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Sushi in the valley

I know it's ALL over Ventura Blvd, but which are the best and which shall I steer clear of? I am on a mission to try them all but need some guidance.

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  1. For high end sushi where you want to just tell the chef "omakase" then go to Asanebo in Studio City

    Asanebo
    11941 Ventura Blvd
    Studio City, CA 91604-2607
    Phone: (818) 760-3348

    1. Tama or Nozawa in Studio City

      1 Reply
      1. re: Emme

        Second Tama; have eaten there countless times and it's always top notch.

      2. And at the opposite end of the valley, there's Shibuya in Calabasas.

        1. Although I am tired of fighting for a seat at the sushi bar I cannot tell a lie. The handsdown winner for me is Iroha at Ventura Blvd. just west of Coldwater on the North side of the street.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hughlipton

            I second this recommendation. Iroha is tops.

            1. re: Hughlipton

              I too must second Iroha. Very quality.

              1. re: Hughlipton

                What are the prices like at Iroha?

              2. Brothers or Little Brothers in Woodland Hills.

                Sushi House of Taka (just north of Ventura Blvd on Van Nuys Blvd)

                Tama, Teru or Iroha - all east of Woodman

                1 Reply
                1. re: GK in SO

                  eek, stay away from teru! my meal there was terrible.

                2. Sushi Iki in Tarzana has the best quality sushi in the Valley. It is extremely expensive and has a limited selection, but the quality cannot be beat. The fish is cut in larger pieces, which offsets some of the cost.

                  Nozawa is okay. At times, it is excellent. However, other times, it seems to be the same things over and over.

                  Tama is good, but I think it is somewhat overrated on this board. The same with Katsu-ya in Studio City and Encino.

                  If your request for sushi recommendations is for places that specialize in non-traditional rolls, here are a few options.

                  For a mid-range sushi that is mostly non-traditional rolls, I would recomment Hirosuke in Encino. It's not the best quality, but if you want to indulge in rolls with spicy sauces and mayonnaise, it is a decent choice.

                  My very cheap non-traditional sushi option is Cho Cho San in Tarzana. Again, it's not for nigiri, but for non-traditional rolls. The rock 'n' roll with baked scallops and avocado is excellent.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jwsel

                    I had lunch a few months ago at Tama and it was extremely dissapointing. Far cry from my experiance a few years back. Completely written it off at this point.

                    1. re: Jwsel

                      Jwsel -- I, too, will cast my vote for Iki in Tarzana...a jewel!

                    2. i love Shogun Sushi. its on Devonshire and Reseda

                      1. From personal experience:
                        High End:
                        Asanebo
                        4 on 6

                        Mid range:
                        House of Taka

                        All You can eat:
                        Midori

                        Supermarket:
                        Encino Gelson's
                        Farm Boy (the best market sushi in the valley!)

                        From word of mouth:
                        High end:
                        Iki
                        Go Mart

                        Mid range:
                        Don Sassabune
                        Yotsuda
                        Brother's

                        Avoid like the plague:
                        Nozawa (this is my opinion. I found it lousy all around. Others adore it.)
                        Sushi Dan (just a crime!)
                        Crazy Sushi
                        Whole Food's Sushi (Gelson's can do brown rice, and it's tastier and fresher)
                        Iroha (looks all cool, but too themey.)

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Diana

                          Avoic Sushi Dan like the plague? Please explain your reasons. I just discovered it because of another post and thought it was wonderful for what it was. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/74134
                          The only negative for me was that my husband couldn't have a beer with his sushi.

                          1. re: Fru

                            sushi dan NOT sushi don sasabune

                            1. re: zack

                              Ok, so I'm off by 1 letter. I'm glad because I was starting to question my taste!!!

                              1. re: Diana

                                Like I said, my spelling isn't great. Thanks for the corrections.

                          2. I agree with Asanebo and many others but noticed a couple of spots I enjoy missing from the list...Iwata in Sherman Oaks (on Van Nuys & Ventura), Edo in Woodland Hills (Fallbrook & Ventura), and Sushi Spot (Corbin & Ventura)...All reasonable, but with good quality, always fresh fish...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: CynGriff

                              Hello, CynGriff.
                              I have not been to Edo in Woodland Hills since Nobi left for his Sasabune ventures...many years ago. Have you been very recently, and is it still very good?

                              1. re: liu

                                Edo is just okay, a big notch below Brother's, Little Brother's but much better than Crazy Tokyo and California Sushi and Roll. It's not bad, but not good. It's also Korean owned. I only go there for the lunch specials. It's definitely not in the league of Go's or Shibuya. I wouldn't call it "very good."

                            2. So I ventured to Asanebo last night and it was fantastic! We had omakase which started off with a warm spinache salad and halibut with truffles. I had Red snapper, Buckwheat soup with large Shiitake mushrooms and AMAZING warm Toro. A great way to start my Ventura sushi adventures. Thanks for all the suggestions!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: snatchy17

                                So, how much can I expect to pay for omakase at Asanebo?

                              2. My favorite is Kazu in Studio City, pricey, but well worth the omakase.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jenngen

                                  I tried to try Kazu last week but ended up not dining there because they were incredibly unwelcoming and unpleasant.

                                  When we walked in - there was, quite literally, not a customer in the place. A place, which by the way, reeked of pine-sol-type disinfectant.

                                  The waitress wanted to seat us at a table - we expressed an interest in the sushi bar and tried to take a seat in front of the man, who was clearly the sushi chef and who I assume to be Kazu. We were stopped by the waitress and the sushi chef, who told us it was omakase only. Now, I enjoy omakase and frequently choose it. I asked about the omakase, if there were tiers or price levels for different portions, etc... but was bruskly told no.

