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Sushi in South Bay, Please help!

Yakitiyak Jan 2, 2005 08:23 PM

HI, Hounds:

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.

thanks much.

  1. kealoha Aug 27, 2007 12:53 AM

    momoyama in redondo beach, or japonica in redondo beach

    1 Reply
    1. re: kealoha
      TonyC Sep 2, 2007 06:11 PM

      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.

      Restaurant Miura
      2040 Pacific Coast Hwy
      Lomita, CA 90717
      (310) 325-1461

    2. z
      zkaudio Feb 25, 2007 03:55 PM

      Tried Sushi Ken last week... not bad, but not good. Again, the curse of the south bay... oh, and make sure if you order omakase that you are ok with eating salmon eggs, baby squid, etc, more variety than your standard nigiri selection.

      3 Replies
      1. re: zkaudio
        westsidegal Aug 26, 2007 11:08 PM

        have to agree about sushi ken.
        at that price point, imho, hide does a better job.
        i so WANTED to like it more than i did because it is so much more convenient for me than is the westside.
        will still end up going there again because of the convenience factor.

        1. re: westsidegal
          Fat Billie Aug 26, 2007 11:11 PM

          Sushi Bei


        2. re: zkaudio
          mstinawu Jan 22, 2008 12:36 PM

          I love sushi ken. It's where I go for fresh, simple, no hassle, great sushi. Nothing fancy there and yes it's a bit on the pricey side, but I think the quality of the ingredients they use there more than make up for it.

        3. m
          modelseat Jan 31, 2007 01:31 PM

          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.....

          2 Replies
          1. re: modelseat
            jlrobe Jan 31, 2007 05:39 PM

            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.

            1. re: modelseat
              jlrobe Jan 31, 2007 08:54 PM

              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.

            2. b
              beachturbo Jan 28, 2007 10:47 PM

              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.

              1. j
                jlrobe Jan 28, 2007 04:04 PM

                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)
                Chinese B-
                Korean B
                Vietnamese A- (suprisingly enough)
                Soon Tofu Korean A
                Japanese A
                Dessert Places B+
                Italian B+
                Indian A-
                French B-
                Pizza B+ (normalized to LA's standards)
                Fusion B
                Tasting Menus B+
                Greek A-
                breakfast A
                Lunch A-
                Mexican C-
                Thai 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.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jlrobe
                  JPeckinpah Feb 1, 2007 04:01 PM

                  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.

                2. j
                  jlrobe Jan 28, 2007 03:19 PM

                  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!

                  1. c
                    calabasas_trafalgar Jan 26, 2007 10:37 AM

                    Kanpachi is Japanese-owned, and I'll take them over any of the "Sushi-snobs" from Brentwood or Sawtelle.

                    1. z
                      zkaudio Jan 25, 2007 06:36 PM

                      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.

                      my .02c

                      *(will try kanzen again this weekend)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: zkaudio
                        omotosando Jan 28, 2007 11:06 PM

                        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).

                        1. re: zkaudio
                          andydisa Aug 26, 2007 09:28 PM

                          i wholeheartedly agree that i dont think the south bay'ers have had GREAT sushi. growing up in the south bay, I have never found a spot that comes close to anything in west la.

                          1. re: zkaudio
                            Lovesushi Sep 2, 2007 05:47 PM

                            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!!!

                          2. m
                            mongogirl Jan 9, 2007 06:20 PM

                            I live in the Southbay and have tried a lot of sushi places in LA and Kanzen is one of my favorites. They don't use frozen fish like other places and still charge Southbay prices.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mongogirl
                              mstinawu Jan 9, 2007 06:52 PM

                              Southbay sushi prices are the best! =D I moved to the area many months ago and have tried a few places, but not Kanzan! I will put that on my "to do" list of sushi places to try in the area.

                            2. mstinawu Jan 8, 2007 04:23 PM

                              If you want good, cheap-ish take out sushi--I suggest Sakae Sushi in Gardena. It's a small mom and pop operation that makes about 6 or 7 different kinds of non-raw sushi everyday.

                              1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd #112
                              Gardena, CA 90247
                              (310) 532-4550

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mstinawu
                                calabasas_trafalgar Jan 8, 2007 07:53 PM

                                A great place for rolls like Futomaki, California rolls, etc.

                              2. omotosando Jan 8, 2007 06:35 AM

                                Anyone been to Tsukiji in Gardena lately? I used to love that place, but with the traffic in L.A. getting worse every year, I never head down to the South Bay for sushi anymore and haven't been in a couple of years.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: omotosando
                                  Lau Feb 1, 2007 02:14 PM

                                  how is Tsukiji? I went there a long time ago and liked it back then, but that was a long time ago

                                2. j
                                  jlrobe Jan 8, 2007 06:03 AM

                                  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.

