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Apr 20, 2009 02:14 PM

LA Sushi Neophyte Seeks Gentle Guidance

Hi.. I’ll be visiting LA this week, and while I love sushi, I’m not great at ordering it, and find the LA sushi scene particularly perplexing.

I’d love to find a place where the servers/chefs make good recommendations and where I won’t get laughed out of the place if I want a spicy tuna roll. Preferably, this place is pretty affordable, or at least offers good value.

So far in LA I’ve been to Saito’s Sushi, Ike and Nozawa (no gentle guidance there, ha!) Any other ideas appreciated.

Am Silver Lake-based, but will travel within reason.

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  1. For sushi neophytes, I recommend Bar Hayama on Sawtelle Blvd in West LA. Toshi Sugiura and his staff has always been about educating people about sushi. It's not cheap, but they will treat you well. They even have a sushi school to teach you how to make your own sushi.

    1. Try Toro Sushi in Alhambra.

      Those guys are super friendly and unpretentious. Good rolls, too.

      1. You should stay away from "traditional" sushi bars. To simplify matters, There are traditional and non-traditional Sushi bars. Traditional sushi bars stick to serving sushi as it is served in Japan. No California rolls, no spicy tuna rolls, no spider rolls, no rainbow rolls, etc. Those kinds of rolls were created in the US. The good news is that most sushi bars are non-traditional so you can go to most sushi bars, get good service and order all the rolls you want. The traditional sushi bars that I know of in your area are Nozawa, Asenabo, Sushi Nishi-ya, and Sushi Gen in little Tokyo. Try the sushi bars in Glendale along or near Brand blvd. They are close and plentiful. None are traditional or maybe another hound can recommend their favorite sushi bar in Glendale.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bgazindad

          Go with Ike or Gen. Both fit all your needs: good value, (fairly) Silver Lake adjacent, helpful knife-wielders, can-get-spicy-tuna-rolls-without-ridicule.
          Downside is both do get crowded and often have waits.