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Where should I have omakase for the 1st time???

hch_nguyen Apr 2, 2007 07:55 AM

The title of my post says it all. I have two arms and two legs. I want to have all of them when I leave, so please don't say Urasawa. That's all I ask. I'm looking for a lunch omakase under $50??? under $30??

Thanks!

  1. russkar Apr 2, 2007 08:04 AM

    Sushi Gen
    Kirko
    Sasabune
    (Urasawa isn't open for lunch and contrary to popular belief it isn't a Omakase Sushi only experience but a combination of Some Sushi and several cooked dishes that are served at the Sushi Bar)

    1 Reply
    1. re: russkar
      ipsedixit Apr 2, 2007 10:20 AM

      I second the rec for Sushi Gen.

      If you were to go at dinner time, and was doing omakase for the first time, I would recommend Sushi Ike in Hollywood.

    2. j
      Jwsel Apr 2, 2007 08:16 AM

      I would do the high-end sushi omakase lunch at Kiriko. It is $29.50, and you get salad, miso soup, nine pieces of nigiri, one roll (usually blue crab), and homemade ice cream for dessert. The nigiri usually includes bluefin, toro, salmon that they smoke in-house, and some other high-end fish (uni, Japanese scallop) with interesting preparations. All the fish is incredibly fresh and the chefs are responsive to particular preferences and dislikes.

      1. wilafur Apr 2, 2007 09:00 AM

        if you want to start slow....try out echigo at lunch. they have a lunch special for $12-15. i think you get around 6-8 pieces. otherwise, kiriko is a good bet as jwsel posted above.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wilafur
          russkar Apr 2, 2007 09:36 AM

          Echigo is ok for the 11- Lunch Special but Sushi Go 55 (little Tokyo) is much better for the same price. Been to both many times.
          Sushi Gen has higher quality than either of the above.

          1. re: russkar
            wilafur Apr 2, 2007 01:59 PM

            if the OP works on the westside, it may not be feasible to make it out to downtown and back in time. vice versa if the OP is working downtown.

            1. re: wilafur
              russkar Apr 2, 2007 03:22 PM

              Kirko or Sasabune are on the West Side.

        2. OCAnn Apr 2, 2007 09:58 AM

          Matsuhisa.

          3 Replies
          1. re: OCAnn
            e
            epop Apr 2, 2007 10:17 AM

            anywhere but matsuhisa, any time; they're good for mediocre sushi. echigo and kiriko are my rec's. haven't been
            to Sushi Go 55 but think that Echigo is better than sushi gen. but most of the advice on this post is helpful

            1. re: epop
              russkar Apr 2, 2007 11:48 AM

              The main reason I give Sushi Go 55 the nod over Echigo(been several times) is that Sushi Go 55 uses the same fresh pieces of fish they serve at the Sushi Bar which they cut to order(pretty amazing) , not already cut odds and end's drowned in sauce like "E" does.

              1. re: epop
                OCAnn Apr 2, 2007 12:28 PM

                I've had good, solid sushi (not mediocre) @ Matsuhisa. They've also shared some prepared squid they made for themselves (not for public consumption/sale). My mother enjoyed that so much that they gave her a small jar to take home.

                I've really enjoyed the food & service there; I'm sorry to hear that your experience wasn't the same.

            2. a
              AquaW Apr 2, 2007 10:28 AM

              Sushi Gen & Sushi Go 55 are good & mid-priced (the former is better, I think). I also like Azami on Melrose if you don't mind eating some creative stuff (nothing bastardized like California Rolls, but things like "tuna crispies" - raw toro with sauce on fried wonton skins)

              ~H.C.
              http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

              1. livnihs05 Apr 2, 2007 01:17 PM

                i would say.... mori.
                sit in front of mori that is... but warning: do not... i say... do not ask for soy sauce for your sushi.... he'll tell you to go "sit over there!!!"
                and point to the regular tables.

                you don't need the soy... he glazes is on for you... and you know if you have great sushi...
                you don't need the sauce...

