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Can't afford Ursawa

samiam123 Sep 9, 2008 04:12 PM

What's the next best Sushi restaurant-around $100-$125 a person.

  1. Servorg Sep 9, 2008 04:21 PM


    1. s
      silverlakebodhisattva Sep 9, 2008 04:25 PM

      Depends on what you're looking for. If traditional sushi, (i.e., NOT Nobu or his disciples) there's going to be a lot of flack about this, but I'd stick to places about which there's some uniformity of opinion. Nozawa, for instance, while it gets a lot of love (or hype) also gets a lot of hate (or justifiable criticism for the hype). I'd skip it.

      You could do VERY nicely at a number of places in J-Town for omakase at $100 per; heck, I think you might even get out of Shibucho (the LA one) at that number. . .

      1. s
        slacker Sep 9, 2008 05:01 PM

        Mori or Zo.

        3 Replies
        1. re: slacker
          NAspy Sep 9, 2008 09:07 PM

          Zo is wonderful for straight on nigiri sushi -- wide selection of fish, very high quality. You will not get any cut rolls or hot dishes (other than a seared butterfish), and some are put off by the by what may be perceived as a rigid attitude on the part of the sushi chef (he tells you whether or not you can put soy sauce on your fish).

          I haven't been to Mori but I understand there is more of a variety of types of dishes and the atmosphere seems to be more relaxed.

          I haven't been to

          1. re: NAspy
            slacker Sep 10, 2008 12:59 PM

            Agree about Zo. The Mori omakase includes some cooked items, and we had a soup. To me, Mori has the edge on creativity. They also have an incredible type of nori they use for the handroll. And Zo is the sushi purist's dream.

            In terms of atmosphere, I felt more relaxed at Mori, although the hostess was pretty stern. There is no soy sauce in sight, so you don't even have the option. :)

            1. re: slacker
              foodiemahoodie Oct 20, 2008 02:02 AM

              "There is no soy sauce in sight, so you don't even have the option. :)"

              Maybe you were kidding, but they definitely have soy sauce there. Mori tells you when soy is recommend (on regulard sushi), but there are some with comes with a "sauce" - and he says no. And he's right - it would be too salty.

        2. SecretAsianMan Sep 9, 2008 05:23 PM

          Agreed with SilverLake. For that money, you could have a bang-up time at Izayoi. I've always loved their sushi---Master is discerning and skillful.

          1. c
            cls Sep 9, 2008 05:27 PM

            There's no one answer.
            My advice is get to know your chef and you will find the "best" sushi restaurant.

            13 Replies
            1. re: cls
              RicRios Sep 9, 2008 05:32 PM


              1. re: cls
                AAQjr Sep 9, 2008 06:28 PM

                I never did get the idea of ordering omakase at a place you're are not a regular at.

                1. re: AAQjr
                  samiam123 Sep 9, 2008 08:24 PM

                  I'm coming in from New York so I won't be getting to know our sushi chef-this is a one night only LA sushi experience.

                  1. re: samiam123
                    Porthos Sep 9, 2008 08:52 PM

                    Skip them all. Nothing beats Yasuda in the the $100-$125 range.

                    1. re: Porthos
                      J.L. Sep 12, 2008 04:52 PM

                      Uhhh, but we're on the L.A. board, not NYC.

                      1. re: J.L.
                        Porthos Sep 13, 2008 01:39 AM

                        Yes, but the OP is from NYC.

                      2. re: Porthos
                        westsidegal Aug 30, 2011 02:27 PM

                        my NYC friend who frequents Yasuda, likes Zo's food better.
                        i know this is a matter of opinion, but in the 20 years i've known this guy, he has always had exquisite taste. . . . .

                        thankfully for me, when he travels to LA, he normally will treat me to Zo. Sometimes the route is directly from LAX to Zo -- no stopping on the way.

                        1. re: westsidegal
                          Porthos Aug 30, 2011 02:46 PM

                          Like you said, it depends on taste. Yasuda is like Mori and Urasawa in style but with more selection.

                          If you like more sauce on your sushi, Zo is definitely your preference.

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

                      3. re: samiam123
                        cls Sep 10, 2008 06:50 AM

                        Best of luck then sorting through everyone's opinions. You will get a better answer if you say where in LA, and what you like.

                    2. re: cls
                      PlatypusJ Sep 9, 2008 09:05 PM

                      That's a fine "feel good" answer, but to the OP, go to Sushi Zo. You'll be happy.

