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Sushi Zo

After another educational morning(couple times a month for years) at the Fish Mkt with Hirosan Urasawa picking out fish for his restaurant I knew I was probably going to be having Sushi for dinner somewhere with Kar.
Long story short, one of the finest Sushi Chefs in W.LA is Keizosan at Sushi Zo. We went around 8pm and the restaurant was packed but we were able to slide into a spot at the corner of the bar. Live Sake to start. Omakase to follow.
Contrary to another Poster he's smiling more than not and is very friendly unless you insult him with silly questions about how fresh his fish is or my favorite like whats fresh today ?
Needless to say we had ANOTHER FANTASTIC OMAKASE DINNER ( $90-ea) and can't think of anywhere other than Urasawa ($275-pp, a bargain for what you receive) we would rather be.

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  1. Urasawa is now $300pp.

    I'll be Zo later this month. Report to follow.

    1. I was just there today for lunch omakase. He greeted me with his usual "nice see you again," and besides me there were about 4-6 other diners around 1 PM. Started out with the oyster, then amberjack and tuna sashimi, and in not quite the right order: spanish mackerel, pompano, bonito (amazingly good), albacore, butterfish, toro (2 pieces), yellowtail, premium mackerel, scallop, monkfish liver, skipjack, golden eye snapper, red striped jack, and I may have missed a couple. The miso soup now comes in a very small cup which is fine by me. Yuzu at the end. I skip the crab handroll, usually. The food was, as usual, outstanding. $60 before tip.

      When I left he wished me a nice weekend. He is certainly friendly enough for me. More importantly my mouth and his fish are very good friends. Some people do think he's a sushi nazi and are now frequenting Hiko in a strip mall on National (around Sawtelle), saying it's as good as Zo, but I can't believe it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: NAspy

        I like Hiko , but it's no Sushi Zo.

      2. I haven't been in a while, but I thought that Keizo was one of the sweetest sushi chefs I'd ever had the pleasure of meeting. I was the only patron at the time, but we talked throughout and he kept me enraptured both by his warmth and especially his sushi. I've been surprised by the occasional posts here that claim that he's a "sushi nazi", and personally can't wait until I have the pleasure of eating there again.

        1. I agree with you this time (unlike Sasabune). Zo and Keizo are sensational. I went again this week and couldn't believe the quality of his fish. And enjoyed his presence as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: epop

            been too long since I've been back to Zo, but probably my favorite sushi place in the city. big fan.

          2. Holy cow, fish market shopping with Urasawa?
            I really need to make another visit to Sushi Zo soon. But feel a great need to try the new/current Katsu first. Wondering if you've been/your thoughts? Don't mean to hijack the thread, just curious.

              1. re: fooddude37

                I thought there was only one in L.A., located downtown, simply known as THE Fish Market?

                1. re: J.L.

                  There are several Wholesale Fish Mkts in downtown LA.
                  The one I'm talking about in this Post is IMP (International Marine, wholesale only) , but I like LA Fish also along with True World. Which are the 3 major ones. If your looking for a small amount of Sushi Grade fish for personal use I recommend Pacific Fresh.

                  1. re: russkar

                    Ah, thanks, I'm familiar with IMP (I work in restaurants) and I just found out about LA Fish, which I'm going to check out soon. Thanks for the info!

                    1. re: russkar

                      True World and IMP have major buyers and contacts at all the big Japan fish markets, from Tsukiji to Kyushu to this place that I can't quite pronounce but sounds like Naira(?).

                      Urasawa has got to have some private buyers working for him (like his former master/mentor Masa) for certain things, I doubt IMP + True World can get absolutely everything.

                      1. re: K K

                        There are buyers at Tsukiji that buy and export for specific clients. It's just a matter of money...

                        1. re: K K

                          KK , Both places can get almost anything and I've seen Giant Bluefin being shipped to Masa NYC from IMP. There are several small downtown Fish Companies that supply specialty items which most of the Chef's go to .

                  2. Although it was only one visit for me (as I don't live in Southern Cal), I'd say Keizo-san kind of falls under that Sushi Nazi / stubborn old man (ganko oyaji) vibe and personality, where within minutes of a customer sitting down and ordering/eating, he can immediately judge and sense whether that person is someone he likes and for lack of better words, a worthy customer (as well as degree of sushi/nigiri eating professionalism/sophistication) or not. Personalities like these are oftentimes prickheaded, but at least they have the results to back it up (sadly Nozawa who does this as a gimmick, and Sasabune don't apply, pre-cut fish blah blah blah, not many varieties etc sorry naysayers).

                    Sad to say that in order to get anywhere remotely near the quality of $90 pp kind of Zo-makase where I live, one must settle for less.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: K K

                      I think it is partly the nature of the experience. Imagine 20 people sitting at your counter as you cook and cut and prepare everything day after day (after going to a fish market at 4 am). The intimacy allowed is quite a gesture. So I thank them for being human. I'd rather have that than the typical restaurant's, "Hi, welcome, so nice to see you." And meanwhile maybe one of the cooks back there that you won't ever see washed his hands today.