. Kiriko has a lot of good innovative desserts if you have a sweet tooth. Sushi Tenn just has green tea ice cream.

                            I think the atmosphere at Kiriko is a little nicer. Sushi Tenn is very bright and stark. Kiriko is more cozy and inviting.

                        2. re: Jwsel
                          vinosnob RE: Jwsel Mar 7, 2007 09:37 AM

                          Although Kiriko does serve excellent food, the service is SLOW. My last 3 visits were horrible in terms of serivce; especially if the chef is working on his regulars at the sushi bar.

                          Also, couldn't disagree more about the sushi quality between Tenn and Kiriko. For one, their vastly different in terms of style. Tenn is simple, edo-style with perfectly, melt-in-your-mouth fresh fish while Kiriko excels in innovative flavor combinations, ornate presentation and quality fish.

                          1. re: vinosnob
                            omotosando RE: vinosnob Mar 7, 2007 09:55 AM

                            I have experienced that same slowness problem at Kiriko, which is large part of why I don't eat there as regularly as I used to. Part of the pleasure of a sushi meal is the pacing and the pacing can be way off at Kiriko. Also, getting a refill on a cup of tea can be an ordeal there. They definitely need more waitstaff.

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                        epop RE: swsnan Mar 7, 2007 03:48 PM

                        i feel like the sushi at kiriko is a notch above tenn's. i'll try tenn again soon and report back though, as it has been a year.

                        they're kind at kiriko but when busy London Bridge definitely falls down there. i find the problem to be more with the sushi chefs than the waitstaff. 9/10 times it is great.

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