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Top 5 Sushi L.A.- I know it's been done, but this is 2010!

1. Go's Mart - Canoga Park
2. Mori Sushi - Santa Monica
3. Asanebo - Studio City
4. Hanami - Calabasas
5. Yoshida - San Marino

I've never been to Urasawa...$500 per person might be where I draw the line!

The Gayot top 10 pissed me off, always including Nozawa.

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Asanebo
11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Mori Sushi
11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Go's Mart
22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

Canoga Cafe
6200 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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  1. try Kanda in Thousand Oaks, better than Hanami, but not a top 5 contender ..

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sgee

      Gonna try it tonight...hopefully opem on mondays

    2. Yoshida doesn't even crack the top 25. Kiriko is in the top 5.

      -----
      Kiriko
      11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      4 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        agreed. not a big fan of yoshida. their rice is barely seasoned. Kiriko is much better. I second asanebo.

        -----
        Kiriko
        11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        1. re: trolley

          C'mon yoshida always has live uni! They used to be a bit better, I only go there about once a year. Never been to Kiriko, im not a fan of Zo or kazu.

          Here are a few that have lost their touch--
          Shibuya
          Kaminari
          Both used to be top notch, but now...not so much.

          Now I have found the new king of Ventura BLVD 4 on 6 wow!

          -----
          Shibuya
          4774 Park Granada Ste 8B, Calabasas, CA 91302

        2. re: J.L.

          Kiriko is for sure a top 5 contender! Fish quality and sourcing are top-notch.

          -----
          Kiriko
          11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        3. Consider Sushi Ike in Hollywood.
          Have heard good things about Sushi Zo in West LA.

          1 Reply
          1. so now...
            1. Go's Mart - Canoga Park
            2. Mori Sushi - Santa Monica
            3. 4 on 6 - encino
            4. Asanebo - Studio City
            5. Hanami - Calabasas

            -----
            Asanebo
            11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

            Mori Sushi
            11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

            Go's Mart
            22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

            Canoga Cafe
            6200 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Ogden

              Huge Valley bias above, in my opinion. BUT I will be trying out 4 on 6 soon. Also, Hanami isn't on my radar, but I will be trying that too.

              My top 5 (for straight up quality fish & rice, excluding Urasawa, which is actually sushi kaiseki):

              1. Mori (I'll take Mori-san's Hokkaido uni before Yoshida's (not always great) Santa Barbara uni any old day)
              2. Go's Mart
              3. Kiriko
              4. Kiyokawa (before JGold made it "hip")
              5. Zo (I can't stand Zo's 'tude lately, though)

              1. re: J.L.

                Thanks for the tip on Kiyokawa, gotta try it.

            2. Sushi-Gen is actually pretty good if you sit at the bar and order as opposed to gobbling the usual sashimi lunch special.

              -----
              Sushi-Gen
              422 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

              9 Replies
              1. re: mc michael

                The "usual sashimi lunch special" is also damned good (especially for the $16 cost)

                Mr Taster

                  1. re: mc michael

                    Say no to Gen, and yes to Sushi Go 55, close by in the Japanese market place.

                    -----
                    Sushi Go 55
                    333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                    1. re: Robert Ogden

                      Sushi Gen eeks out over Go 55 because Gen is more consistent. Go 55 can have "off nights". Neither are in the top 10.

                      1. re: J.L.

                        Sushi Go 55 consistently prints 10% dinner discount coupons in this directory. In my half dozen or so visits, I've always been extremely happy with the quality of the chirashi, especially for the price.

                        http://www.japaneserestaurantinfo.com...

                        Mr Taster

                        -----
                        Sushi Go 55
                        333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          I get lots of coupons all the time from Yoshinoya - doesn't mean I actually go. Nor does it imply value.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            C'mon, you love that pink ginger!

                            1. re: mc michael

                              "pink ginger"

                              A most excellent adult film star name if I ever heard one... ;-D>

              2. You'll be happy to know that Urasawa is only $400 a person. Go forth and spluge!

                -----
                Urasawa Restaurant
                218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                6 Replies
                  1. re: mc michael

                    + 18% tip = $72
                    + 9.75% tax = $39

                    So, $500.... (without drinks)

                    *sigh*

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      I would totally spend the 5 bills, but my wife hates sushi. I am completely comfortable dining alone at any Sushi bar, but Urasawa seems like I would need a date.

                      -----
                      Urasawa Restaurant
                      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                      1. re: Robert Ogden

                        <<seems like I would need a date.>>
                        Not at all.
                        The crowd at the bar and Hiro-san are generally both interesting and delightful to talk to. It is awfully nice to "ohhh-and -ahhh" with someone you know, but I think you will be very surprised at the camaraderie and fellowship engendered by 5 bills at Urasawa.

                        -----
                        Urasawa Restaurant
                        218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                        1. re: Robert Ogden

                          I agree with Ciao Bob. Most of the times I've been at Urasawa, I've been alone. Like yours, my wife doesn't eat sushi, and it's pretty rare for me to find a friend who's willing to shell out that kind of money. I've never felt uncomfortable being alone though, and often end up talking with others sitting around me.

                          -----
                          Urasawa Restaurant
                          218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                          1. re: Six_of_One

                            I agree with Six_of_One and Ciao Bob. I've had great experiences when I brought someone along, but I've also had amazing experiences when I was alone.

                  2. it's interesting that a lot of hounds have mentioned Go's Mart, which is one of my favorites but has not gotten much if any mainstream press. a diamond in the rough and very good in my opinion.

