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Fresh fresh fish for a sushi fanatic

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Hi guys, I know we have a ton of Sushi places in L.A, but I'm trying to narrow down the choices.

I want to take my boyfriend to a new place that will offer sushi that is melts-on-the-tongue fresh. We're on the west side so anywhere from Venice to Brentwood would be cool. We are definitely sushi connoisseurs but we do operate on a budget. Can any of you chowhounders recommend a place that has really good sashimi for about $50- $60 per person.

I hear a lot about Hide which is close to my house, but I'm not sure its the right atmosphere for a romantic birthday dinner. I would definitely chose quality of fish over atmosphere, but a little bit of both would be nice!

We're going on Tuesday, so hopefully we can avoid weekend overcrowding.

Thanks!

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  1. Sasabune in SM on WIlshire is very fresh, in fact they don't open on SAT & SUN because the fish market is not open then. The Omakase is worth the money!

    4 Replies
    1. re: minnieeatworld

      You do realize many sushi grade fish is frozen first.

      1. re: fourunder

        I imagine sometimes it has to be, but I am hoping for something that is very very fresh. i have been to a lot of places in L.A. and I have learned to recognize different textures and flavors that come with varying degrees of freshness.

      2. re: minnieeatworld

        Sasabune is great but probably a tad over their budget on the Omakase. Sushi Sushi on Beverly Drive (just north of Olympic) is very good a on budget.

        1. re: BSW6490

          Thanks for the recommendation. I really like the reviews of Sushi Sushi, and its ranking high my list at the moment. Do you think a reservation is necessary?

      3. With the budget you've proposed, it would cost too much to try:
        Urasawa
        Mori
        Sushi Zo
        The Hump
        Kiriko
        and maybe even Sasabune...

        So, we have narrowed it down to:
        Sushi Masu (on Westwood Blvd.)
        Place Yuu (on Sawtelle) - it's an izakaya with excellent sushi
        Hide Sushi (on Sawtelle)
        Hamasaku (on Santa Monica) - known for being a "roll factory", its sushi should be good too
        Bar Hayama (on Sawtelle)- more of a "generalist" Japanese restaurant, but their sashimi was good, as I recall.

        I cannot vouch for U-Zen or En Sushi (both on Santa Monica), but I have tried Sushi King (on Wilshire) - it's OK...

        Good luck!

        12 Replies
        1. re: J.L.

          Thanks J.L. Do you have a personal favorite from this list?

          1. re: taina622

            Place Yuu & Bar Hayama should do the birthday dinner trick for you guys on a Tuesday night.

          2. re: J.L.

            when my friends and i go to hamasuku for sushi, it runs over $60/pp all in.
            i would imagine that for sashimi i may cost a bit more. . .

            1. re: westsidegal

              Yeah, Hamasaku is on the very border of what the original poster is willing to pay.

              1. re: J.L.

                Sushi Masu on Westwood blvd. has great fish and you can do an omakase for that price just let Masu know. At the end he also makes a really nice fruit platter for you.

                1. re: trojans

                  Masu is casual, and he has "off days" on occasion, when I've gone. I think that, for a B-day, you want a higher chance of a good experience.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Thanks everyone I appreciate your comments. I have been leaning towards Masu, but my worries are that it is too casual and perhaps not a guarantee. I've seen great reviews for Sasabune, but am afraid of ending up with a $200 bill.

                    1. re: taina622

                      correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't sasabune the place where they preslice the fish?

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Yep, presliced fish, is it still fresh and good? i think so, zo is probably better though

            2. re: J.L.

              That budget is problematic. If you were doing a lunch, Kiriko's omakase lunch special would work. I think Kiriko has much better fish than Hide and Sasabune. Depending on what you order, you might be able to do a dinner in that range. I took a group there and most of the people were mainly interested in tuna, salmon, yellowtail, etc. (i.e., not particularly exotic), though I did add seared toro and blue crab rolls. I think we averaged just about $50 including tax and tip. So I think it depends on how much you eat and what you select.

