Something similiar to Tokyo Delves?
Looking to celebrate 2 birthdays near Santa Monica in an atmosphere similiar to Tokyo Delves. I know the sushi there sucks, but we are looking more for that wild and crazy ambiance.
It will be a weekday after work if that matters.
I've been to birthday parties at Hama in Venice -- it can be fun for this purpose, but it's not cutting edge sushi by any means. On weekends, it gets a little wild and crazy, but more in the "meat market" vein than in Tokyo Delve's "singing waitstaff/everybody dance" vein. If you do decide on Hama, be sure to get a reservation, because it gets crowded. Haven't been to the other two places your friend recommended.
Edited to add: I missed the part where you said it would be a weekday after work. I'm not sure what the ambiance of Hama is like on a weekday after work, but they do have happy hour, so it probably still would be fun.
For an after work somewhat festive sushi experience in Venice, you'd probably do better at Chaya Venice's sushi happy hour.
tokyo delves is unique.
get in one car. cross into the valley either on beverly glen or benedict canyon. realize the traffic will be heavy there and light on fwy coming home.
go to tokyo delves. commit to staying so you can drink and sober up.
have a great time.