                                  1. t
                                    Tony Miller Jan 7, 2007 08:38 AM

                                    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.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Tony Miller
                                      mstinawu Jan 8, 2007 04:25 PM

                                      I second Kappo, but I also agree that it's just way too expensive.

                                    2. xhotelie Jan 7, 2007 03:17 AM

                                      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.

                                      Kazan Restaurant
                                      1757 W Carson St Ste L
                                      Torrance, CA 90501
                                      (310) 320-5511

                                      1. m
                                        modelseat Jan 6, 2007 08:40 PM

                                        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".

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: modelseat
                                          lcoyote Jan 12, 2007 10:28 PM

                                          Sounds good...Torrance and what street?

                                          1. re: lcoyote
                                            calabasas_trafalgar Jan 25, 2007 03:19 PM

                                            On Artesia between Vermont and Western

                                            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                              akalil5 Jan 15, 2008 06:59 PM

                                              sounds good. thanks. will try it out sometime

                                        2. c
                                          calabasas_trafalgar Dec 11, 2006 11:22 PM

                                          Kanpachi on Artesia in Gardena

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                            Tkn Jan 8, 2007 07:31 AM

                                            Is this place still open? I used to love Kanpachi! But then, there was a period of time (2-3yrs ago) when they were always closed on odd days, so I just assumed they closed down completely.

                                            1. re: Tkn
                                              calabasas_trafalgar Jan 8, 2007 04:17 PM

                                              Yeah they are closed on odd days during the week, but still going strong. I was last there over the Thanksgiving weekend.

                                            2. re: calabasas_trafalgar
                                              mpken Jan 9, 2007 01:05 AM

                                              Love Kanpachi Sushi for lunch. One Stamina Bowl please!

                                              1. re: mpken
                                                mstinawu Jan 9, 2007 04:25 PM

                                                Yea my boyfriend loves Kanpachi but I don't find anything too great about it. It's a not bad lunch place though.

                                            3. b
                                              biggplayer Dec 11, 2006 08:59 PM

                                              There is a place in REdondo beach called Kanzen, the food is hands down the best in the southbay. No joke, simply the best sushi I have had since I moves out of LA. Very creative and super fresh. It is on Torrance Blvd in a little strip mall, check it out, you won't be let down

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: biggplayer
                                                Rizza Jan 8, 2007 08:41 PM

                                                This is about 1/2 mile from my house...I've been so curious. Can't wait to try it out. Did you get omakasa?

                                              2. j
                                                JPups Jan 3, 2005 05:55 PM

                                                Kamiyama Sushi in Lomita - hands down the best in the South Bay. Chef/Owner Travis is creative, personal, and does not gouge his customers. It's the only sushi I eat in the South Bay anymore.

                                                The Lomita location is dine-in.
                                                The Manhattan Beach location is catering/take-out only.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: JPups
                                                  coffee_addict Jan 9, 2007 12:52 AM

                                                  Is the same place as Kotosh at Kamiyama in Lomita? If so - it's awesome! They also have really good Peruvian food.

                                                2. m
                                                  MPKen Jan 3, 2005 02:56 PM

                                                  I've always had fine meals at Sen Nari on Western and 182nd om Gardena.

                                                  Sen Nari Sushi Restaurant
                                                  18220 South Western Ave
                                                  Gardena, CA 90248
                                                  (310) 324-1970

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: MPKen
                                                    Sgee Jan 7, 2007 09:25 AM

                                                    2nd Sen Nari, had a good meal there last weekend. Standouts were abalone sashimi, mentaiko gunkan sushi, anago and ankimo.

                                                    1. re: Sgee
                                                      tuttifrutti Jan 8, 2007 03:20 PM

                                                      awesome sushi here!

                                                  2. c
                                                    Christine Jan 3, 2005 11:13 AM

                                                    I haven't been in a few months, but I've always liked Hakone Sushi in Torrance on Sepulveda Boulevard.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Christine
                                                      mstinawu Jan 8, 2007 04:21 PM

                                                      I've been there a few times, but only because co-workers made me go. Overall, I'd say that place is very inconsistent. Sometimes it's OK, sometimes it's just plain awful. Last time I went everything I had was awful and their fish wasn't fresh. I haven't gone back since.

                                                    2. b
                                                      Burger Boy Jan 2, 2005 09:13 PM

                                                      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

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