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Which are the better Sushi Bars in Jtown?

Foodandwine Sep 6, 2008 03:35 AM

I am going to dinner with a buddy whom lives in a loft on 6th and Spring Downtown. Which are the better Sushi Bars near Japan Town? Thanks for your help

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  1. toitoi RE: Foodandwine Sep 6, 2008 08:25 AM

    R 23 at 923 East 2nd Street. It's in an alley off 2nd that's below Alameda, and between Garey and Santa Fe. They have valet, but sometimes (depending upon the hour) there's street parking.

    3 Replies
    1. re: toitoi
      lotta_cox RE: toitoi Sep 7, 2008 10:48 AM

      i like sushi gen quite a bit better than r23. r23 is way overpriced, IMO, and I like something a little more traditional. sushi go 55 is by far my favorite sushi in little tokyo.

      1. re: toitoi
        SecretAsianMan RE: toitoi Sep 10, 2008 11:30 PM

        Is this recent data, Toitoi? I've heard unfavorable bleats about R23 recently....

        1. re: SecretAsianMan
          toitoi RE: SecretAsianMan Sep 11, 2008 09:53 AM

          I've not been in about 3 months... so I can't comment on your question. But, I've always had good food there.

      2. ipsedixit RE: Foodandwine Sep 6, 2008 02:27 PM

        Try Sushi Komasa.

        I don't really consider R23 a sushi bar, per se, but they are good. Same for Sushi Gen.

        1. c
          cls RE: Foodandwine Sep 6, 2008 08:05 PM

          Sushi Gen can be the best, although IMO undeservedly overcrowded. Not because it's not good, but it's not THAT good. Izayoi with Jun at the bar can be a better and more creative experience, but it's also crowded and the other chefs are definitely not as good.
          Go down Beverly about a mile near Virgil to Shibucho if you want a great Omakase experience with Shige, but remember your manners...

          3 Replies
          1. re: cls
            aventinus RE: cls Sep 6, 2008 08:37 PM

            i believe sushi gen is best, but agree that it's overcrowded. it's also a bit pricey. most often i go to komasa, hama, sushi go 55, and r23. my opinions of these places seem to fluctuate every time i go to them.

            takumi is another one to try. i've been there once and thought it was good, perhaps in the same league as the others, but drearily empty. on the plus side, you can walk right in and have a (probably) good sushi meal there.

            1. re: aventinus
              silverlakebodhisattva RE: aventinus Sep 7, 2008 12:26 PM

              I'd like to see some recent update info from Takumi regulars, if any are reading. We eat there once-in-a-while, and I think they're OK, or OK+; but based on the pre-opening talk, I was hoping to be wowed. Hasn't really happened.

              Now I haven't had their omakase, and maybe it's wonderful (I'm hoping...) and the owner's choice of music's pretty cool, but while the Chow-spouse likes it, I'm finding I want to go to Gen or Izayoi more often....

              1. re: aventinus
                Mr Taster RE: aventinus Sep 11, 2008 10:01 AM

                I don't think $25 for a massive platter of good quality sashimi is overpriced, particularly when it includes several generous slabs of pricey toro, when the same fish served ala carte would cost double, or more... (the lunch special is $16 for a smaller but still generous platter, and both include miso soup and various small salad dishes)

                Mr Taster

            2. c
              chowmominLA RE: Foodandwine Sep 9, 2008 11:04 PM

              Ironically Little Tokyo's sushi isn't that great.

              I should qualify this post by saying I've only had lunches at any of these places (I work next to Little Tokyo.)

              Sushi Gen's sushi is very good and fairly expensive, but their sashimi lunch special outstanding and a bargain. I think that's what draws the crowd, because even when there's a line a mile long for lunch, you can usually be seated at the sushi bar immediately (cuz they don't serve the sashimi special at the sushi bar.) Not even sure it's crowded at night due to the fact you can't get the sashimi special for dinner.

              I found R23 to be good with interesting dishes but very overpriced.

              I had the same experience as Aventinus re Takumi: I found it to be a worthy competitor to Sushi Gen but was/is always so drearily empty haven't been in a long, long time.

              I've been to Sushi Go 55 a few times and did not like it as much as Sushi Gen; but sometimes it's nice to be seated right away at the expense of having an inferior meal. I'm guessing dinner is better at Sushi Gen than at Sushi Go 55 albeit more expensive.

