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Great sushi on Ventura Blvd. from Calabasas to Sherman Oaks: where?

Okay, I'm looking for great sushi at a reasonable price around Ventura Blvd. between Calabasas and Sherman Oaks. Ideally, I want to spend no more than $50 to $60 per person, definitely no more than $80 pp. I'm more into the traditional sushi, rolls, and sashimi. I want really fresh fish and love giant clam, toro, blue fin, tuna, yellowtail, eel. I'm not that into fusion and not that into presentation, gold leafs, etc.

I like Brother's and Little Brother's sushi but am looking for something a notch up. I really like Shibuya in Calabasas, so if I can't find anything better, I will go back. But, I'm hoping someone can suggest something better than Shibuya.

I've seen suggestions for 4 on 6 and Asenabo (sp?).

I read the review on Go's Mart, but it seemed a little too expensive and too fusion/too into presentation for me.

What would you recommend for great sushi, great sashimi (giant clam, toro, etc.), for the price above with no alcohol?

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  1. Shibuya in Calabasas. Fresh sushi. It's in a small strip mall, and lines start to form before the restaurant opens. Small inside, and the food is awesome.

    2 Replies
    1. re: artsage

      So, I'm boring. I went back to Shibuya in Calabasas for another yummy dinner. I went at around 5:40 p.m. on a Friday night. They open at 5:30 p.m. It was full at that point, so we were finally seated at 6:15ish. But, it was well-worth the wait.

      Here is what we ordered for 2 people:
      1) Seafood Salad (the absolute best sashimi salad around, perfectly dressed with big pieces of sashimi, with roe on top for a nice tasty tecture....I thought Brother's had a good version, but Shibuya's Seafood Salad is the best)
      2) Miso soup
      3) Yellowtail sashimi
      4) Giant clam sashimi
      5) Spicy Scallop Roll
      6) Shibuya Roll (shrimp tempura, asparagus, spicy tuna, crab...excellent roll!)
      7) Toro sushi (very yummy)
      8) Live blue sweet shrimp sushi (smaller but more buttery than the large prawns; came with fried heads)
      9) Monk fish liver appetizer (came w/ 3 big pieces)

      Total before tip: $110 for 2. (not bad, and very yummy meal...) I wonder if Sushi Iki can beat this for this price.

      1. re: WHills

        Monkfish liver! They had ankimo this late in the year! Awesome! 8^o

    2. Well, before I read that you like Brothers I was going to recommend that, but what about:

      1) Sushi Iki in Tarzana - I haven't been, but has gotten great reviews on this board.

      2) Sushi House of Taka (just off Ventura Blvd., on Van Nuys Blvd. just south of the 101 freeway) - fits the bill perfectly. Great sushi (I love the halibut, yellowtail, albacore, and spanish mackerel and japanese scallop). They also have sashimi, etc. Our current favorite neighborhood place.

      Asanebo doesn't really do sushi, it's more of a sashimi place, and probably too into presentation for your tastes (however, quality is very high) + it's in Studio City, which is way past SO. If you were willing to go that far, what about Tama, Teru or Iroha? All will fit the bill nicely.

      Good luck, let us know where you ended up!

      GK in SO

      5 Replies
      1. re: GK in SO

        I liked Sushi Iki in Tarzana, but I would hardly call it "reasonably priced," which the OP requested. I dropped over $100 for lunch for one, and it was a pretty quick lunch too as I was rushed for an appointment.

        1. re: omotosando

          I avoid the live items and can stay within the OPs price range. The sushi is cut in very large pieces, which offsets the price. Most of the nigiri is between $6 and $10, so choosing carefully will stay in budget. I think the fish is far and away the best in the Valley. The downside is that a lot of items (e.g. scallop, uni) you would normally be able to order at most restaurants just as nigiri are only served at Iki as "live" items for $20 or more a serving. The "live" scallop was served as a very good scallop nigiri plus some of disappointing dynamite made with the rest of the scallop. I would have preferred to pay $10 for the nigiri only.

