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Mori, Nobu or Takao ?

  • h

I am visiting a friend and his wife in the West Los Angeles area and I want to pay my hosts back by taking them out for a great dinner at a Japanese restaurant. I don't want to ask them where they want to go, but to instead surprise them. He is an ardent sushi and sashimi aficionado and is definitely adventurous but his wife has a more tame palette and while she's not someone who wants mayonnaise-laden, deep fried 'special' rolls, she is someone who does prefers cooked dishes, like sea bass, soft shell crab, and the occasional yellowtail or salmon, etc.

I want to stay on the westside and these are the three names that have come up. I've done a search but find almost nothing about Nobu.

Any opinions, direction??

Thanks!

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  1. amazing that you came up with those three because they are all related. Nobu is the Malibu outpost of Matsuhisa, which is where Takao used to work before he opened his eponymous restaurant in Brentwood, where he employed Mori as a sushi chef before he opened his eponymous restaurant on Pico in West LA. I like all of them, and there is some simlilarity in style in that there is great traditional sushi as well as creative, western influenced special dishes. You can't go wrong. Takao probably has the most casual atmosphere. There are probably more cooked dishes at Takao and Nobu than at Mori.

    1 Reply
    1. re: feedme

      I had no idea of the etymology of the places. An unintentional daisychain on my part. It's like Six Degrees of Nobu Matsuhisa.

    2. I've been to all , forget it! Sasebune, Nozawa, GINZA SUSHI KO are the real UNDISPUTED choices. I could spend an hour telling you what's wrong with your previous picks, it's not your fault. I assure you that the LOYAL fans of these earlier picks haven't even been in Ginza, ever, and I mean NEVER, get the picture?

      24 Replies
      1. re: russkar

        russkar, if you will can you describe your meals at the ginza, if you can remember the dishes you had at each sitting there, and also how many courses are served each time? does he also ask if you prefer one dish over another, and what stuff you don't have the adventuroussness to eat? also, what kind of desserts end the meal over hear? and do you know what there is to drink? is it just sake or is there beers or older Bordeaux or Burgundies and the like? and for the teetotalers do they got soft drinks and such?

        i think many chowhounds would be greatful for your descriptions on Ginza and what occurs in the whole experience given that 99.999999999999999% of hounds haven't been there ever before, incl. me.
        thanks.

        1. re: kevin

          I can see by your tone I must leave you a can of STARKIST, enjoy!

          1. re: russkar

            please do tell us about all the gory details concerning ginza sushiko experience, at least since the chef is relocating within the coming months to New York. and actually did have chicken of the sea today for lunch (i know that's a pretty terrible lunch, but it was diet day today) though i don't care for starkist at all.

            1. re: kevin

              Along time ago(late 80's) on Wilshire a NEW Sushi bar opened and Marlon and Madonna decided it was the best in LA. No phone # but I knew how to find it. Anyway I did and had INCREDIBLE, no , UNBELIEVABLE SUSHI, end of story , then he moved to Beverly Hills and did the same thing. Incredible food has never been about cost it's about love. Case in point, Thomas Keller at Checkers in early 90's, awesome food very fair price., one of the best deals I can remember. I'm having brunch at St Regis in Dana tomorrow which will be the opposite experience.

              1. re: russkar

                old koreatown location of ginza? it was prop, cheaper back then given the location. do you know if at the present two rodeo locale he serves lunch (which might be a cheaper route for some of us hounds) or just dinner? agree with you on mori, it isn't that good especially for the price. don't care for tsukasa either nozawa, sasabune, mako, and shibucho are my favorites.

                1. re: kevin

                  Don't shoot the messenger! Ginza wasn't cheaper back then but was open for lunch. Now he's only open for dinner, big bucks(300+)per person. Resv only. Nozawa is a deal, but not as complex.