              Izayoi has a sushi bar but I've only had izakaya there, never straight up sushi.

              Sounds like I'll have to give Komasa and Shibucho a try. Are they open for lunch?

              5 Replies
              1. re: chowmominLA
                joanfuentes2000 RE: chowmominLA Sep 10, 2008 05:43 PM

                Sushi Gen and R23 are both really good! Little pricy, but good. Zencu has 1/2 price all day and sushi is okay. Enjoy!!!

                1. re: chowmominLA
                  andytseng RE: chowmominLA Sep 10, 2008 07:53 PM

                  Sushi Gen always has a wait during peak lunch and dinner hours

                  1. re: andytseng
                    Foodandwine RE: andytseng Sep 10, 2008 09:39 PM

                    Look like my Buddy would like to dine at Sushi Go 55 thanks for all your advice and comments..

                    Sushi Go 55
                    333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                    1. re: Foodandwine
                      cls RE: Foodandwine Sep 11, 2008 06:17 AM

                      +1 for Izayoi. Steer clear of Sushi Go 55.
                      Report back.

                      1. re: cls
                        jotfoodie RE: cls Sep 11, 2008 04:19 PM

                        I second to stay away from Sushi Go 55. I have given this place enough opportunities and everytime they just came up short. The fish is tasteless, and nothing to rave about. foodandwine should definitely reconsider.

                2. SecretAsianMan RE: Foodandwine Sep 10, 2008 11:32 PM

                  I have found Sushi Go 55 to be somewhat shopworn and anachronistic.
                  Sushi Gen is a bit too "me too" so therefore, for a nice night out, I'd vote for Izayoi hands down. Extremely good toro and nice selection of rolls.

                  1. n
                    ns1 RE: Foodandwine Sep 11, 2008 08:49 AM

                    I like sushi gen, but I find their itamaes lack soul and want to get you in/out as fast as possible.

                    1. f
                      Famous Blue Raincoat RE: Foodandwine Sep 11, 2008 05:50 PM

                      i've never done omakase at r23, but freinds have told me it's great. the tableside sushi i've had there has been consistently great. go 55 i had a really good meal at, but was shocked by the bill. $80 pp. I thought it was supposed to be a bargain place. i've heard great things about gen.

                      1. Foodandwine RE: Foodandwine Sep 12, 2008 09:52 AM

                        Thanks to all for your comments. I actually had a very nice meal at Sushi Go 55 last evening. My Buddy and I wallked over from 6th and Spring. It was the second Thursday of the month, therefore it was the Artwalk. Lots of people in the streets and a very cool crowd as well. Took in a few gallerys and had a few glasses of wine as well.
                        Sushi Go is in Mall on 3rd and Alameda which has seen its better days. Arrived at 7:30 and when we left there was not a seat open in the place. We sat at a table as the Dinner Menu was not offered at the bar. I had a two level set of Sashmi and it was excellent for $25. My buddy ordered of the sushi menu a la carte and was blown away with my dinner set. He ordered a 10 piece nigiri set after seeing mine. I have been to R 23, Sushi Gen is the last year and of your looking for solid VERY FRESH fish I would go here. I can see it being a bit pricey if you go Omakase ( if thats your thing but the Dinner Sets and Quality was a nice suprise by reading what some of the nay sayers have posted.. Total price was $110 before tip which included $55 in Beer and Sake. For the amount of fish, flavor ( tasted right out of the sea ), price and quality I have a new Go to spot.. I would give this the maximum chopstick award..

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Foodandwine
                          Mr Taster RE: Foodandwine Sep 12, 2008 10:04 AM

                          You've discovered exactly the reason for dining in Little Tokyo. Those combo platters at Sushi Go 55 and Sushi Gen are the entire reason for eating sushi in Little Tokyo. Can you get better fish elsewhere in LA? Undoubtedly... but not for this quality at this price point.

                          I am constantly baffled by the people who recommend the standard, overpriced sushi bars in Little Tokyo where $8 gets you 2 pieces of fish at SG and SG55.

                          Mr Taster

                        2. r
                          roadfix RE: Foodandwine Sep 12, 2008 10:14 AM

                          The bottom line is if your taste buds are not too picky like mine you can enjoy sushi even of mediocre quality.

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