        2. re: GK in SO

          ABSOLUTELY second that for Taka. We're Thursday night regulars and love it. Rools are delicious and HUGE

          1. re: GK in SO

            Going to Iroha (my son's favorite neighborhood sushi) soon. What should we order (my son gets stuck ordering the same thing each time)? We aren't terribly experienced sushi eaters, but we are pretty adventurous.

            1. re: gsElsbeth

              Iroha isn't cheap. Not much too adventurous there. Just ask them for Omakase, really. Leave yourself in thier hands. Still, in my experiece, their itame are not really all that knowledgeable about more than the basics and their "theme rolls" (read, not real sushi)

          2. Funny, my two suggestions upon reading the title would have been Shibuya and the Brothers.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              We just discovered EDO Sushi on Ventura near Fallbrook. We really liked their Jennifer or Jessica's special- raw ahi chopped wrapped in slices of avocado with 3 different sauces on the plate...YUM!

            2. House of Taka is a darn good place

              Asanebo may stretch your budget, as will 4 on 6 or Ike..but you COULD do it if you were careful. When I can, I save up for them to really go to town!

              1. Katsu-Ya in Encino or 4 on 6 at the far northerly end of the Office Depot center in Encino would be two good choices, and basically across the street from each other.

                6 Replies
                1. re: carter

                  The hype of Katsu Ya is more than it can live up to, especially for someone into more traditional sushi. It's sort of like a better done Sushi Dan-they have better food than Sushi-Dan, but they mostly thrive on doing themey, non-traditional rolls for gwai lo (sp?)

                  1. re: Diana

                    gai jin is probably the right term for a Japanese restaurant

                    1. re: Diana

                      Gwai lo(sp) means white(or American) devil in Chinese. Its not exactly an enduring term so I am not sure what the relevance is in describing people who enjoy non-traditional sushi.

                      1. re: jasonsha

                        It's called "Diana confused two terms for white people and ended up lookig stupid"

                        What I was trying to put across was the idea that most sushi places do a whole bunch of crappy, over done, over sauced theme rolls that some of the more un-experienced American people go bananas for-but that would not be served at traditional japanese sushi places. Sushi Dan is an example of he worst kind of offender. katsu-ya does it with more class, but still does it. Like that awful spicy tuna covered in a mound of salty, fried onions. Eeew.

                        At least katsu ya does some traditional things.

                        Now, I enjoy a theme roll every now and again. Sort of like whe I go to the State Fair once a year and splurge on a corn dog or "tostada salad" You know, junk food.

                    2. re: carter

                      Katsu-Ya is no Katsu so stick with 4 on 6...=)

                    3. Ok, I'm gonna suggest Iwata, again. I'm always suggesting Iwata, and really it's too busy already. It might not be "great" and maybe it's not a notch up from Shibuya, but it is our tried and true neighborhood sushi and has been for about 8-9 years. I like Iwata WAY more than House of Taka and it's less expensive as well (Diana and other Taka fans - we'll just have to agree to disagree!). You will not have a problem with your budget at Iwata unless you are a gigantic eater. The most we ever spend is around $80 and usually it's more like $50-60 for two, not per person. I've only been to Brothers once and it was on my first date with my husband more than 10 years ago, so I can't compare to that. We went to Shibuya once a couple years ago and it was fine but too expensive for what we got, IMO.

                      I love Iki in Tarzana and by ordering carefully you might, just might, be able to get out of there within your budget. Depends on how hungry you are and how successful you are at resisting Eddie's hard-sell of the live items which are extremely pricey (and great, just pricey). Our last time there we got out the door for less than $100 for two including tip and a large beer. But usually it's more, and it can be a lot more depending on how much live stuff you eat. Lovely place though, more of a celebration and/or splurge place for us rather than an everyday sushi place.

                      1. Not too far east of Sherman Oaks is Tama - which offers various levels of omakase.

                        The $30 sushi omakase is 10 pieces , the $40 is 12 pieces and a roll, and the $50 omakase is 12 pieces, a roll with an app and soup.