                      1. re: PlatypusJ
                        cls Sep 10, 2008 06:54 AM

                        Not a feel good answer at all. It's an impossible question and considering how many have trashed Zo in a recent thread, your answer is as likely wrong as it is right. It's a bit like asking for the best restaurant in LA, what are the criteria?

                        1. re: cls
                          PlatypusJ Sep 17, 2008 03:54 PM

                          The criteria are (1) sushi and (2) $100-$125 per person. Answer = Zo.

                          1. re: PlatypusJ
                            westsidegal Sep 17, 2008 04:00 PM

                            COMPLETELY concur with you, platypus.

                    3. m
                      manku Sep 10, 2008 10:24 AM

                      Not Sushi, per se, but Asanebo in Studio City is my favorite "raw fish" Japanese restaurant in town. I've usually spent around $150 pp with a couple glasses of sake pp.

                      Never had the sushi there...just sashimi and various cooked and creative dishes.

                      I also really like Yu-n-Mi in Beverly Hills, which gets very little mention on this board. Never had a poor piece of fish, fun BH vibe for an out of towner, very creative sushi - not traditional at all. Figure on $100 pp, with alcohol.

                      Only been to Zo once, but the location I find so dreary that I really don't want to return (not that Asanebo is much better, but at least it's on Ventura Blvd and has valet parking).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: manku
                        Servorg Sep 10, 2008 10:50 AM

                        Not sure what you mean by Zo being "dreary?" It is the typical Japanese "elegant through simplicity" as far as the interior is concerned. And not having to valet park and ransom my car back, but instead having plenty of free parking, is a real plus as far as I am concerned.

                        1. re: Servorg
                          SecretHeadquarters Sep 10, 2008 12:59 PM

                          Zo does have a pretty cold ambiance and interior. Comparatively speaking to say something like Kiriko which is also elegantly simple, but has a much warmer feel to it upon entering with wood tones rather than concrete.

                          1. re: Servorg
                            slacker Sep 10, 2008 01:02 PM

                            Plenty of free parking trumps valet parking for sure.

                        2. j
                          JE33 Sep 10, 2008 11:08 AM

                          i had omakase at sushi seki in nyc last week and found it to be very similar to sushi zo in terms of the style and the offerings. so if you like sushi seki, you might want to try zo. Also i would say to consider mori and the hump in santa monica.

                          if you want the "one night la sushi experience" then you should probably go to hamasaku in west la.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: JE33
                            westsidegal Sep 10, 2008 12:49 PM

                            if you can't afford urasawa, you can't afford the hump.
                            many people report that the hump has cost them upwards from $500/pp.

                            also, i've NEVER gotten out of mori within the budget that samiam specified.

                            1. re: westsidegal
                              JE33 Sep 10, 2008 03:34 PM

                              urasawa only serves the one tasting menu at the one set price. I have been to the hump a dozen times and it has never been $500pp or even $200pp. That must be for the omakase. The same goes for Mori. I have not been there as many times as the hump, but i still think it should not be a problem to have a nice LA sushi experience for $125pp.

                              I suppose that, with enough determination and resolve, you can probably spend $500pp anywhere. I just don't see it happen as often as others apparently do.

                              1. re: JE33
                                westsidegal Sep 10, 2008 05:17 PM

                                yes, it was for the omakase each time.
                                for that amount of money, urasawa is a better and a less expensive choice.
                                at any restaurant, there is normally a difference between the price of a 'nice LA sushi experience' and an omakase.
                                i assumed, because of the reference to urasawa, that samiam was interested in an omakase experience--maybe i was wrong.

                                1. re: JE33
                                  ns1 Sep 17, 2008 04:13 PM

                                  A search of yelp for "the hump" will quickly reveal that it is quite common

                            2. SauceSupreme Sep 10, 2008 01:16 PM

                              As a former Hollywood resident, my vote is for SUSHI IKE.

                              1. r
                                rvd72 Sep 12, 2008 11:18 AM

                                for what it's worth, i also recommend Zo. it's where i always go for great nigiri sushi when i don't have the funds to go to urasawa. i like Zo more than hiko, mori, etc.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rvd72
                                  russkar Sep 17, 2008 09:03 PM


                                2. J.L. Aug 30, 2011 12:16 PM

                                  New (Chow-worthy) contender:


                                  Their 9-course menu is within your price point, but the full Modern Kaiseki menu at n/naka will run you $165 pp.

                                  3455 S. Overland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034

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