                3 Replies
                1. re: livnihs05
                  Pei Apr 2, 2007 01:34 PM

                  LOL. Is Mori friends with the chef at Suzhi-Zo in Culver City?

                  We went for the first time and were so amused by the service. Some people might call it overly cranky, but we loved it.

                  -first, all the servers are trained to ask you if you've been there before, and then to warn you that they do NOT serve maki or California rolls
                  -as each piece of sushi is placed before you, they tell you how to eat it. Variations include "NO soy sauce please!" and "Little bit soy sauce please!"
                  -if you are busy chatting, or if god forbid you pull out a camera, you will be admonished with "No talking! Eat now" or "Don't take picture! Seaweed will not be crispy." It might seem mean, but the man's got a point. You can't argue with him because he's not wrong.
                  -we heard one customer order a few pieces and ask for the bill and he was told to "Next time come back hungry!"

                  Decide for yourself if you want to go! One time we ordered a la carte and paied about $35 each, the next we set omakase at $40 before we started eating. However, I believe regular omakase starts at $50 and he only honored my $40 request because we were a party of 6.

                  Our a la carte meal is posted here with photos: http://www.chezpei.com/2007/03/sushi-...

                  1. re: Pei
                    b
                    bulavinaka Apr 2, 2007 06:11 PM

                    That's too funny - but at the same time, I guess you get their sincerity and commitment to offering you the best that they possibly can - there's not too many things that are more short-lived than great sushi...

                    Wow - these guys at both places sound like they're old school, through and through. I once ate at Mori, but I didn't get that sushi-nazi routine - but then again, I didn't ask for shoyu. It's probably because I was taught to be very observant - by guys (like the ones you describe above) straight out of WWII at my Japanese language school decades ago... if you play, you will pay... ;>

                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      westsidegal Apr 2, 2007 10:18 PM

                      fwiw, i ate at sushi zo tonight, and ordered a la carte.
                      the slices of fish seemed to be more generous than before.
                      i can't seem to get enough of this place.
                      every so often i'll find myself walking into another sushi bar, only to discover how truly spoiled i've become at zo.

                2. hch_nguyen Apr 2, 2007 06:43 PM

                  Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!

                  I am going to go with Kiriko for now. I work on the westside in SM Biz Park. I can probably make it out for a slightly longer lunch this Friday so that was the main reason I'm going with Kiriko. How long do you guys think Kiriko will take on a Friday afternoon without my eating and feeling rushed???

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hch_nguyen
                    j
                    Jwsel Apr 3, 2007 09:04 AM

                    I don't think Kiriko will have a problem with a longer lunch, but omakase tends to be at the pace of the chef. Friday tends to be their busiest day, however, so my experience has been that the food comes a bit slower in any event. (You won't be rushed out the door, though, even if people are waiting.)

                  2. bigsleep Apr 3, 2007 12:11 AM

                    I think Asanebo should be on the list. Maybe a tad bit expensive - but totally worth it. It's pretty much the only place I go anymore. I still try all the others but I keep coming back.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bigsleep
                      d
                      Diana Apr 3, 2007 09:16 AM

                      Wouldn't meet with the OP's requirements of under $50-not by a long shot! Worth every penny, though. Are they open for lunch?

                    2. Senor Popusa Apr 3, 2007 10:10 AM

                      Echigo - but sit at the bar for Omakase, rather than for the $11 lunch special at the table. The bar is omakase-only. I think it is $30 - $35 or so and very good.

                      1. p
                        pallas810 Apr 5, 2007 05:47 PM

                        Kiriko - wonderful selection for omakase or sushi in general.
                        Sasabune on Santa Monica - their presentation suffers, but the fish is fresh

                        If you can muster up $70, I think that Matsuhisa is worth a try but I find the food inconsistent at times.

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