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Sushi on Westside

eatnbmerry Dec 8, 2007 05:50 AM

Used to live in the city of angels and am visiting soon for a few days. Wanted to know what new/old sushi places are good on westside? Used to go to Hana Sushi on wilshire in brentwood back in the 80's but dont know if its still around. On a different topic what about dim sum? Empress pavilion downtown was the place? Thanks for your chow help everyone.

  1. b
    BeckyLee Apr 27, 2008 03:25 PM

    We live in Culver City and like both Kaizuka (has been consistently good with us) and also Sushi Karen, although I'm surprised to read some of the posters' bad experience there. We go to Kaizuka on a regular basis, but Sushi Karen only once in a while. I too also like Hirozen. If you're venturing to the Valley, the original Katsu-ya is one of my all time faves.

    1. ElJeffe Jan 10, 2008 07:52 PM

      If you're looking for $$ rather than $$$ and $$$$ like the ones above, I would say Sushi King or Hama in Venice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ElJeffe
        westsidegal Apr 26, 2008 07:50 PM

        if money is an object, i'd say that hide is leagues above hama for much less money.

      2. eatnbmerry Jan 9, 2008 03:22 PM

        My trip to LA has been postponed indefinitely. Just wanted to sincerely thank all of you for your info which I hope to utilize hopefully in the near future. Happy New Year to all and may you eat well!

        1. w
          Waverly SGV Jan 4, 2008 04:01 PM

          While the sushi items are extremely limited, I would recommend Canal Club in Venice. The sushi chef, Shino, serves up good karma, courtesy and conversation. Ask him to make one of his special creations for you. He once comp'd us a dessert made with a rare expensive fruit (pear-like, can't remember the name). It was delightful, but more importantly, that gesture was indicative of his thoughfulness and genuine desire to please his patrons. He's a keeper!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Waverly SGV
            west coast foodie Apr 26, 2008 07:25 PM

            restaurant hospitality is rare on the westside these days... i'm glad to hear that canal club's on board. has anyone eaten at the sushi joint on abbott kinney in venice beach? i think it has a flourescent sign out front...

            1. re: west coast foodie
              westsidegal Apr 26, 2008 07:49 PM

              dunno which one you're thinking of, but for a very costly, but also, very exquisite sushi meal made with brown rice, go to shima

          2. m
            mbh65 Dec 18, 2007 12:46 PM

            If you are willing to go as far "east" as West Hollywood, try Jinpachi on Santa Monica. The Hump is also very good.

            1. yinyangdi Dec 10, 2007 09:40 PM

              Top three Westside sushi picks, in no particular order as, IMO, service and quality of food are on same par:


              Mori Sushi
              11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

              8684 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

              3 Replies
              1. re: yinyangdi
                omotosando Dec 10, 2007 11:02 PM

                I once had a perfect meal at Nishimura. Went back a second time and received awful service and the meal was twice as expensive. Call me demanding, but at well over $130 a person, I expect decent service.

                1. re: omotosando
                  eatnbmerry Dec 11, 2007 04:19 PM

                  No just call you RIGHT!

                2. re: yinyangdi
                  westsidegal Apr 26, 2008 07:57 PM

                  fwiw re: $$,
                  went to mori last week had omakase.
                  with two beers and leaving having eaten until we were full the tab was approx $250 for the two of us.
                  usually we get out of zo for about $70 less

                3. ronnie_gaucho Dec 10, 2007 08:22 PM

                  Sushi Zo obviously has a massive bandwagon following here...I'd like to just add Sushi Sushi into the pot...Located on Beverly just North or Olympic in Beverly Hills...

                  The quality of fish is superior and the head chef is far more experienced and skilled...Yet the prices are just as good if not better than Zo...


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ronnie_gaucho
                    omotosando Dec 10, 2007 10:52 PM

                    I like Sushi Sushi quite a bit. But a colleague of mine claims he was treated rudely there at dinner and he and his significant other walked out before eating. Sushi Sushi is also to be avoided like the plague at lunch unless you like feeling like you are crammed into a small car on the Tokyo subway (except with a bunch of loud talking agent types instead of with polite Japanese).

                    Had a very nice and very long business dinner at Zo this summer. Service was perfect. Fish was very good. I like Kiriko, but the service there can be an issue. Mori has its charms, but not if price is an issue.

