good sushi in silver lake / los feliz?
i live in los feliz and would like to find a great neighborhood sushi place close by. we go to san sui on hillhurst, but i usually don't get sushi there (but i love the terriyaki salmon dinner combination). have been to noshi on beverly lots of times, but am looking for something smaller and more mellow. have seen yamakasa at highland and franklin and that might be promising. can anyone help with recommendations?
We just tried Saito for the first time tonight. It's on the Southeast corner of Sunset and Fountain, in a non-descript strip mall. As for the parking, although there are spaces in the mall, they were all full with no prospects of anyone leaving, so we parked right on Sunset.
As you walk into Saito, there are 10 seats at the sushi bar, and a couple of tables... small place. In the sushi bar itself are relatively small portions of fish so at first we were a bit wary, but in light of the small place, it makes sense.
We arrived at about 6:00, and were the only customers there. As we ate, the sushi bar filled up, and one of the tables filled, as well. The more people came in, the more fish started showing up into the sushi bar, from the back, and from unseen coolers underneath. They weren't going to run out.
The meal: It was great. The sushi was really fresh, and the sushi chef (Saito?) was very personable and helpful. There was also a fellow working our side of the bar, serving hot towels/drinks, etc. This guy is a character. He could be an actor. Great personality.
We had yellowtail (outstanding), tuna, albacore (also outstanding), sea urchin, spanish mackerel, scallop, salmon, octopus and a spicy tuna roll. The yellowtail and albacore were so fresh they melted in your mouth. Others ordered all kinds of sashimi dishes and other stuff. He seemed to have everything anyone wanted. And the presentations were very artistic.
The cost for our 16 orders of sushi (including the roll) and 2 large Asahi beers was about $100 plus tip. I think very reasonable considering the quality.
Compared to Noshi, Saito is slightly more expensive, and the portions aren't as big; but again I keep coming back to quality. It's also not as hectic as Noshi. We've waited 45 minutes for a table at Noshi, and while it's cheap, I just can't justify the wait.
We noticed some girls brought in their own sake. I don't know if they charge a corkage (I doubt it), but at least we know we can bring something if we want to.
We've found a new local favorite.
re: lil mikey
Having raved about Saito here a week ago, and flogged myself in public for having ignored it for half a decade, I must ditto this, but must also ask another question: has anyone posting to this board who speaks servicable Japanese or Korean ever asked the sushi chefs at Noshi to do anything other than the standard stuff on the menu? Maybe these guys are undiscovered jewels, too!
re: Richard Gould-Saltman
From my experience the guys at Noshi speak pretty good English. It's not their language skills that are limited. I think Noshi is set up to be cheap and simple. They do a high volume of business and don't get into specialty fish or dishes because it's not cost efficient for them. Great place for quick cheap basic sushi rolls and fish. Mediocre at best fish quality.