                  1. re: russkar

                    I remember hearing a while back that Ginza Sushi Ko was moving to New York in the new Trump buliding. Is the Beverly Hills location going to close down, and if so do you know when?

                    1. re: Fidelixi

                      Around Dec it's supposed to close, what's funny is it will be even more expensive in NY(like 500- pp for dinner).

                        1. re: Fidelixi

                          It's not that funny because once again LA has *messed* UP (same letters required for the real word) and lost another(MAJOR) Restaurant , oh well, I'll be in NY by Nov.

                          1. re: russkar

                            OK, I give, what is the anagram of *messed* which spells a word that you can't write on CH and describes the loss of GS to NYC?

                            1. re: WLA

                              Not an anagram, but same number of letters, beginning with "f" and ending with "ucked."

                              1. re: Chris G.

                                Now I can stop the madness, thanks. I do a lot of crossword puzzles and thought that I had had a mini stoke or something.

                              2. re: WLA

                                GS is GINZA SUSHI KO which is moving from Rodeo,BH to NYC in Feb.

          2. re: russkar

            oh honestly!

            he's taking his kind hosts out for a thank you. i'm not sure he wants a second mortgage to do it!

            most days, i wish i could be russkar. i want to hear about ginza too. let us vicariously live through you ...

            1. re: heidi

              Second Mortage? Hardly? I find MORI to be one of the Biggest ripoffs, Nobu second , etc. My first two recommedations are my favs anyway and much cheaper and alot better.

              1. re: russkar

                ...yep, Mori is certainly nothing special. I don't understand the hype.

                1. re: me

                  I totally agree. What's amazing is just 2 miles N of MORI is ECHIGO where you can have almost the same lunch special(12-2p) for less than HALF the price of MORI if not cheaper.

            2. re: russkar

              Russkar, heartfelt, passionate opinions are our stock in trade around here.

              But we've noticed that you sometimes go beyond passion and edge toward meanness. You sometimes can't resist summarily dismissing contrary opinions. Please refrain from doing this. Please judge food, not your fellow posters. This sort of posting is over our line.

              It's sufficient for you to express your opinions; you are a well-respected hound. It is unnecessary for you to also chide "the opposition". Please have your say and let others have theirs.

                1. re: Foodie
                  c
                  Claudine TOo

                  Anyone who reads this board regularly understands that Russkar means well. He's just passionate about his food. He is pulling strings to get another poster those crab legs, after all. I was downright touched reading that.

                2. re: The Chowhound Team

                  I have to come to russ' defense here, I know from both personal experience and from being somewhat regular on the board that russ ain't a mean guy, and he does know his chow. Usually I've noticed that russ is the poor guy that gets baited into crap, and not the other way around. As previously posted, he is also someone who has and will go the "extra mile" for his fellow hounds so I think it should be clear that he isn't speaking out of meanness.

                  1. re: woo!

                    No need to defend...you're preaching to the converted! Russkar's a great chowhound and a great poster!

                    It's our job to firmly draw the line when it comes to personal attacks. That we think Russkar sometimes steps over that line doesn't mean we're not fans of his postings, or that we don't like him! We are and we do!

                    Just doing our job, trying to keep the discussion friendly and to protect less assertive hounds from worrying they'll be sniped at if they dare voice contradictory opinions. Such fear is deadly to the discussion, and once it's created it's hard to dispel.

                    1. re: The Chowhound Team

                      Not to be deadly to the discussion (not my intention)oh Great Moderators in the Sky(and right I'm passionate, and why not?)but if I've "saved" one poster from one of the previous mentioned places(besides his duckets, and I mean lot's of Duckets) I've succeeded with my "good deed for the day". Like the Great White I'm thinking about my next meal(which will happen at Cafe Zinc in Laguna tomorrow at 9a followed by Truffle for Lunch. Kar and I walked out of two of those places and laughed 125- ea , NOT worth it by a long shot! Unless your at Ginza where 400- ea is the rule of thumb, and worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!