                    I too ate sushi at Hana in the '80s. It is awful now. Or maybe it was also awful in the '80s and I just didn't know any better then. Occasionally, you can get good piece of fish at Asakuma, but I mostly think of it as "gaijin" sushi. The sushi chefs there are very nice, however.

                    1. re: omotosando
                      eatnbmerry Dec 11, 2007 04:18 PM

                      TY for your input,

                      Nice to know that a few of us still remember hana from the 80's. BTW you are probably right, we didn't know any better, but it was if I recall one of the few places around. Face it, we were pioneers LOL.

                      1. re: omotosando
                        westsidegal Dec 11, 2007 07:28 PM

                        hana was awful in the 80's and is just as bad or worse now.

                        1. re: westsidegal
                          eatnbmerry Dec 12, 2007 12:08 PM

                          awful in the 80's compared to what in the 80's?

                          1. re: eatnbmerry
                            westsidegal Apr 26, 2008 07:54 PM

                            east (which was the restaurant that is now irori)

                    2. floridastylee Dec 10, 2007 05:35 PM

                      Oishi Sushi at 201Robertson Blvd. just south of Wilshire in Beverly Hills. I work down the street and eat here regularly. Great rolls! Great quality of everything! I bring friends here and they love it.


                      1. eatnbmerry Dec 10, 2007 11:03 AM

                        Thanks again to all,

                        But it sounds like if you don't let him lead you can't dance. No thanks. Again, for that type of attitude I'll go elsewhere. The only way we hounds can ultimately vote is through our wallets.

                        To me a dining experience is about the food, but also the comfort and mutual appreciation of guest (that is what they call us for a good reason) and chef alike. Great chefs invite you to enjoy their food in their "homes" to give a complete experience. Sure, like any artist (like so many think themselves now a days, and in particular it seems, sushi chefs) or anybody for that matter, you are allowed te be tempermental from time to time, but the true professional strongly endeavors to control EGO and let it flow positively for the enjoyment and enrichment of others. Berating staff in front of guest is maybe more offensive to me than even dissing the guest themselves. In either case, it is inexcusable. Let someone else pay for that tense atmosphere, because it completely goes against the natural vibe of sushi, of that I am fairly certain.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: eatnbmerry
                          gadflier Dec 10, 2007 01:24 PM

                          Used to eat at Hana and Asakuma all the time, but they simply aren't as good anymore, and the competition has really heated up.

                          I've read everything about Zo on this Board for a year and don't get the controversy. I've eaten there twice this year, once for dinner pre-Board-excitement and once for lunch post-Board-excitement. It's excellent, it's high priced but not luxury priced, and they are very clear about what they will and will not do.

                          For dinner my table did 2 omakase with a pre-set price and some "no" fish, while the third ordered off the menu. I have read recently here that you can't do that anymore, which if true is relevant. But by now you know what to expect.

                          I thought your post of 12.03p states exactly why you you may have a bad experience at Zo. Try one of the other lower-key ones.

                          Since you're old school, you may have, like I used to, patronized U-Zen. Went there for lunch recently and it was just terrible, with worse service. Except the green salad.

                          If you want sushi for lunch, I can recommend two places this Board does not usually speak to: Takao in Brentwood, and Kaizuka in Culver City. Of course, both do dinner, too, but I think their lunch specials are very good.

                          Enjoy, and do report back upon your decision.

                          1. re: gadflier
                            eatnbmerry Dec 10, 2007 02:07 PM

                            Beautiful advice gad! I truly appreciate your direction and will let you know what I decide. In the end there can only be a few suppliers of fish and while the chefs physical prowess is important, I'd trade some of that off for someone who has more positive karma. I know this sounds corny, but ask someone from Nippon what I mean.

                            1. re: eatnbmerry
                              SauceSupreme Dec 10, 2007 05:29 PM

                              There are options like Hirozen or Kiriko where, while the omakase is also good, is not the only option on the menu. Mori is also on the westside and has drawn many comparisons to Zo in terms of quality, so perhaps you'll like that, too.

                              Whether quality of food or quality of karma, don't let others replace your judgment with theirs. Judgment and experience go hand-in-hand. Keep in mind, the reports of positive karma are just much a second-hand report as the reports of technical prowess. Only by actually going will you be able to decide.

