Sushi in South Bay, Please help!
- Yakitiyak Jan 2, 2005 08:23 PM
there are so many sushi places in the south bay. I particularly interested in fellow hounds top 3 suggestions in torrance/gardena/redondo/hermosa/manhattan.
Hamma Hermosa for great sushi.
Fusion PCH & Anza for reasonable, good and interesting stuff, spider roll, volcano sushi and some good basics, had a meal for 3 with 2 beers and a large saki for $90
I've discovered a new spot recently and fell in love with the place!! I drove by it for months and then finally took a chance on the hangout...which is what i usually call my favorites! Kanzen sushi in Redondo Beach is a gem! i love sushi...i mean really love it!! and travel all the way up to hollywood to get it!...Not anymore!!! Sound the alarm, b/c this place rocks!!!! They serve these rice wedges with Spicy Tuna, called Crispy and my all time favorite is the Yellowtail with Jalapeno!!...has a bit of a kick to the palate, but, it's Yummmmmmy!!!...oh, and don't forget to order the Molten chocolate cake!!!!...it soooooooooo hits the spot!!!! Like they say @ the sushi bars in Japan!...."Trust Me".
Kazan, in the center at Carson Street and Western in Torrance has always been fresh, friendly and solid. They have a couple of private rooms which always seem to be full of what look to be visiting Japanese execs (Honda, Toyota and many other Japanese companies have Torrance-based operations). Also serve a nice foie gras dish, and yummy desserts, like their Black Sesame Creme Brulee and grapefruit sorbet -- both housemade.
1757 W Carson St Ste L
Torrance, CA 90501
I like Tashiro on Western at Capitol in San Pedro (edge of Palos Verdes). Very fresh, decent-sized servings.
I'm also very partial to Kappo Seafood at Carson and Western, but it's painfully expensive. I was introduced to this place by Japanese business associates, who like it very much.
I will have to second Kanzen in SOUTH redondo beach on torrance blvd. I have been there twice since seeing a suggestion and it is one of the best sushi places in town. poke tuna, sea urchin, sweet shrimp, crispy rice spicy tuna, and a few other goodies makes this place unbeatable in the south bay.
I'm not trying to be an ass here, but I moved to the south bay (PV) about a year ago and have tried every sushi place under the sun. I have to say, I don't think you guys have had decent sushi if you are recommending any of these places. I agree that the prices are substantially lower than in the rest of LA, but so is the quality... CONSISTENTLY.
We travel to west/north LA for places like Sasabune, Echigo, Nozawa, Sushi Sushi, etc... it is a whole different level of quality. The large majority of the Sushi joints in the south bay are also Korean owned. In my experiences, Korean owned/operated sushi restaurants have a completely different approach to their fish, they are much more emphatic on creative rolls and cooked fish entrees. They consistently, however, have lower grade fish than japanese owned places.
I have not had any sushi in the South Bay that even comes close to the quality/presentation of places like Sasabune in Brentwood.
I am open to recommendations and have no problems trying new things, I just have to say, I really doubt, based on my previous experiences, that anything around here is worth a damn. That goes for many of the other types of restaurants as well. The gen pop here supports mediocrity like no other. I've even been worried about parasites/food borne illness from the sushi around here... The south bay definitely has the most sushi places with SUB-A ratings by the LA County Health Authority anywhere in LA.
*(will try kanzen again this weekend)
Have you been to Tsukiji? Definitely Japanese-owned. Have not been in a couple of years, but before the L.A. traffic got so bad, I actually used to drive there from the Westside for sushi, so I obviously thought it was pretty good given the options closer to home. It used to have a very heavily Japanese clientele (usually a good sign).
