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Traditional Nigiri in L.A. (not for the fashionable crowd)

If you are looking for ambience, five star service, and fancy sushi rolls, please look elsewhere. A thread for sushi purist whom truly enjoy no-frills nigiri and perceives their first piece of nigiri as sentient as the very last one. Dedicate to those whom are brave enough to leave their wasabi dousing at the helms of the master chef, instead of their soysauce dish.

Here are my personal favorites (in no particular order),

-- Hide Sushi --------------------------------------------
- Otoro sushi (ask for expensive "top" cut)
- Amaebi sushi
- Aji sushi
- Ankimo sushi
- Mirugai sushi
- Hamachi sushi (hit and miss, depends on who is cutting it)
Specialty:
- Hotate special

-- Noshi Sushi --------------------------------------------
- Otoro sushi (when available)
- Engawa sushi
- Aji sushi
- Mirugai sushi (one of the best and cheapest in town)
- Hamachi belly
Specialty:
- Spicy tuna cut
- Spicy Hamachi cut

-- Hirozen --------------------------------------------
- Kinme sushi
- Sayori sushi
- Amaebi (domestic)

-------------- My dislikes --------------
- Kiyosuzu (arcadia)
- Ton-Ten-Ke (sgv)
- Sushi 5 (tustin)

From one sushi enthusisast to another, I am eager to hear your recommendations. Where are some local places that offer suzukis, akagais, or kohada sushis? What are some of your personal favorites?

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  1. Why would you assume that traditional sushi provides poor ambiance? There's something intrinsically beautiful about many sushi shop's austerity and simplicity.

    I've enjoyed kohada at Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa, as well as the mackerel (both Japanese and Spanish).

    Hirozen serves great kinme, as does Z Sushi in Alhambra.

    Sushi Ike is my favorite for toro.

    Sushi Zo is my favorite for ankimo.

    8 Replies
    1. re: SauceSupreme

      Shibucho; (both the O.C. one, where they have kohada regularly, and the one on Beverly, though with substantially different pricing);
      Saito on Sunset in Silverlake/E. Hollywood;
      Sushi Gen downtown.

      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

        Had a rather odd experience at Saito's for lunch. Although he was happy to serve me, he almost kicked out a guy who sat next to me and only ordered a salmon skin roll. He worked VERY fast and left a couple of scales on tuna, a bone in mackarel, and cut snapper sashimi poorly leaving some sinewy red meat in about half of the cuts. The room was austere but plain and bordered on dirty not like Nishimura which is austere and relaxing.
        I wanted to like it but think the best bet close to Silverlake is downtown.

        1. re: cls

          scales, bone, sinew and poorly cut fish? that is simply unacceptable.

          1. re: wilafur

            Astonishing and disappointing to hear, though I guess everyone has an off night once in a while. I'd always found Saito very accomodating, and his place spotless, though VERY basic in its decor, in a cofee-shop kind of way.

      2. Have you tried Sushi Zo? On National just north of the 10 Frwy.

        1. re: Servorg

          I second Zo: I love the ankimo, kanpachi, uni, aji, shima aji and hamachi

        2. re: SauceSupreme

          must completely concur with you about the ankimo at sushi zo. i've tried it at about 10 other sushi bars, and nobody else comes close.

        3. Asanebo is always my tops, followed by 4 on 6. Of course, they are both scarily close to me.

          1. In no particular order:

            Ike

            Takumi

            Komasa

            -----
            Ike Sushi
            6051 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

            Takumi Sushi Restaurant
            333 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            Restaurant Komasa
            351 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              komasa's goodly priced, pretty quality, and a great deal, but they never have toro. i tend to like hama (2 doors down from komasa) even though it's a few bucks more...

              1. re: rameniac

                Concur.

                But then the world does not revolved around toro. :-)

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Komasa is ranks on my top list of sushi places to eat in little tokyo.
                  Great deals and good food. Their spicy tuna rolls are good too. They use chunks of tuna instead of the blended mashed up stuff that most garbage places use. Also in their sushi sets they give you the sweet shrimp instead of that garbage shrimp.

            2. Ike in Hollywood and 4 on 6 in Encino both serve extremely fresh fish, and their owner/chefs (Ike and Saito respectively) are pure traditionalists.