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Aug 18, 2009 10:58 PM

Help - Casual sushi on the West Side

Hi There,

Former LA resident coming back to down for business. Trying to find a casual, but solid sushi spot on the west side. Doesn't need to be out of this world good. Just fresh, tasty sushi in a relaxed atmosphere. Sakura on Centinela was my old standby. Are there others in that vein nearby?


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  1. k-zo in culver city.
    on washington blvd shares bldg and pkg lot with trader joes.
    they take reservations

    1. Hamakaze on Washington on the culver city / venice line, near costco, is supposed to be decent.

      1. masu on westwood blvd.

        1. I like going to Sushi Karen, which is Culver City on Washington, just west of Overland on the south side of the street. Low key atmosphere with a very nice wait staff (I'm partial to them because they like and welcome my kids). Not world class sushi, but it is always solid, the fish is always fresh, and it always scratches the itch. They always have some nice sashimi specials going.

          The only negative I have about the place is that it can smell a little fishy some times, which almost caused me to walk out the first time I went in there, but I'm glad I stayed. I've never had a less than fresh piece of fish there and they actually serve really good uni.

          2 Replies
          1. re: GuidoTKP

            i respectfully disagree with the sushi karen recommendation.
            went there once.
            the fish was awful/not fresh and the place itself had a weird smell.

            i will not set foot in there again. borderline between bad and disgusting.. .

            1. re: westsidegal

              Sorry you had a bad experience there. I eat there a lot and just haven't had anything like that experience (other than the smell issue, which I kind of agree with).

              I'm a pretty serious sushi hound. I've done a lot of omakase at Hiko Sushi, Sushi Zo, Mori, Teru Sushi, Katsu-Ya, etc. My favorite sushi hang when I lived in the valley was Omino Sushi. I've eaten at Urasawa. I wouldn't put Sushi Karen on par with any of those places, but I certainly put it in the category of "Quality Good Enough For Me To Frequent Often" for a quick, low-fuss meal with my wife and small kids who are not serious sushi fanatics (although, their cravings for the raw fish are growing).

              I do wish they would address the slight funk you can frequently detect when you walk in. It is not confidence building. ;-)

          2. I second Sushi Masu. It is the definition of casual and cool. Masu is unpretentious and the focus is on the fish - fresh and delicious rather than on rolls. Give it a try (it's not too expensive either for the quality)! Plus, Masu himself is hilarious, so be sure to sit at the bar.

            Sushi Masu
            1911 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

            13 Replies
            1. re: bucktown

              We loved Sushi Masu -- but be prepared to spend.
              It is "casual, solid, on the West side, fresh, tasty and relaxed" as the original poster, rskubic, has requested, but it is not inexpensive. You will, however, find the experience to be really good!

              1. re: liu

                my last few meals at masu were roughly $90 for two, pre tip. not too shabby.

                1. re: wilafur

                  wilafur, I believe that is about what we spent -- with perhaps one sake or beer (I don't recall).
                  For the quality of sushi and the overall experience, we did not consider Masu to be way overpriced. However, I would not place it in a list of inexpensive sushi bars.

                  1. re: liu

                    compared to what?
                    i don't believe that sakura on centinela, to which the op referred, is any less expensive.
                    although i am not a fan of masu, certainly the prices were in line.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Sorry, westsidegal, I'm not sure what you are asking.
                      Also, what is it about Sushi Masu that you don't like?

                      We were there only once. It is not the prettiest bar; I do prefer a more modern, better lit open space, but the sushi was very good-to-really good! It was a Saturday night, the bar was full and the chef was excited to serve us some very fine fish.

                      1. re: liu

                        i was primarily responding to liu; i was trying to say that i didn't feel that the prices at masu were at all high, i thought that they were very reasonable.

                        my feeling about masu was that the quality of the fish and the pricing associated with it wasn't good enough to motivate me to drive there from playa del rey. i don't dislike the place, if they were located near me, i'd probably be there regularly.

                        fwiw, to me, the fish and deal offered at hide is definitely worth the drive
                        and the fish and deal offered at k-zo is definitely worth the drive, although it should be mentioned that k-zo is more expensive than hide and a bit more expensive than masu.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Thanks, westsidegal, for all your clarifications!

                          I did not think the prices at Masu were high for the quality of fish that was served us. However, I must add here that I originally (maybe a year ago) saw Masu written up in a post seeking inexpensive sushi. When we went there, we were half-expecting (although we have learned from experience not even to half-expect when the subject is sushi!) that the pricing at Masu was on the order of Noshi or the Hide on Sawtelle of years ago. Thus is my comment about not placing it on a list with other inexpensive sushi restaurants -- of which there are many, some better than others.

                          I completely understand your comments about having to factor in the driving distance when considering your target restaurant. Yes, Zo is worth the drive. We used to enjoy Hide many years ago as a destination sushi bar; recently we have found it to be inconsistent. When Hide is good, it is still very good; yet, Hide is not as inexpensive as it used to be. I don't mind paying when it is good, but I sometimes leave Hide feeling as though I should have gone elsewhere for the dollar.

                          1. re: liu

                            Liu, one comment. When you say "Yes, Zo is worth the drive." be aware that Westsidegal is recommending K-Zo, which is a completely different and unrelated restaurant to Sushi Zo (even though they are roughly in the same general area - geographically speaking).

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Whoops...thanks, Servorg, for pointing this out.

                              1. re: liu

                                No worries. I am willing to bet that you'll get the chance to correct someone else at a future point making the same (easy to make) mistake. What are the odds of two sushi places in close proximity with only one letter difference in their names? Talk about built in confusion.

              2. re: bucktown

                3rd the rec for Sushi Masu. Laid back, awesome service and excellent fish at a reasonable price.

                Kiriko has incredible food, but the service is so poor (based on multiple meals) I can't recommend it.

                1. re: vinosnob

                  Yeah, what is with the service at Kiriko? It's like they employ a team of autistics.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Strange, I've never had service issues at Kiriko. And I've gone there like 10+ times!