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)
- Hotate special
-- Noshi Sushi --------------------------------------------
- Otoro sushi (when available)
- Engawa sushi
- Aji sushi
- Mirugai sushi (one of the best and cheapest in town)
- Hamachi belly
- 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
I've had excellent "no-frills nigiri" at many sushi-ya that many (myself included) would consider, ahem, trendy. My favs, in alpha, not preferential, order, are:
Mako (at Weller Court)
Shibucho (on Beverly)
Also, fwiw, some of the worst sushi I've ever eaten was at Noshi.
My personal favorite is Otom (おとむ）. (Which my mother affectionately calls "Sushi-ya" because the sign that says sushi-ya is bigger than the one that says Otom XD)
3936 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City
Definitely has great amaebi and albacore. They also have an interesting deal where for $35 dollars you can eat as much sushi as you want for an hour, which always turns out to be worth it.
Tops on my list for traditional sushi is Shibucho in OC.
- Clasically sized and shaped nigiri.
- Only place I've seen futomaki for takeout wrapped carefully in ti leaves with instructions to the customer to absolutely not refrigerate. Come to think of it, only sushi bar I've seen diners ordering futomaki.
- Fish carcasses used for soup
- Cures some fish with Konbu
- Turned away suburban soccer mom in search of california roll for takeout.
- Offered me shirako he had been curing to try the first time I was there.
- They only serve sushi with fresh wasabi and no surcharge.
- Austere and simple, definitely not for the trendy.
- Amazingly prices are very reasonable
Downside, unless you're Japanese you will likely have a better experience once he gets to know you.
As reference for my sushi cred. locally some places I've dined in Hump, Zo, Mori, Nozawa, Tama, Ike, Sushi Gen, Echigo, Kiriko, Shibuya, Kanpachi, Senari, Matsuhisa, Kappo Seafood