                                  The waitress tried to get us to sit at the other end of the sushi bar, in front of the chef who was vastly younger and visibly not japanese.

                                  We were at an impasse and feeling increasingly unwanted so, we decided to bolt to the always reliableTama. So much for breaking out of my rut and trying someplace new.

                                  Kazu may have good sushi but I will never know, because I am never going to set foot inside that place again. What's more, with the delicate flavors involved in sushi, I am not sure anyone would be able to taste anything with the overwhelming stench of cleaning fluid that was wafting in the air at Kazu.

                                2. I still really like the original Katsu-ya in Studio City. I am not as crazy about the one in Encino and have not tried the Brentwood location, but the original is great. Be prepared to wait a good 30-60 minutes for a table.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: 2Hungrypat

                                    And that is even with a reservation!

                                  2. Sushi Iki in Tarzana is to die for. The live sea urchin is unbelievable!!!!!!

                                    1. Now don't laugh...but I've been eating some very good sushi from Sushi Delivery in Sherman Oaks. That's right...they deliver. After spending the big bucks on sushi and sashimi, I've finally found a reasonably priced sushi establishment and I've never been disappointed with the freshness of the fish. The slabs are quite generous as well. They have a couple tables in the restaurant, but I've never seen anyone there except to pick up their sushi for take-out. A couple things they do have is a no corkage fee and free edamame if you eat in. Visit them at www.sushideliveryusa.com. They are open Wed.-Mon. 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm...closed Tuesdays. 12920 Riverside Drive (near Coldwater), Sherman Oaks. 818 / 990-6961. Not fancy shmancy, but if you are having a sushi attack, it fits the bill.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: cuhri

                                        I love Sushi Delivery and am an avid fan of thier food and service!

                                        1. re: Diana

                                          I ate there multiple times in the last month with a friend who is a real sushi/sashimi aficionado and she loved it. The service is great, the fish is super fresh and we actually enjoyed the ambience of the place. We figured that we saved about 50% on our meal compared to our regular sushi restaurant. No disappointments at Sushi Delivery.

                                      2. Shibuya in Calabasas is great! It's tiny. Located next to the Calabasas post office in a small strip mall. Yummy!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: rydyl

                                          Second Shibuya, which is indeed great -- AND tiny. Be prepared to put your name on list and wait on the benches outside for half an hour. But it's worth the wait. Try the spicy calamari salad, which is of course not traditional, but is a meal it itself.

                                        2. Iki in Tarzana. The live sea urchin is incredible!

                                          1. Asanebo - for the spectacle. But not really "sushi" per se. As a matter of fact, I don't think I had a single piece of nigiri in my omakase

                                            Tama - best overally fish quality in the Valley, I think. Last time, I splurged and got the higher priced omakase with the appetizer. I must say, that totally made the meal.

                                            Katsuya (The original in Studio City) - I like it a lot. What can I say. Again, I go for the omakase as it presents a good survey of everything that they have become known for (caviar salmon, the ubiquitous crispy rice thing that is everywhere, baked crab roll). Yes, it's more of a post-modern sushi kind of thing, but I'm a post-modern kind of guy.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: djquinnc

                                              Went to Asanebo about 2 months ago and they have done quite a bit to add more nigiri to the omakase. We had about 4 or 5 non-sushi dishes, then went straight nigiri for about 10 pieces. A perfect (but pricey) meal.

                                            2. When I lived in Studio City, my regular sushi hangout was Omino Sushi in Chatsworth. While I am surrounded by awesome sushi in W. L.A., I still find myself missing Omino.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: GuidoTKP

                                                I second Omino -- great sushi and great prices.

                                                1. re: GuidoTKP

                                                  Is Omino still there? This is the one with the fish tank behind the chefs? I remember eating some of that tank! It was/is? very good!

                                                  1. re: liu

                                                    It's still here. I live down the street and we get takeout almost every weekend (with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, it's not feasible to eat there all the time). I's always packed and the sushi is great!

                                                    1. re: boogiebaby

                                                      Love Omino. Hardly ever gets mentioned on this board but it is excellent sushi and very reasonable for what you get. AND their california rolls are "100 percent Crab since Open".

                                                2. In the bowels of the valley ... a must try

                                                  www.japaneserestaurantinfo.com
                                                  Chiba
                                                  11713 Saticoy St
                                                  North Hollywood, CA 91605
                                                  (818) 765-9119

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: cleanhead

                                                    Chiba was fine, but for sushi, I prefer Sushi Nishi-ya on Vicotry/Western...super traditional, super fresh, and such hospitality!
                                                    Chiba did have some great Japanese bar snacks that I really enjoyed but I was not a fan with the SUPER-COLD slices of fish that were just not very delicate.

                                                  2. I've been to quite a few sushi restaurants on Ventura Blvd and hands down my favorite is Sushi Katsu-Ya. Very high quality at a very good price.

                                                    I tried Asanebo and although the quality was very good, it was too pricey. The portions of their dishes are very small and it's nearly twice the price of Katsu-Ya.

                                                    Tama is great, they have a sushi combo plate for around $20 where you get 10 or 12 pieces of sushi. I remember the cuts of fish being pretty large.

                                                    Sushi Don Sasabune is good for what it is... good quality fish at decent prices in a bare bones hole in the wall. They mainly do take out business since they have no decor whatsoever.

                                                    I just found out about Farm Boy (produce market) and love there take out sushi. Huge pieces for incredibly cheap prices. Way better than Gelsons take out sushi.

                                                    People knock on Sushi Dan, but I think it's decent for what is is.... a place to take people who aren't true sushi lovers so they can get the american style rolls.

                                                    Went to Midori Sushi once, and left thinking "this is decent sushi for an all you can eat place".

                                                    Have yet to try Iroha.