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what is the best sushi restaurant?

mages May 21, 2007 09:50 AM

we're celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary this coming weekend. we are looking for a great sushi restaurant suggestion. we live in north OC, but are willing to drive to almost anywhere in so cal for great sushi. I just read a blog about Sushi Nozawa and was all excited about it...but then found out they are not open on Sat & Sun. :( I'd appreciate your recommendation!

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  1. d
    Diana RE: mages May 21, 2007 10:34 AM

    Prepare for the greate debate. If you can swing Urasawa, that would be it.

    For prices that let me keep most of my firstborn, I like Asanebo in Studio City, or 4 on 6 in Encino.

    For prices that mean I can eat the rest of the week, I like House of Taka.

    For all you can eat, I go to Midori.

    1. m
      mc michael RE: mages May 21, 2007 10:46 AM

      Urasawa. The real question is: What is the second best sushi place in town?

      1. r
        rameniac RE: mages May 21, 2007 10:48 AM

        urasawa. case closed. nothing to see here, folks. move along now...

        6 Replies
        1. re: rameniac
          Pablo RE: rameniac May 22, 2007 08:32 AM

          l'll second Urasawa, you will never forget it.


          1. re: Pablo
            aprmayjun RE: Pablo Jun 13, 2007 04:07 PM

            How fast do reservations fill up?

            1. re: aprmayjun
              Pablo RE: aprmayjun Jun 13, 2007 05:17 PM

              I think he only takes ten people a night. I made a res about a month in advance with no problems. You will be required to leave your CC to secure it.

              1. re: Pablo
                aprmayjun RE: Pablo Jun 14, 2007 03:09 PM

                i love an intimate setting! thanks for the tip. i cannot wait until i have a chance to dine there.

          2. re: rameniac
            Tkn RE: rameniac Jun 12, 2007 01:19 PM

            I'm going to get crucified for this, but I didn't think Urasawa's sushi is anything to write home about.

            Now if you're going for the Kobe beef and foie gras, that's a different story.

            1. re: Tkn
              Pablo RE: Tkn Jun 13, 2007 09:49 AM

              Well, Urasawa doesn't do fusion rolls if that's what your into. It's Kyoto style.
              His quality is unsurpassed.

          3. d
            djquinnc RE: mages May 21, 2007 10:49 AM

            I sure do wish I had the sort of income that would let me try all the various sushi joints in town and make a truly valid assessment (and of course, be able to return to the ones that moved me repeatedly!). Having said that, Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo just served me the most insanely good toro of my life and Katsuya in Encino has that crisy rice/spicy tuna thing that others dare replicate (and a scallop/foie gras thing that still makes me swoon from the memories)

            2 Replies
            1. re: djquinnc
              djquinnc RE: djquinnc Jun 12, 2007 01:28 PM

              Addendum: Urasawa broke my bank account, but was the single most amazing sushi experience of my life. Best way to celebrate getting my MSW I could imagine. For pics: see http://sideorderofham.com/index.php?e...

              1. re: djquinnc
                Pablo RE: djquinnc Jun 13, 2007 09:46 AM

                Some of the best Urasawa pics I have seen to date. Excellent work!

            2. SauceSupreme RE: mages May 21, 2007 12:57 PM

              I really think that there should be different categories for sushi restaurant, as clearly Urasawa is meant to be in its own stratosphere. At the next tier, there's places like Nozawa, as well as Sushi Zo and Sasabune. Below that, you've got great neighborhood spots that aren't quite destinations in and of themselves, but are quite excellent. I'd put Hirozen, Shibucho and Sushi Ike there.

              1. j
                Jwsel RE: mages May 21, 2007 01:37 PM

                Kiriko, Sushi Zo, and Sushi Iki are all better than Nozawa (and Sasabune), in my opinion. They all serve traditional sushi. Kiriko has excellent cooked foods also and homemade ice cream. In downtown LA, R-23 and Sushi Gen are good, but I'm not familiar enough with them to rank them compared to the three I've mentioned above.

                I think Katsu-Ya is overrated to the extreme. I also do not think it is a nice place for an anniversary celebration, because they often rush patrons.

                Places like Asenebo, 4 on 6, and House of Taka (all in the Valley) fall into the next tier and are not even close to worth the drive from North OC.

                If you do a search, I seem to recall some posts about some very good sushi spots in OC.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jwsel
                  Diana RE: Jwsel May 22, 2007 07:15 AM

                  I agree with you on Nozawa and Katsu Ya, but not on Asanebo. Worht almost any drive. I've not had better (but I can't afford Urasawa)

                2. p
                  patz RE: mages May 21, 2007 05:15 PM

                  Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa -- after eating there, you'll never go to another Sushi restaurant again

                  1. lvgoodfood RE: mages May 21, 2007 11:19 PM

                    I love Maru Sushi in Valencia, seat at the sushi bar by the head sushi chef, and you will be in sushi heaven, the other sushi chefs are very good too. Highly recommended. Reservations are a must, especially on Sat. or Sun.

                    1. f
                      foodconnoseur RE: mages May 22, 2007 02:07 AM

                      too bad cowboy sushi in westwood is gone... =(

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodconnoseur
                        wilafur RE: foodconnoseur May 22, 2007 09:14 AM

                        you've gotta be kidding.....right? i have a fond space in my heart for cowboy sushi (being a bruin and all).....but in no way was cowboy sushi anywhere close to being good. it was a fun and cheap place to gorge on AYCE mediocre sushi.

                      2. m
                        mages RE: mages May 22, 2007 10:57 AM

                        Thank you to everyone who replied so far. Urasawa looks heavenly, but I don't think we can afford it. I'd like to keep the tab to about $150 for 2 people...

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mages
                          wilafur RE: mages May 22, 2007 11:11 AM

                          if you go ala carte at sushi zo, you can probably get out of for $150 for two people....pre-tax/tip.

                          1. re: wilafur
                            mollyomormon RE: wilafur May 23, 2007 10:22 AM

                            We were at Sushi Zo last weekend with three. Ordering a la carte and sharing a bottle of the amazing live sake (this is one of my favorite alcohols ever), we were out of there at $150 pre tip.

                          2. re: mages
                            SauceSupreme RE: mages May 22, 2007 11:12 AM

                            $75 for omakase is definitely doable at a non-Urasawa place, especially if you're splitting the nigiri (you'd each get one bite, basically).

                            1. re: mages
                              KaceyLaine RE: mages May 22, 2007 11:52 AM

                              I love The Hump (above Typhoon) in the Santa Monica Airport. You can definitely dine there for $150.00 -- my boyfriend and I do it all the time! Sit at the sushi bar for an extra rewarding experience. The chefs are friendly and offer great advice on what to order.

                            2. j
                              jbposell RE: mages May 22, 2007 06:00 PM

                              For killer sushi that won't break the bank, try Echigo on Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica (maybe west la?) just west of Bundy. Wow!

                              1. m
                                mages RE: mages May 23, 2007 10:18 AM

                                thanks all for your great suggestions. we've decided to stay in OC and give Sushi Wasabi a try. Sushi Zo would have been my other choice. This will be my first omakase experience. Can't wait!!!

                                1. jlevine RE: mages Jun 12, 2007 07:21 PM

                                  The sushi omakaze at Hamasaku is amazing. Probably the most inventive I've had.

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