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Jun 23, 2008 09:11 PM

Japanese - Pasadena area?

SF CH visiting Pasadena looking for great fresh sushi. (Will travel but prefer less driving if possible)

All the SF chowhounds are always saying sushi is better in LA than what we usually get here (and cheaper?) could I please get some recommendations - but not for places that are "the scene" or impossible to get in to. I'm interested in the food!

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  1. You're not going to find great sushi in the Pasadena area.

    Most of the better sushi spots are west of downtown LA, in Hollywood, WeHo, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc.

    Some noteworthy spots incl., but are NOT limited to, the following:

    Sushi Ike
    Sushi Zo

    And, of course, there's the grandfather of them all ... Urasawa.

    By the way, sticking in the Pasadena-area, try Hayakawa Restaurant in Covina (which is further east of Pasadena). Very good sushi and cooked dishes.

    Hayakawa Restaurant
    750 Terrado Plaza
    (626) 332-8288

    1. yoshida in san marino. Always very good!

      Yoshida Sushi Bar
      2026 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 91108

      3 Replies
      1. re: cincyn

        i've always had good sushi at yoshida's. nothing earth shattering but good nonetheless.

        1. re: wilafur

          What would be disappointing, is if this CHer sampled some Pasadena offerings, and returned home to report that LA sushi sucks. Visitors should realize that most of the top notch dining in LA is in a certain area, and Pasadena is about 20 minutes away from there. It would be like asking, "Hey, I hear San Francisco has great fine dining, so what can I get in Millbrae that won't disappoint."

          Anyway, I replied to the Yoshida post because I think that's probably the best bet if you're stuck in the Pasadena area, but like others have mentioned, you really need to go to a different part of the city to get the best sushi.

          1. re: andytseng

            What would be even more disappointing would be if he made the long drive to Nozawa, Sasabune or Nishimura, emptied his bank account and still had mediocre sushi. Or even Zo, really.

            Kiriko is probably the best in terms of price/quality. In Pasadena, as much as I loathe the restaurant, the sushi at the dread Roku is actually better than solid.

      2. Hi estnet,

        ipsedixit's post says it all; there's really no *great* Sushi in Pasadena.

        If you're willing to travel a bit to sample L.A.'s best Sushi, then I highly recommend:

        1. Urasawa (Beverly Hills) - Don't be put off by its location (it's not "trendy" or "scene-driven" at all). Do a search on this restaurant and you'll come up with lots of reviews and recommendations. IMHO, L.A.'s best.

        2. Sushi Zo (West L.A. area)
        3. Mori Sushi (West L.A. area)
        4. Sasabune (West L.A. area)
        5. Nozawa (Studio City)

        and many others.

        If you're here in L.A. to truly sample great Sushi, those would be some of the best in L.A.

        Urasawa Restaurant
        218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

        Sushi Zo
        9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

        Sushi Nozawa
        11288 Ventura Blvd Ste C, Studio City, CA 91604

        Mori Sushi
        11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        Sushi Sasabune
        12400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

        2 Replies
          1. re: dreamcast18

            Let's play SAT game ...

            Sakana is to sushi as Denny's is to __________.

            a. Fine dining
            b. Fine dining
            c. Fine dining
            d. All of the above

            Answer: __

        1. I would recommend Hanabi in the Shops on Lake. It's local and very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: crystaw

            Definitely not. We went there a couple of weeks ago; it was OK, perfectly fine for a neighborhood joint, but by no means would I send anyone there who's looking for exceptional sushi or is from out-of-town. Z Sushi in Alhambra is far superior, IMHO, and if the OP cannot make it either to Little Tokyo or to Studio City, then Z is hands-down a better option for someone looking for an exceptional sushi experience that cannot be duplicated at home in SF.

          2. Try Sushi Gen in Little Toyko. I also like Jinpachi in West Hollywood.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mbh65

              I second Sushi Gen, and it's closer than we usually think from Pasadena (Little Tokyo is on the East side of downtown). It takes me about 20 minutes to get there from Pasadena, and I take the back streets and don't even bother with the 110 which is presumably faster.

              422 E Second St
              Los Angeles, CA 90012-4209
              Phone: (213) 617-0552
              Hours: Mon-Fri 11:15am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm, Sat 5pm-10pm

              If you have to stay in Pasadena, I usually go to Sachi Sushi or Japon Bistro.