              One thing you might consider is calling the restaurant you want to try and explain the circumstances, and asking if they can do an omakase for $$40-50 per person -- bearing in mind that the fish is likely to be less expensive cuts and extras like drinks and dessert (and any additional fish) will not be not part of that cost. On a Tuesday night, when there probably are not people lined up for seats, the restaurant might accommodate you.

              1. re: Jwsel

                if you do the standard kiriko lunch special, be aware that after they have served you the fish on the special, they don't necessarily tell you that the special has ended and that you will be charged more money if you continue to eat.. . .
                the last time i was there for the lunch omakase, the bill was a surprise. ..

                1. re: Jwsel

                  The words "sushi" and "inexpensive" are tough to put in the same sentence, so it seems...

              2. A bit further east at La Cienega and San VIcente is Haru, ITHis is my current favorite for the quality to price ratio. it;s casual, it certainly more romantic and I think better than Hide. I enjoy it much more than Kiriko.

                Haru Sushi & Roll Cafe
                480 S San Vicente Blvd
                Los Angeles, CA 90048
                (323) 782-0547

                1. Hirozen on Beverly would be an excellent choice and I believe within your budget if you are careful with ordering. I am looking forward to eating there next week while on a business trip. Have fun!

                  1. You claim to be sushi consoisseurs, yet you don't mention any restaurants you've been to...a little confused here...

                    At your budget, I would get on the freeway and go order the sashimi deluxe @ Sushi Gen...a fabulous sashimi plate, with miso, little apps, tempura and side of rice is about $25 or so. that will leave plenty for beer and any a la carte additions. Or, you could just order the Sashimi plate and go twice!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: manku

                      sushi gen is just not that great al all.

                      1. re: manku

                        I have to admit, the BF usually takes me somewhere and what he can afford is much higher quality than what I can afford. So I am trying to treat him to something nice that is within my budget and hopefully within his taste.

                      2. how about making a trek down to gardena/torrance? places like kanpachi, sushi ken, miura, etc all have fantastic omakases that start in the $35pp range.

                        if not, i'd recommend sushi masu on westwood. i've never had an "off day" there and i love that they are walking distance from my house.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wilafur

                          fwiw, if taina622 can afford sushi sushi, imho, the food there is far superior to that served at masu.
                          clearly, though, sushi sushi is likely to be more expensive.

                        2. sushi dokoro kirala...there's a $65 dollar sushi omakase. 5% discount if you pay cash. You can also order a la carte. They have a few really good nobuish dishes that you can order a la carte like scallop with truffle and truffle oil, yellowtail with avocado, etc.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: peppermonkey

                            http://www.sushikirala.com/main_welco...

                            1. re: peppermonkey

                              Oh yeah, that place always slips my memory banks, for no good reason...

                              1. re: J.L.

                                You guys are great! now I don't know which one I want to go to. I think, to keep the price down, I may want to order Chirashi rather than Omakase. So my final question would be which one has the better asthetic for a romantic dinner, Dokoro Kirala or Sushi Sushi? Thanks again for all the wonderful suggestions!

                                1. re: taina622

                                  never been to sushi sushi....but kirala is somewhat of a cement box... the decor is clean and simple...i never really pay much attention though since i'm always at the bar....if you go, do me a favor. tell them to bring back the yuzu sorbet

                                  1. re: peppermonkey

                                    Lots of earth tones & wood, in terms of decor, at Sushi Sushi....

                            2. Thanks so much for all the recommendations everyone. I chose to go to Dokoro Kirala in Beverly Hills and it was absolutely perfect. My bill came to $120 after tax and tip and my boyfriend is still daydreaming about how good the Salmon sashimi was.

                              Their carpaccio's are exquisite! Service was friendly and the atmosphere was perfect for a romantic but not too fancy date night. I will definitely go back.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: taina622

                                glad you liked it....next you gotta try their course omakase....so you can get the scallop with truffle, the seared salmon sushi with it's babies on top (salmon roe), the still quivering amaebi, fried oyster with truffle, etc