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Omakase: Zo or Mori?

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Trying to decide where to be taken for my birthday dinner: right now, it's between Zo or Mori for omakase. I've hit pretty much every other elite sushi joint in town, but this would be my first time at either. I know the fish at both is meant to be stellar, so it will come down probably to which is a little more reasonable in price, a little more atmospheric, etc. Thanks in advance.

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  1. It may be a little less at Zo and a little more atmosphere at Mori but to me it's pretty much a toss up and I would probably decide on which one was an easier commute.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      Here are links to a couple of recent reviews of both Mori and Zo for you, (in case you didn't see them before):

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474070

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/465025

    2. I've only been to Sushi Zo and love all the variety (I get bored easily :p). Haven't been to Mori, but someone had posted previously that there's more variety at Zo; both being at that top notch quality. A friend of mine swears by Mori but he hasn't been to Zo; also he tells me they help you with sake pairings at Mori and do a fantastic job of it, sounds like they have more to offer in way of liquor.

      3 Replies
      1. re: slacker

        Sushi Sushi on south Beverly has great omakase as well. What do people think of Matsuhisa's omakase bar?

        1. re: holleygolitely

          zo is all about the fish, simple and pure, front and center. my many experiences there have all been wonderful.
          matsuhisa, the one time i had omakase there (which was some time ago), was about some kind of fusion experience with the the fish being somewhat secondary to sauces and odd combinations.
          have not had the omakas at sushi sushi, but have eaten lunch there and thought their sushi was extremely good.
          mori is on my 2008 list of restaurants to try.

        2. re: slacker

          I recommend Mori over Zo any day. Mori is uber-knowledgeable about all things fish and grows/harvests his own rice.

          I've been to Zo x3 (omakase) and had, essentially the exact same meal all three times (no variety there).

        3. Ditch both and do Hiko or Sasabune. Or save up for Urasawa. Or for more of a birthday/special occasion feel, The Hump. Neither Mori nor Zo does it for me.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jcwla2

            Not a huge fan of Sasabune or The Hump. The latter came to $450 for 2 of us the last time I was there, and while everything was certainly good, it was not that good. Urasawa is wonderful, truly in a class of its own, but not this year I'm afraid ($$$$).

            Hiko sounds interesting. Have been meaning to try it. Sorry to be so classless, but what's the damage there? I don't want to overextend the friend who is taking me out!

            1. re: jcwla2

              sasabune is just ok. over sauced and the same selection of sushi is offered over and over...with maybe one new sushi offering in any given meal.

              1. re: wilafur

                isn't sasabune the place with the precut fish?

                1. re: westsidegal

                  yep. that's what people have been saying......

              2. re: jcwla2

                The OP asked for something atmospheric. I hardly think the cheap dinnerware at Hiko counts for atmospheric, unless you want to feel like you are at a cafeteria. (I also found the sushi at Hiko dreadful).

                1. re: jcwla2

                  Wow. I really like Hiko Sushi, but I wouldn't put it on the same level as Mori or Zo (I live very close to all three places). Both have better variety and more atmosphere than Hiko. If you want simple, straight-ahead preparations in a no-frills environment, however, Hiko is quite good (that chopped tuna concoction he starts his omakase off with is out of this world).

                  I really have to try Sasabune, I guess. I have so many friends who have eaten there who claim it is dreadfully overrated, but I've met an equal number of passonate advocates, so I think I need to try it for myself.

                2. Sushi Nazami on Melrose has an amazing omakase and very reasonably priced. Not fancy or anything but amazing fish and an all female sushi chef staff!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CharlotteMichele

                    I think you mean Azami near La Brea. While short of the top tier sushi places in town, at half the price of the competition, it's definitely worthy of mention. Good lively setting as well but can get busy at times.

                  2. Mori offers some cooked dishes as well but, if you want just sushi, I would slightly lean toward Zo.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: New Trial

                      Actually, if you want just sushi at Mori, ask for "nigiri omakase" at Mori and you'll get just sushi.

                      To the OP, if Sasabune and the likes is not for you, then we see eye to eye and I would highly recommend nigiri omakase at Mori and watch him prepare the highest quality seasonal selection of fish (get the buri belly while it's available), grate fresh wasabi on a sharkskin grater, drizzle fresh sudachi juice on sweet giant clam, properly season and cool his own mixture of rice, and marinate the finest kohada in town.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Of course, you can get just sushi omakase at Mori. My point was that, if the OP wanted more than just sushi on his omakase, Mori was the best choice but, if he only wanted sushi, I preferred Zo--though only by a touch--over Mori. Really, it is a no lose situation whichever one the OP goes to.