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Best Sushi in San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena?

Any suggestions for a good sushi spot in the San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena area?

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  1. yoshida in san marino. the fish is fresh and yoshi is absolutely hilarious once you get him going.

    10 Replies
    1. re: smssms

      Is Yoshida a sushi & sashimi-only place, or do they have other offerings?

      1. re: Jack Flash

        i'm not sure since i always sit at the bar, but it's not a type of place where you'll get kicked out for ordering a california roll. i think they even have a "yoshida roll" and a "pizza" sashimi plate. so they probably have other things. they do have kobe beef as a special sometimes.

        1. re: Jack Flash

          If you mean do they serve Matsuhisa-Asanebo-Nobu type dishes, then no, not really. They offer more than just sashimi and sushi, like the aforementioned Kobe tataki, and grilled crab legs, but not the cooked or specially prepared dishes. But who cares - this place is awesome!

          1. re: Cecilbee

            I was thinking along the lines of some tempura or teriyaki dishes. While my wife and I could make an entire meal of sushi & sashimi, the teenager still frowns upon raw fish.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              He definitely has that stuff! I think the tempura batter is particularly crisp and tasty, too. Try the tempura lobster if you go.

              1. re: Jack Flash

                yup, he has tempura. the separate dining room area is a bit depressing IMHO, so i suggest the bar if possible.

                i'm still chuckling about the time when yoshi made a hand roll wrapped in light gray soybean paper (mamenori?) instead of nori. an older gentleman sitting next to me saw this and asked yoshi what the wrapping was. yoshi replied, "ahhhh, LA Times newspaper, classifed section." classic.

                1. re: smssms

                  Hmm, and here I always that was out-of-expiration nori ...

                  Silly me.

                  1. re: smssms

                    He's the best! Great fish and a quick wit!

                  2. re: Jack Flash

                    Both Yoshida and Kiyosuzu will have what you're looking for. My mother always goes to kiyosuzu for the $11 tempura and salmon teriyaki dinner, which is a lot of food (3 shrimp, 4 veggies in the tempura; good size salmon filet). same price if you want it with sashimi instead of tempura.

                2. re: Jack Flash

                  The sushi at Yoshida is mediocre. I rather go to Z sushi in Alhambra

              2. Three places get consistent mentions here, Kiyosuzu in Arcadia on Baldwin, between Duarte and Huntington, Yoshida in San Marino on Huntington near Sierra Madre, and Z Sushi at the San Marino/Alhambra Border on Huntington at Garfield.

                  1. re: Clare K

                    I went to Z Sushi last month due to the rave reviews and wasn't impressed. I much prefer Kiyosuzu on Baldwin...it's yummy!

                    1. re: willwork4food

                      I totally agree I live so close to Z sushi and really wanted it to be good. Been 4-5 times so I gave it a lot of chances and it never rose above mediocre,,,,

                      1. re: monkey

                        Gin sushi on colorado, a block or so west of Rosemead, is good and fun. Pretty popular place.

                        1. re: mainstreetgourmet

                          I second that. Gin Sushi is good and reasonably priced. The wait is sometime long though.

                          1. re: mainstreetgourmet

                            Gin Sushi does not have fresh fish. I can never go back.It's a joke

                        2. re: willwork4food

                          Is Kiyosuzu authentic Japanese Sushi spot .. I tried this other place in Arcadia and they were all Chinese.

                          1. re: KIYOSHI

                            I remember them speaking Japanese (chefs and a waitress) and my SO was really surprised. Can anyone else confirm? One thing that we didn't like was that most sushi items are written/posted above the bar. So if you're sitting at a table the menu they give you doesn't cover much and you have to get up to see the specials.

                            1. re: KIYOSHI

                              Yes, very authentic. The chefs and wait staff are all japanese (run by a husband and wife). Kiyoto is the head chef, Kenny is the second guy. Both very nice. If you want sushi, you should sit at the bar. The wall has some specials, but not all... for things like live clams or uni, etc, you'd need to sit at the bar to see or be informed about them. they do some contemporary stuff (a fried roll in an uni sauce calld the cat's eye is incredible), but their traditional sushi is also very good and consistent (except for, of all things, the regular tuna, though their bluefin, when they have it, is always good).

                              if you're not a sushi eater, their hot food is good, too. fried stuff is fresh, and they have no problems whipping up some soba or udon for someone looking for something really simple.

                              i personally think it's the best place in the SGV.

                                1. re: jkao1817

                                  On Baldwin, south of the 210, between Huntington and Duarte. West side of the street, just south of Hop Li.