                              This same thought process should be applied to other contentious restaurants like Father's Office (because of the seating policy) or Casa Bianca (because of the wait time) or Mozza (because of the hype). Visit once, then avoid it later if you want, but visit at least once.

                              1. re: SauceSupreme
                                eatnbmerry Dec 10, 2007 06:57 PM

                                Nice point. TY

                              2. re: eatnbmerry
                                I make my own pickles Dec 18, 2007 09:36 AM

                                In general, there may be only a few suppliers of fish, but the skill of the chef is in picking best the fish from few suppliers.

                          2. eatnbmerry Dec 10, 2007 06:38 AM

                            Ty to all for your input,.

                            It looks like Zo is fav but have read horror stories about chef and treatment of patrons on other threads. Is he really that gruff? I'd hate to pay top dollar and get dissed at same time, for that, I'll fly to France :). Guess I'll try Mori or maybe skip the westside and head downtown/east la. TC fellow hounds!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: eatnbmerry
                              SauceSupreme Dec 10, 2007 08:11 AM

                              I think what you're reading regarding the horror stories are quite sensationalist. I'm not a regular, I don't get special treatment -- I go in, order my sushi and get out. The fact that there are so many votes in favorite of it should indicate its quality; counter that against the votes against it. And then consider that almost any restaurant will have its detractors as well. At the end of the day, no one should replace your own judgment, meaning that you should check the place out for yourself and report back on your own experience. Zo really is very good, so I say dive in.

                              1. re: SauceSupreme
                                Servorg Dec 10, 2007 08:21 AM

                                What Sauce said. I've been in 4 times over the past year. Never had even a momentary issue or complaint with the service. For the price (I'm not saying it's cheap mind you -- just that if you contrast it against Mori it's a steal) you will not find better sushi in LA. Go and get omakase and then write up your findings.

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  fdb Dec 10, 2007 10:25 AM

                                  "you will not find better sushi in LA"

                                  ...except at Urasawa where expect to spend $275 pp (plus tax & tips).

                              2. re: eatnbmerry
                                zack Dec 10, 2007 08:37 AM

                                Can't call myself a regular as I've only been 4 times since Zo opened but I've never seen him rude to me or any other diner. Of course my positive experiences don't discount the few negative reports others have posted about. On my last visit though, i conversed a bit with the chef and I did get the feeling that if you didn't know he was joking and not serious at all, you would probably feel that he was rude. Take that into consideration and try for yourself. Enjoy the omakase with quality and variety of fish you'll seldom find elsewhere.

                              3. p
                                potofood Dec 8, 2007 06:51 PM

                                Sakura on centinela.Get there early.There is a line.Try the Seared Ono.Everything is good.A local hang.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: potofood
                                  cnlsdad Apr 27, 2008 11:45 AM

                                  I agree....Sakura's is great, but very popular. Very fresh sushi and large portions. Great service. I have seen lines in front of the restaurant after 9pm.

                                  1. re: cnlsdad
                                    Servorg Apr 27, 2008 01:21 PM

                                    There was a pretty fair mob out front as we went by on our way to Pann's for fried chicken.

                                2. J.L. Dec 8, 2007 05:45 PM

                                  Top Westside sushi joints (my 2 cents') as of December 8, 2007...

                                  5. Mori (Pico) $$$$
                                  4. Yuzando (Sawtelle) $$$
                                  3. The Hump (Santa Monica Airport) $$$$
                                  2. Sushi Zo (National) $$$
                                  1. Kiriko (Sawtelle) $$$

                                  Special corporate account/fat wallet category award goes to: Urasawa $$$$$+

                                  2 more cents: Echi-DON'T-go...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: J.L.
                                    ElJeffe Dec 11, 2007 06:46 PM

                                    If you want the best $$ options, go to Sushi King on Wilshire or Hama Sushi on Windward in Venice.

                                    I saw Hirozen listed but no refernces to the food. Haven't been there yet but I hear its a gem so may be worth a try as well.

                                  2. e
                                    eileen216 Dec 8, 2007 04:27 PM

                                    My favorite is Hide Sushi on Sawtelle. I always get sea urchin sushi, monkfish liver sushi, spicy tuna roll and yellowtail scallion roll.