                        1. Not everyone loves it, but I do... Yamato in Encino, for good, fresh reasonably priced seafood with a great chef (Peter). Peter often does "free samples," as well as offers half-priced rolls. The other great thing for me is that they offer soy paper, and will do riceless rolls.

                          I love Urasawa as much as the next rich bloke or lass, but I can't afford it every night, pocketbook-wise or stomach-wise.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Emme

                            Yamata tanked after Toshi left. The dishes and rolls shrank in size and worsened in presentation and quality. Service worsened, too.

                          2. I used to be a regular at Sushi Tsune in Tarzana when I lived in Sherman Oaks. Great place. Nice people. Haven't been there in a couple of years, though.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cabrito

                              I'm also a big fan of Iwata, but there can be a wait.

                            2. sushi fukyo, on sepulveda just south of ventura (across from whole foods), has great fresh fish and reasonable prices. you should be able to get out of there for $50/person with alcohol unless you go for the really pricey sake, or are huge eaters. i've left there completely stuffed and never spent more than $50.

                              1. the only...I REPEAT...THE ONLY Sushi Bar any near the Valley worth eating at is SHIBUYA. Period. The crunch rolls, shibuya rolls and baked crab rolls are to die for. This is the freshest seafood around and I concur with the comment on the most delicious rainbow rolls and fresh seafood salads - the chefs are amazing and...if you are in luck, Mark Shibuya will be whipping up some his favorites - don't hesitate to ask him what to have - I have never regretted his picks.

                                Does anyone know what happened or where Yo went to???? He was our fav sushi chef there.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: julieweiss

                                  Except for that gor many crunch rolls, baked crab rolls and all are not really "sushi"

                                2. I want to thank the local Chowhound community because we just had an absolutely unforgettable meal at Shibuya. We were down in Calabasas to move my grandfather into the Motion Picture and Television Fund right around the corner, and after reading all of these descriptions, I knew I needed to make it my first priority to grab a meal there. I was born in Japan, lived there for years, and have eaten plenty of sushi, and I have to say that Shibuya is some of the best I've ever had. I couldn't believe what was being served in an absolutely tiny restaurant in some strip mall in Calabasas, of all places. The maguro was so flavorful and melt-in-your mouth tender, my dad and I just looked at each other in complete shock. The fresh ikura, uni, toro, sake, ankimo, shibuya roll, and california roll were all wonderful. We tried a delicious egg dessert item that was fresh, light, and perfectly sweet. My favorite suprirse, however, was our final nigiri. We asked the chef to choose, and he picked anago, sea eel. Now, eel is one thing I've just never been a huge fan of. It's not like I can't eat it, but I'd just much rather have another piece of sushi. This anago, however, was so soft, so flavorful, so utterly satisfying, my mouth is watering now just thinking about it. Shibuya is the real deal, folks. I couldn't believe how people around us weren't getting more excited about it. We were also served by Hiro, who was absolutely friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. He was more than willing to explain and discuss anything and everything in English and Japanese. And for three people (though the third didn't eat much), it was 150 including tax and tip with no drinks. For the quality of the sushi, I would pay that gladly. In fact, I was just wishing we had more time so I could try absolutely everything on their menu. Thank you, Chowhounds, for your help in choosing such a memorable dinner.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: LikeFrogButOOOH


                                    4774 Park Granada Ste 8B, Calabasas, CA 91302

                                    1. re: LikeFrogButOOOH

                                      Shibuya is certainly part of my sushi short list. I think part of its charm is that it's in a small corner of the SFV, sort of an oasis as you begin a trek westward into the Conejo Valley where getting great sushi is immensely difficult. If Shibuya were in, say, Encino, even with more competition it'd be perpetually packed.

                                      Here's my write-up / pics of a visit there:

                                      1. re: LikeFrogButOOOH

                                        LikeFrogButOOOH -- I agree with your rave review of Shibuya, and everything that SauceSupreme has mentioned, as well. In just the past couple of weeks, for various reasons and occasions, I have enjoyed omakase at Shibuya more than half-a-dozen times. It has been of consistently high quality at each visit, and each time I am served a different menu of items...no "formula sushi" here.

                                        Yes, Shibuya is a true gem.