Visiting LA, ??Sushi rest.
I am going to be in LA after new years and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction as far as which sushi restaurants I must visit.
On the West Side, my favorite sushi restaurant is The Hump, which is in the Santa Monica airport building (I know it sounds terrible, but I swear it's actually quite elegant and tasteful). The prices are slightly steep, but the selection is varied and wonderful - if you're feeling adventurous they sometimes have blowfish. Also Hama sushi in Venice is decent. It's also more rowdy, especially weekend nights.
Lisa, I love The Hump, too. My favorite item there has to be the hamachi sashimi special, with serrano pepper and garlic sauce. Slurrp! Usually, I like my sashimi au natural, but this preparation is something else.
Small item: it would be nice if they had washrooms in the restaurant itself. On a rainy winter's night, it's not much fun trotting outside, down the stairs, and elbowing your way through the tables at The Typhoon to freshen up.
My two cents on Hama: Since it's in my 'hood, I used to eat there frequently. The noise level and crowdedness finally got to me, though. Just me, maybe, but I find it hard to taste, much less enjoy, my food when it's so loud. I'd rather spend the extra dough and have a more serene (and tastier) meal at The Hump. But if you like that rowdy atmosphere (birthday party, etc.), it's fine.
I would agree that The Hump is a good place. If you're in the mid-Wilshire area, Matsuhisa is very good. It's on La Cienega Blvd. In the valley, Iroha is good. It's on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. And if you're in Koreatown, I can recommend Noshi Sushi. It's not very chi chi, as all the above are, but it's CHEAP, and still good. You really get a lot for your money here. It's on Beverly Blvd.
Dear Kublah Khan,
Here in Xanadu we use the search engine. Just type in "sushi Los Angeles" and you'll find more than you can deal with in a few days.
Sushi Nozawa (Ventura Blvd, Studio City) the best fish in town under $100. 'Fish Nazi' or not, the Man can pick and cut fish. Pricy ($50-ish).
Sushi Sasabune - (Sawtelle&Nebraska, W. LA) The LA side's equivalent of Nozawa.
Katsu-Ya - (Colfax&Ventura, Studio City) Far and away the best of Sushi Row -- 2/3 the price of Nozawa, excellent fish, wonderful specials.
Haven't tried The Hump, but it's not cheap.
A lot depends on where you're staying...
It's amazing that the responses to date for information about the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles do not include Tsukiji, Tsukasa, or Sasabune, to name just a few of the best.
There are lots of excellent sushi restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. My current favorite is Tsukiji in Gardena, followed closely by Tsukasa in Little Tokyo. You have to be reasonably sophisticated (or go there with someone who is) to exploit the best that these places have to offer. Other good sushi restaurants include Sasabune in West Los Angeles, Mori Sushi, Nishi, Matsuhisa (for non-traditional sushi), and Shibucho on Beverly Blvd. (the former Shibucho in Little Tokyo was sold to a new owner, and is now Tsukasa).
The omissions of some well-publicized and highly touted restaurants from my list, including Sushi Roku and Nozawa, are not an oversight. Even though the limited selection of sushi is good quality, Zagats listing of Nozawa as one of the two best restaurants in Los Angeles is a joke! I won't repeat my previously stated opinions about Nozawa. If you're interested, use Chowhound's search feature for "+nozawa +armitage" and you'll find the threads that present the pro and con arguments by myself and many other Chowhounds regarding Nozawa.
Another excellent sushi restaurant, named by one previous poster in this thread, is Katsu in Studio City. Unfortunately, Katsu is closed due to damage from a fire. It is expecting to reopen sometime in February.
re: Tom Armitage
Tom, are you sure Katsu in studio city is still closed?
And I'm curious if you tried Shibucho on Beverly before? What did you think of it? Did you order the omakase route or on your own? Also, what did you have there? Did you have any fusion-y types dishes like the ones serves at Matsuhisa (Shibucho serves some supposedly high-end caviar and foie gras with some of the dishes). And how do did the cost compare to other places. From what I hear, the cost depends on the whimms of the chef whether he likes you or not or is in a good mood (which is probably nevr) resulting in either a moderately priced meal or one that is prohibitively expensive.
There are many, many terrific sushi restaurants in LA and one of my favorites is Asakuma even though it's in a strip mall at the corner of Wilshire Blve. & Barrington Ave. in Brentwood. The food is excellent and reasonably priced. I'm never disappointed. It's a major cut above an average place, yet isn't costly.