                                    Sushi Karen in Culver City is pretty good too. Their amberjack is delicious.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: eileen216
                                      gadflier Dec 10, 2007 01:29 PM

                                      Finally someone who has eaten at Sushi Karen! I've driven by that place a million times. OK, I'm going.

                                      Eileen216, do you agree as a recent eater with any of this old review:



                                      1. re: gadflier
                                        westsidegal Dec 11, 2007 07:25 PM

                                        i went to sushi karen once.
                                        never again.
                                        not one piece of fish that was better than mediocre, most were worse.

                                        1. re: gadflier
                                          eileen216 Dec 27, 2007 01:52 PM

                                          Yes, I agree with the review. Sushi Karen is not fancy, but they serve decent & fresh sushi with reasonable price.

                                          1. re: eileen216
                                            gadflier Jan 4, 2008 11:39 AM

                                            Westsidegal, in all seriousness, what sushi places DO you like, as you clearly hate the two you mentioned?

                                            Eileen, I went to Karen for lunch this week based solely on your review, and thought it was quite good. Big pieces of fish, fresh but not sublime, very well priced, left me alone to sit at a table for 4 as a solo without insisting on me sitting at the bar. I'll go again, and thanks.

                                            1. re: gadflier
                                              westsidegal Jan 4, 2008 03:06 PM

                                              if Sushi Zo is open, that is my first pick.
                                              Sushi Sushi on beverly near olympic is my second pick
                                              if it's a Sunday, Hide sushi is my third pick, but i won't get the ankimo anymore.
                                              I can also be quite happy at Kiriko.

                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                gadflier Jan 10, 2008 06:43 PM

                                                Thanks for answering. We agree on Zo. I've been meaning to try Kiriko for some time, used to go to Hide but not in a while. Sushi Sushi is new to me, and they will be my next lunch!

                                        2. re: eileen216
                                          westsidegal Jan 4, 2008 03:03 PM

                                          I've gotta nix Sushi Karen.
                                          Had an abysmal meal there about 5 months ago.
                                          Will NEVER go back.
                                          (to top it off the place even smelled bad).

                                          I like Hide too, but after you've had the monkfish liver at Sushi Zo, you will be ruined for anyplace else... .

                                        3. SauceSupreme Dec 8, 2007 01:09 PM

                                          I'll recommend Kiriko on Sawtelle for sushi. And Zo is really easy to get to since it's a stone's throw from the National exit on the 10. If you're willing to travel a bit further east, there's Hirozen on Beverly. There's also a really traditional edo-style place on Sepulveda whose name escapes me, but I ducked in one time when Zo was closed.

                                          Sushi Zo
                                          9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                          11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                          8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                          1. o
                                            Obessed Dec 8, 2007 07:14 AM

                                            I had a lunch at Sushi Masu yesterday and it was great!

                                            1. Servorg Dec 8, 2007 06:48 AM

                                              Sushi Zo in West LA (right on the border of Culver City) is "the" sushi place on the westside. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/465025

                                              If you have an unlimited sushi budget you might want to also check out Sushi Mori at the intersection of Gateway Blvd. and Pico (just west of the 405 Fwy / Sepulveda Blvd.) for comparison purposes.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                eatnbmerry Dec 8, 2007 06:53 AM

                                                TY Serv,
                                                I also remember a place on wilshire upstairs in a strip mall? Does it sound familiar? I wanna say off of barrington but maybe not.

                                                1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                  Servorg Dec 8, 2007 07:22 AM

                                                  Your thinking or Echigo which is on Santa Monica Blvd. just west of Bundy upstairs in a mini mall. Not the same quality as Zo or Mori, but we like it. It gets some negative comments here because they use "warm" rice with their sushi.

                                                  1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                    fdb Dec 8, 2007 08:14 AM

                                                    It's Asakuma you are talking about. At corner of Wilshire & Barrington.

                                                    1. re: fdb
                                                      eatnbmerry Dec 8, 2007 12:28 PM

                                                      TY to all for your help. Is hana still around?

                                                      1. re: eatnbmerry
                                                        Servorg Dec 8, 2007 12:57 PM

                                                        Yes but it has had some really bad / downhill alerts here lately.

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