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Recommendations for inauthentic sushi

  • d

I have to admit, I like some of the non-standard sushi variations that offend purists. For example, vegetable tempura rolls or chicken katsu rolls. I know places in other cities that serve this type of thing, but haven't come across anything decent in LA - does anyone have recommendations?

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  1. Have you tried the California Roll and Sushi Factory on Wilshire just 1 block west off barington? Not bad for inauthentic sushi....they have a lot of non-japanese creations (Las Vegas Rolls, soft shell crab rolls, etc).

    I also like California Beach in Hermosa Beach. They do really good oyster sushi, philly rolls, tataki, and catepillars. Caution...that place is pretty rowdy, so if ur not into that, then don't go there...its a young drinking hole...but I like the sushi...all u can eat on mondays (made to order) along with all you can eat japanese food (fried oysters, gyoza, teriyaki, etc).

    12 Replies
    1. re: Belafkih

      Indeed, very good call - it turns out that I had eaten at a place called "Califronia Sushi and Crazy Roll" in Toronto which appears in fact to be identical to "California Roll and Sushi Fish" here in LA. I really like their vegetable tempura roll there! I'll check out the other place you mention as well. (And to be more specific, the version of the chicken katsu roll that I like can be found in the Japanese mall at Porter Square in Boston... but I don't think that one's a chain!)

      1. re: Dylan Yolles

        There's also California Sushi Roll on Hillhurst (next to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Los Feliz). They specialize in "cooked" sushi - like sauteed scallops, mushrooms, and roe ontop of California roll. It's REALLY good.
        And there's SUSHI MON on 3rd - but it's Korean sushi makers, so it's more like "kim pop" - brawnier sushi, spider rolls, vegas rolls, etc. Still good, just different. Alot folks think it's BAD sushi, (because they are expecting Japanese refined stuff) but they just don't know it's DIFFERENT shushi. Ingredients are very fresh.

        1. re: critical

          Do you know the cross street for Sushi Mon? I love kim bap. 3rd and _____? Thanks!

          1. re: sunnyla

            Sushi Mon is on the south side of 3rd between San Vicente and Robertson...about 1-2 blocks west of San Vicente.
            Incidentally, the California Sushi Roll on Hillhurst is also Korean owned. Good eats both places.
            And I bet you know this already, but there's a Korean market on Olympic near Vermont that has a stand inside that makes and sells fresh kim bap for great prices.
            Enjoy!

            1. re: critical

              Perhaps it's simply b/c I don't know any better, but every time I've eaten sushi/sashimi @ Sushi Mon...yuck. The seaweed is clingy and soggy, the fish doesn't seem especially fresh and service is like hell on earth (mixed up orders, forever b/t courses, asking repeatedly for water, etc). I haven't been, however, in four years or five years so this could all be ancient history. Enlighten me?

              I love California Sushi Roll, too. There's a newish location on Larchmont, south of Beverly, with sidewalk seating.

              1. re: Lisa Bee

                Sushi Mon can be very spotty. The employees from New Line and Cedars Sinai can really pack it in there at lunch and the quality really goes down. Pre-lunch rush can be better.
                A recent gem is Sushi Gen in Japan Town. A special treat - they serve Cherimoya for dessert sometimes. And their monk fish liver is the best I've had any where.
                And the prix fix sushi at Momoyama (sp?), previously Katsu at 3rd is really amazing. The way they do Toro is unique.

                1. re: Lisa Bee

                  Sushi Mon can be very spotty. The employees from New Line and Cedars Sinai can really pack it in there at lunch and the quality really goes down. Pre-lunch rush can be better.
                  A recent gem is Sushi Gen in Japan Town. A special treat - they serve Cherimoya for dessert sometimes. And their monk fish liver is the best I've had any where.
                  And the prix fix sushi at Momoyama (sp?), previously Katsu at 3rd is really amazing. The way they do Toro is unique.

                  1. re: critical

                    How do they do the toro at Momoyama (the former Katsu 3rd)? do they have a toro tartare topped with osetra caviar over there? and also how much does their prixe fixe sushi option cost? and what is included in the prixe fixe? and do they serve the prixe-fixe for both lunch and dinner? also, what is the dessert "cherimoya"?

                    1. re: kevin

                      The Prix fixe menu was about $40 a person - a steal. Maybe it was because they just opened? The toro was served 3 different ways. First, the chef served it sashimi style - he wanted us to experience it in its natural goodness. Second, it was served just as you described with the caviar and third, it was served in a variety seafood roll that was deepfriend on the outside but the fish was still cool and raw on the inside. The outside was crispy crunchy and greasless contrasting well with the buttery sweet fish. It was hearty and light all at the same time...and I generally don't go for the fried stuff but this roll rocked my world.

                      Cherimoya is a fruit that comes from South America ( I think), and it's about the size of a grapefruit, green on the outside with a honeycomb pattern. When ripe, the inside is a creamy, D'anjou pear-like texture, fragrant and subtle. You can probably find it at a market and ripen it at home.
                      Enjoy! Sushi Gen is a real gem.

                      1. re: critical

                        do you know if they serve the prixe-fixe for both lunch and dinner. also, is dessert included? thanks.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Don't know if prix fixe, or OMAKASE is offered at lunch - I bet it is. And dessert was included - it was simple fruit plate that night and it was SPECTACULAR - beautiful arranged, sweet, fresh - great way to finish off the meal.

                      2. re: kevin

                        I didn't know that Katsu 3d was no more. It always seemed to do such a good business. Is the new place unrelated? Are any of the Katsu 3d sushi chefs still there? I'm especially thinking of the one who worked the bar right in front of the door. How have the offerings changed?

        2. Also, if you're over near Culver City, you can try Kaya Sushi on Washington just east of Lincoln on the south side of the street in a strip mall, across from Costco. They have a whole menu of inauthentic rolls such as kim chee rolls, dynamite rolls, and spider rolls. Kaya has a few Korean dishes on the menu such as bibim bap, bulgogi, and stews - probably Korean-owned as well.

          1. If you're in the Valley, Sushi Mac on Ventura Blvd (Sherman Oaks/Encino area) is great. Easily the least conventional sushi I've had and I love it. I think there's another LA location as well. It's not a fancy place - $2.50 per serving. Great for a relaxed summer evening (although they're always playing techno music).

            A little more upscale unconventional sushi in the Valley is at Kushi-yu, also on Ventura blvd. The owner says he's the one who invented the spicy tuna roll. Seems legit to me. They also serve the best kushi-yaki in LA, maybe in the whole country.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chris L

              If Kushi-Yu is the one in the mall across the street from the Gap in Tarzana about 3 blocks west of Reseda Blvd., (and next door to the Relax the Back store), then I will give it a strong second. I drive out at least twice a year to have lunch here with a friend, once for her birthday when I buy and once for mine when she buy's. The spicy tuna on the toasted rice cake is wonderful. They also have a great sashimi with garlic, jalapenos and sesame oil. The prices are reasonable and the sushi is always very fresh tasting. But I don't think the name of the restaurant is quite right? Maybe I am thinking of another place?

              1. re: Mike Kilgore

                Yeah, that's the place. Tarzana. That crunchy spicy tuna sushi is the best, isn't it? I think the name is actually Kushi Yu (no hyphen)

                1. re: Chris L

                  Have you tried any of their little skewers of grilled Chilean Sea Bass, simple but delicious.

                  1. re: Mike Kilgore

                    No, but I noticed them just recently and was planning to order some but ran out of space.