I am going to have to agree with zkaudio. I love sushi...and have also tried pretty much every sushi place under the sun....the quality in the south bay is consistently lower than the westside for sure. don't get me wrong, I live in the South Bay and I am always open to trying new places. Sushi Delight is a perfect example. When they first opened I thought that the quality was higher than most I've had and I was very excited to find a place that was consistent. But after a few months I could tell they were now buying even lower grade than before and now they were as bad as the rest of the sushi restaurants in the South Bay. I stopped going there. YUK! As far as Tomi sushi, not so good either. REally nothing so far that I have had has been really high quality or very fresh. If I do eat sushi now in the South Bay it will have to be rolls to hide the crappy quality!!!
Kanpachi is Japanese-owned, and I'll take them over any of the "Sushi-snobs" from Brentwood or Sawtelle.
In reponse to zkaudio. First. anyone who suggests most places in the south bay are korean owned loses all credibility with me. Second, I am sure you havent had anything in the south bay like Sasabune because there are probably only 5 places like Sasabune in the entire US (3 of which are in LA)! THird, I HAVE had decent sushi. Ive been to Hide, Echigo, Matsuhisa, Sasabune (super expensive) to name a few, and I came from SF so I have been to some of the better places up there as well. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I have also been to Tokyo. Given that, I still say the south bay has very reasonable sushi options.
Now, you are right, other places in LA have better sushi on "avergae" but the best japanese in LA is the south bay in my opinion. Since you are down here, I HIGHLY recommend that you branch out of the sushi a little and get some real japanese food since you live here now. Take advantage of what this area has to offer and dont try to find a sasabune replacement. If you want to drop 150 bucks anyway, might as well make a night out of it and drive into town and see a show as well or something. I would be alarmed if our "suburb" had WORLD class quality food because if it did, why would anyone have any need to go into the "city"? If we did have a sasabune, it should be enjoyed by the huge metro-foodies, and I would hate for someone to have to drive 45 minutes to the south bay, when LA (brentwood, santa monica, beverly hills, 3rd st., west hollywood, culver city area) is the more approrpiate "central" area.
Anyhow, for nigiri, I still think Tomi is quite decent for me. The albacore, unagi, uni, sweet shrimp, tender octopus, squid, yellowtail and maguro are all pretty decent here. It isnt top tier, but it isnt bad either.
Kanzen is legit in my opinion. If you are in doubt, go on a weekday and order live scallop, live sweet shrimp, and crispy rice anything, or better yet, order something really fancy and see if they are up to the task of making it for you.
You said you will try Kanzen again. What was wrong with it the first time? what did you order there? Was the fish not fresh? Was the selection lacking? Was the presentation poor? Was there a korean serving you?
Anyhow, let us all know how your dinner went.
PS: Seeing how you are a huge sushi fan, I am suprised you wouldnt want to go on a weekday. Sasabune isnt even open on weekends due to freshness issues, especially sundays. If you wouldnt eat Sasabune on a weekend, why would you eat inferior south bay sushi on weekend? Just asking!
Oh yeah, and I forgot to add that the food places here are not as bad as they SEEM. They are definitely B quality, and for a "suburb" they should be just that. The best food in LA county should be centralized in LA and it is. That being said, the food here is quite good for normal eating out. This is not foodie central like SF/berkeley, wine country, centralized LA, NY or chicago, so you shouldnt expect it to be.
I want to help you out since you are new to the area. Give me any cuisine, and I will do my best to give you a few recommendations. You may have to experiment a bit based on your tastes and possible inconsistency in food, but if you are diligent you will be quite surprised. Again, if you want top tier spago, Luqques, Grace, AOC, Hatflied, etc. type food, Im sorry but this is a far-flung burb. The best we have at the top end is unfortunately Avenue and Christine.
let me rate the food places (in my opinion)
Vietnamese A- (suprisingly enough)
Soon Tofu Korean A
Dessert Places B+
Pizza B+ (normalized to LA's standards)
Tasting Menus B+
pastries/coffee shops B
beer selection/Breweris A-
Under my ratings a B is definiely good enough for a routine meal, but nothing spectacular.
Welcome to the South Bay.