                                  1. re: Bert

                                    There are two Japanese restaurants on Baldwin. Kiyosuzu is in a small plaza, between a Chinese bakery and a Chinese restaurant. Here is the address 921 S Baldwin Ave # B, Arcadia

                                    1. re: Liz

                                      what's the other one? Are you talking about Osaka-Ya?

                        3. How does Mako in Arcadia on Live Oak rant on this list?

                          1. Maki & Sushi on Huntington Dr in Arcadia is good too. It is across the street from Souplantation. I wasn't very impressed with Kiyosuzu, then again I was there ages ago. Might give it another try if you all think it is good.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Liz

                              I went to Maki & Sushi last week, their small lobster roll is delicious. My SO ordered the mixed sashimi plate...salmon and tuna were quite fresh. However, some of the other pieces were still frozen, does this mean it's not fresh? Their fusion rolls are good.

                              1. re: willwork4food

                                Ignore what sushi chefs and connoisseurs tell you, almost EVERY piece of raw fish will have been frozen at some point. Why? because fish like tuna are caught on two-week long fishing expeditions and would rot if not frozen. I was shocked to see the twenty-pound frozen BRICKS of toro at the tsukiji fish market in japan, but that's how it's done.

                                anyway, that being said, your fish certainly shouldn't still be frozen. that's just sloppy work by the restaurant.

                              2. re: Liz

                                I second Maki & Sushi. I've been to Kiyosuzu and Maki several times and my last couple of visits to Kiyosuzu have been extremely disappointing--shortchanged on yellowtail(three instead of four pieces, but full price); mediocre sashimi, oily tempura. Maki has become my default sushi place when I'm in the area now. They're not purist, but their rolls including the baked lobster are delicious, and I really like how they put edamane on your table right when you sit down, then miso soup a minute later!

                                1. re: cfylong

                                  I agree with Maki and Sushi. My husband used to go there for lunch every day until he changed jobs, and he said the sushi was always good, with generous portions! We used be regulars at Z's but sometimes the sushi is not fresh, esp on non-busy nights. We tried Japon Bistro in Pasadena once and were sorely disappointed in the quality. Yoshida's is ok but not always the freshest.

                              3. yoshida's in san marino

                                the sushi in temple city

                                japon bistro in pasadena

                                1. My first vote would be Kiyosuzi on Baldwin. It is pretty good food at a very cheap price. Their sashimi is fresh and cooked food is good. However, service is pretty mediocre to bad. They will not seat you until everyone in your party is there. Also, after about 1 hour or 1 1/2 hour, they kick you out. I was there with friends, and the waitress came with the bill and said "Sorry, there are people waiting, so you need to leave." It was pretty rude. But, the food is worth it. The chefs are all Japanese.

                                  Maki & Sushi on Huntington is not so good, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was owned by Koreans. The sashimi is very mediocre and not so fresh. The sushi is okay. It has great deals and good service, but food is so-so.

                                  Mako Sushi on Live Oak has so-so food also. Tempura is too battered, and sashimi is okay. Fresher than Maki & Sushi, but not as good as Kiyosuzu. I think it is owned by Chinese people now.

                                  I used to love Sakana on Baldwin. They had really fresh food, but I heard it has gone downhill since the change in ownership.

                                  So, my vote is Kiyosuzu for Arcadia area for the food and the price but not the service.

                                  1. Try Sushi of Naples. Ignore all the other stuff and just go for their premium sushi. Their list varies, but they usually have excellent toro, fresh uni, premium sea eel and premium mackerel. I never had uni like that at any other places. They once had blufin tuna that was out of this world, but I haven't seen it since then. Ask the chef for recommendation. I would ask for one of the two Japanese sushi chefs, though.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Fearless Eater

                                      i would say the best sushi by far would be Taihei in monterey park on garfield. it is just north of riggin st. it is great! i would hope that you make the drive to check it out. very authentic family owned and operated traditional japanese restaurant! have all that you want with the old and some of the best that they will create there when requested. the sushi chefs there are awesome! FYI... in response to bret's comments about frozen fish. not all fish is frozen i don't know where he buys his fish from but there are so many specialized proveyers now of line caught free range fish, not to mention farm raised fish that you will almost have to seek out fish that is frozen. the reason the tuna in japan is frozen is because they are so over fished in japanese waters they have to go out for months at a time to find the catch because their waters are so depleted. when i was in sicily last year there were so many japanese fishing boats off the sicilian coast it wasn't even funny! the funny part was all the italian fisherman are sinking the japanese boats because they are trying to take over. well with that said enjoy....

                                      1. re: foodiebpn1

                                        Yes, I've heard about Taihei but where exactly is it? I've been wanting to try it. Might end up scouring the streets of Monterey Park..

