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Oct 31, 2008 03:38 AM

Best Sushi Deal for those Wanting to Tighten their Belts

If those on this board are like me and are trying to conserve cash during this economic downturn, but also still need a quality sushi dining experience to get you through life, then I must guide you to the best place for it: Sushi Masu on Westwood in West LA. I've been eating there for a couple of years now, and must say that it is one of the most fantastic sushi deals in the city. The omakase for 1 comes in at around 30 bucks, and you get huge cuts of some of the freshest, delicious, and most diverse selection of fish that I've come across in this city. And I've been to most of the biggies: Sasabune, Hamasaku, Mori, and Hide. The first 3 are pretty steep when it comes to the bill. Hide is cheap, but I've noticed a decline in quality over the years and for some reason the place is always packed with crowd. In fact, I think I've tasted fresher fish at Masu than some of the more praised joints like Sasabune or even Nozawa. My advice is to sit at the bar under Masu. Don't go for the cooked food or even the rolls. Just the fish. The kampachi, king mackerel, butterfish, white tuna, and leather fish (i've never seen that anywhere else) -- all the best. Not only is he a master of the trade, but he might also be one of the most entertaining people I've ever met. He has a wicked sense of humor and will most certainly chat you up if you can get through his very thick accent. His conversations with me have run the gamut from women's thongs to fairy tale origins to the digestive system. He's a wonderful human being, who cares very much about quality and taste. And I know it sounds like I'm fawning at this point, but if you need another selling point, Masu's also a closet environmentalist (he doesn't advertise it, but he'll explain if you ask him) in the sense that he is conscious about serving fish that are in danger of being overfished like the bluefin. Masu is the real deal, and I can't recommend him highly enough.

Sushi Masu
1911 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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  1. x10

    my goto place for cheap sushi

    me and the wifey usually get out of there for 80-110

    2 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      wait a second, cheap??? at a 110 bucks for two/ i shudder to think of what would be mid-range.

      1. re: kevin

        ~100 is cheap, 150 is midrange, 200+ is high IMHO

        (for 2)

    2. Can't say I feel the same about Masu. My impression after a recent visit. Pleasant sushi bar but does not compare to the likes of Mori. And I thought fish quality at Sasabune was better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sgee

        let's see..

        mori omakase = 75-120pp
        sasabune = same

        masu omakase = 75 - 120 for TWO

      2. I was just there last night, and was about to post something when I read this post. I agree 100%. I sat right in front of him, and was served sublime sushi. My omakase, however, was 51 dollars, though I did eat a lot... Still, considering what I've paid at Sushi Sushi and Mori recently, for the exact same quality (AND smaller pieces no less), Masu is hands-down the spot for excellent fish at very reasonable prices.

        1 Reply
        1. re: arisp

          i just had dinner at masu tonight.

          imho, it is a very nice neighborhood sushi bar that offers solid value for the money,
          definitely NOT sublime, and DEFINITELY NOT anywhere near the quality of sushi sushi or mori.

          masu serves good sushi quality and provides a very pleasant environment and pleasant service at a reasonable price. it's fine for what it is, but there is NO comparison to the high end, much more costly, sushi bars in town.

          fwiw, i believe that a better price/quality/quality ratio is to be had at k-zo in culver city. the price per piece at k-zo is higher but the size of each piece is larger and the quality of the fish is superior.

          masu's charm, and he is charming, can only be found at masu's

        2. sushi don sasabune on laurel on riverside and laurel in the valley. VERY simple, fresh sushi. great prices. Essentially, order the donburi combo. Its a plate of sushi (albacore, yellowtail, tuna, salmon, and one other, i forget). Then, you get a don-buri bowl of rice, topped with any one of the 5 fish. All-in $14 (replace donburi with a cutroll for $4 less). Amazingly fresh fish.
          No tempura, no avocado, no decor. This is where i go when i just need some raw fish in my belly. Quick, cheap, and very clean.

          1. In order to accurately compare what you get for $30 a person at Masu to other places, it would be helpful to know exactly what you're going to be served.

            Something like:
            7 orders of 2 piece sushi, no cooked dishes, no rolls...
            Sashimi instead sometimes ???
            And was this for dinner or for lunch ?
            Not that important but, someplaces throw-in a small basic starter salad and/or a simple dessert of somekind, like a sliced orange.