Food in PV is horribly lacking.
decent(not necessarily good) pho is pho hana in peninsula center, Italian would be frascati in the Avenue of Peninsula Mall (yes I know its in a mall, and no it is NOT mall food). Il Toscano (inexpensive and decent talian most nights located on Hawthorne on your way down the hill). tallichets in Lunada Bay (average Italian good but with GREAT NY pizza). Donald Trump Golf Club (good breakfast, I heard lunch is good, and brunch is their claim to fame at 50 bucks a head). Christine is also on Hawthonre down the hill (decet pan asian themed tasting menu). Papadikas Taverna in San Pedro is great for greek, not too far from PV. The Riviera Village also has decent Italian with Buona Sera. It also has good chinese-fusion in Gina Lees Bistro. Japonica is a cool japanese sake lounge definintely worth checking out for its atmosphere just north of the village.
That is about all I know of in the immediate vicinty of PV. Everything else is off the hill and down a ways. PV is notoriously short on food options.
I must be misreading your post. Did you...did you actually recommend "Japonica" ?...seriously ?...I ate there about a year and a half ago...honestly, worst meal ever...even their desserts, which were store bought, were stale...you were making some real good points before that...but the second I saw Japonica...I literally had to register an account and warn people away from there. Seriously.
I'm not impressed with Fusion Sushi for some reason. I used to LOVE Penny Lane in MB, fresh sushi, and perfect rice! But the last time I went I didn't love it :( My new favorite is Sushi Duke at Hermosa/2nd. Decent sushi and happy hour - 1/2 price sushi from 5:30 -6:30 Tues - Fri. Just don't eat the banana crepe.
Man, Kanzen i think changed to something else.....the peeps who were there, are no longer serving.....what's up?? i think, some people bailed.....bummer, it was my favorite spot.....i don't know what's to come of that place....i guess, i got to look for another hangout....upsetting since it was sooooooo yummmy.....
Kanzen changed already?!? Why? They were very good. Maybe I should go there for dinner tonight and check it out. I hope it isnt true. That was my destination sushi place. I have no where else to go now! And it was so close to home!!! CRAP. Well, I am going to go tonight to check it out.
Well it is confirmed. I just went and Kanzen is effectively gone. I do not understand it. They got so much press so fast. Especially in the south bay. They would have had a sushi monopoly down here. It makes no sense. There were other couples in the restaurant that were just as confused as I was. I am VERY dissappointed. Kanzen was top tier sushi, and now the south bay has nothing but second rate sushi. Still very good, but not top notch. Today is just not a good day.
I've searched on the board for Miura and only a few entries displayed. All of which are 1 line references yielding no further discussion.
On a recommendation by my Japanese co-worker (thank you Chieko-san!) out of my entirely Japanese office, I chose Miura for omakase over Kanpachi/Sen Nari/Kamiyama. Have had Sushi Bei/Tsukiji/Sushi Ken in the Southbay recently and I wanted more variety/depth.
Strangely enough, the omakase menu (ala Tama) is pre-set. $60 for the full sashimi/cooked menu, $40 for the sashimi/sushi menu only. No blue crab roll to be found. Nearly crunchy young yellowtail was a bit shocking to my senses but a nice deviation from everyday offerings. Ocha steamed squid was soft and a nice opposition to the giant clams.The scallops as well as the Spanish mackerel tasted just about perfect. And watching the ebi being shelled alive right out of the tank beneath the bar made all of our day. (Shrimp head served 2 ways, fried or in miso soup)
The fluffy egg custard was better than anything I can whip out at home while the mushy/slimey seaweed app smelled of wonderful yuzu. Ryo-san advised his rice is brown-ish due to use of dark vinegar and brown sugar. "Traditional" he says.
Bottom line: 2.5 hours of omakase happiness interjected with pleasant conversation with a neighboring frequent solo diner. $60 isn't typical of Southbay prices, but it is definitely a cut above Sushi Ken, my current budget sushi haunt.
2040 Pacific Coast Hwy
Lomita, CA 90717