                                        1. re: Fearless Eater

                                          Sushi of Naples for sure! I was scared of this place because of its name for a while, but I finally tried it and it's my favorite place for sushi in Pasadena. There's a location in Long Beach, too. Get the Thai Snapper sprinkled with plum dust and do not dip it in the soy sauce. Sit at the sushi bar for that extra attention. they are awesome and will start to recognize you after a couple visits. It's on Green Street, I think the cross street is Live Oak...

                                          1. re: Fearless Eater

                                            don't go to Sushi of Naples. I used to be a big fans and went every week until Masa san left. The quality of the food has been downhill since. We were there about three weeks ago, sushi was mushy and fish was definitely not as fresh as it used to be. Sashimi pieces were really thin - so thin I could hardly taste them. Chef put two tiny slices of fish together on my sushi (the new head chef, Fuji). I ordered a teriyaki salmon and it tasted like it had been in a microwave - every rubbery.

                                            1. re: ktla97

                                              I stopped ordering sushi at Sushi of Naples when they moved from Colorado Blvd to Green St. Lately their hot food has not even been that good, but still better than some of the alternatives suggested(Matsuri and Sachi)

                                          2. it depends on what you mean by good. if you're happy with basic moriawase, then most places in the SGV are equally pedestrian.

                                            i can't speak to why some people haven't enjoyed Z but perhaps *you* might appreciate that Z draws sufficient clientele to guarantee sufficient turnover on things like saba, kohada & anago (all prepared in-house vs. the commerically processed dreck) (if i don't see a reasonable percentage of ethnic japanese as a sushi restaurant's regular clientele, that says something to *me* personally. but YMMV). and if you let toshi know that you'll be in on a certain day, he' generally makes it a point to have your more obscure favorites on hand that day. *that's* nice. toshi also makes a decent osaka-style battera and in general offers a lot of things the typical non-japanese won't know to ask for or appreciate if it were served to them. if that matters to you, then try Z.

                                            yoshida's quality is pretty decent, but the selection is a bit more pedestrian; IIRC he doesn't get enough clientele to justify offering some of the things i've mentioned, especially kohada. i might be wrong on this, but i don't think they use yuzu either (toshi *does* at Z) - which i particularly like on tai with a sprinkling of sea salt.

                                            there's a place i'd put on a par with yoshida out in san dimas - not necessarily a lot of selection (it *is* in san dimas!) but what is offered is typically top notch. i haven't been there in a number of years though and the name momentarily escapes me... sorry for being so vague.

                                            i hope this helps.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: barryc

                                              At Z sushi, which one is Toshi? Which side of the sushi bar does he work, and what does he look like?

                                              1. re: barryc

                                                barryc, clearly you do not eat at Yoshida. His hour-long waits are legendary. Try going there on a Friday or even a Tuesday night, or even a Wednesday afternoon, and the place is always packed. I've left some nights where at least 15 people are waiting outside to get a seat, any seat. As for the yuzu, he puts it on halibut, scallops, red snapper...

                                                1. re: Cecilbee

                                                  Why wait? You can always call in for a reservation and the wait no longer than 15 minutes. Love the Sushi Pizza and Jack's Special roll, but I've had much better fish at Sushi Sai, TaiHei, and Genki Sushi (all in Monterey Park).

                                                  Sushi Sai occasionally has live sea urchins and ama ebi (sweet shrimp) availble. The only thing is the service can be spotty. Full menu with soba, sukiyaki, udon, teriyaki, etc available. The Salmon Skin salad is a deal.

                                                  Genki has omakase choices with 3 levels of pricing. The fish was pretty good the last few times we went. His special roll with the cucumber wrapped on the outside is nice.

                                                  1. re: Cecilbee

                                                    actually, the wait is one of the main reasons i don't bother. if i'm going to waste an hour, i'd rather use it to drive across town to a place like sushi sushi in beverly hills. but to each their own.

                                                    1. re: barryc

                                                      The point is not the wait. Wait, don't wait...whatever. I'm just pointing out that Yoshida is brimming with so many customers that people end up waiting for seats, particularly with Yoshi. And the main point I was making was that you make statements about this place that are clearly inaccurate, the lack of "clientele" being one of them.

                                                2. Kabuki Sushi in Pasadena it's OISHII DES!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: iluvfoodtoomuch

                                                    Add Matsuri and Sachi Sushi to my list.

                                                  2. I like Taihei on Garfield in Monterey Park and Sushi of Naples on Green in Pasadena.
                                                    I have been eating more at Taihei recently, because I'm closer to it. It's an old school
                                                    Japanese restaurant with it's own sushi bar. It's not a hip place but the food is good.
                                                    The sushi is always fresh and of good quality. The staff look like they've been there for ages. They are friendly and offer good service. Check it out!