                    -----
                    Go's Mart
                    22330 Sherman Way, Los Angeles, CA 91303

                    1. I'm a bit surprised at Sushi Zo's fall from favor. We ate there in '08 after reading its many praises here, and I thought it was spectacular. I am planning to return next month, but I'm curious why some hounds dislike it????

                      -----
                      Sushi Zo
                      9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Tony Miller

                        i really like it still and it was up to par when i went there over a month and a half ago. some hounds don't like the gruff service there and it's omakase only whether you are at the bar or seated at the table, which does not give some the leeway that they want.

                        1. re: Tony Miller

                          There are entire (long) threads on this board lamenting the downhill slide of Sushi Zo... Not as much because of the food, but rather more due to Zo's icy attitude towards customers. And he's also been giving us less of that great yuzu drink at the end of the meal these days.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            I live in Thousand Oaks, and if I'm on that side of town I would just much rather go to Mori. Mori is so much more refined than Zo. I've been to Zo 3 times in the past year, it just does nothing for me. I'm a huge fan of Omakase, and Mori does it better.

                            1. re: Robert Ogden

                              The omakase is very different at Mori -- don't you get cooked dishes as well? At Zo, except for the seared butterfish, it is nigiri all the way. So in that respect it is very limited, but it seems the quality of the fish is as high as ever.

                              I like the omakase at Kiriko also -- you get a good variety of hot dishes as well as sushi.

                              -----
                              Kiriko
                              11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                              1. re: NAspy

                                Agree with every word you just said, NAspy-san...

                                1. re: NAspy

                                  FYI - I order all raw at Mori Omakse, Sashimi/nigiri. I like cooked dishes, but just costs more and fills you up, I prefer raw fish!

                                2. re: Robert Ogden

                                  Agree with every word you just said, Ogden-san...

                                  1. re: J.L.

                                    Ditto- Glad to find some REAL Sushi nuts, such as myself! Again, thanks for the tip on Kiriko & Kiyokawa , I will try both in the coming weeks.

                                    -----
                                    Kiriko
                                    11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                              2. re: Tony Miller

                                I did return to Sushi Zo last summer, as I had planned. I though it was excellent, but I was not blown away as I had been two years previously.

                                I've been eating sushi for about 35 years. At one time I considered myself more knowledgeable than most other Americans, but that's no longer true. I don't think my taste has developed significantly over that time, while many American sushi-philes have passed me by.

                                My point is, I still love sushi, and would prefer to eat it over almost anything else, but I don't see the point in spending $100+ per head to eat it. I am content eating at places that charge 1/2 or 1/3 as much, even if it means I can't have Omakase and toro is a rare treat.

                                I don't plan to return to Zo -- not because of the service or the food, which I thought were both fine, but because of the cost.

                                -----
                                Sushi Zo
                                9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                              3. A word about Hanami, if you all ever get up the 101...

                                This place is not like your Master Chef sushi bar. It is kind of ordinary, run of the mill, crazy roll place. But, if you sit with Katz- San, and he realizes that you are a true connesuir...he will serve you an excellent Omakase, completey dressed and no need for soy sauce dish.

                                He usually puts a little something on the side of each Nigiri, like a little torched bit of Toro with your regular order. They do have great fish and fresh grated wasabi for special customers. And, the price is much lower than most High end places.

                                If you just sit down and order, probably won't be anything special.

                                -----
                                Master Chef Restaurant
                                937 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Robert Ogden

                                  I went a couple weeks ago after I read your post, but did not sit at the bar just to scope things out.

                                  The rice served with the sushi was overcooked and gummy; completely detracted from the whole experience. Not sure if it was an off night. Good variety of fish but freshness was just ok, not memorable. The rice just killed it for me.

                                  1. re: Sgee

                                    I still have not tried Kanda...I was gonna go last monday, but they are closed on Mondays. I am a little skeptical due to the fact that Mitsu was the chef at Suki 7, which sucked big time! But you say go...I will go!

                                    As far as gummy rice at Hanami...that has not been my experience. Go on Tuesday, as they are not a "Go to the Fish market" place. They get their deliveries on Tues and Thurs. As I said, I live in T.O. and sometimes Hanami is my only choice without driving too far-

                                    -----
                                    Suki 7
                                    925 S Westlake Blvd, Westlake Village, CA 91361

                                    1. re: Robert Ogden

                                      I went to Urasawa last night...what an experience! 4 /12 hour meal...I am still trying to comprehend how I feel.

                                      -----
                                      Urasawa Restaurant
                                      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                      1. re: Robert Ogden

                                        I am going at the end of the month and so excited!

                                        1. re: xoxohh

                                          I visited L.A. over the weekend and went to Mori as it's been highly regarded; I was underwhelmed. Had the lunch specials of the sushi and sashimi combos, and the spicy tuna tacos. Very mediocre. Coming from Minneapolis I expected much more (and I used to live in L.A.).

                                          1. re: SmartCookie

                                            I think it's fair to say that almost where ever you go for sushi you can have a vastly different experience depending on where you sit (bar v. table) your relationship with the Itamae, how you order (ie.. what are they known for).

                                            Personally I wouldn't judge him on his lunch specials, and it's not where I'd go on a budget in west la. I'd go to Nagao or BiMi ... Just my .02c. I go to sit at the bar and let him do his thing...

                                            -----
                                            Nagao
                                            13050 San Vicente Blvd Ste 110, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                            1. re: SmartCookie

                                              My buddy had the same experience with the lunch special...said it was very average. I said no...NO to lunch special, let me take you for Omakase and then judge. Mori is one of the best in the USA, and after our $300 lunch he whole heartedly agreed! You are never going top notch sushi for a $20 lunch special.

                                              1. re: SmartCookie

                                                Tuna tacos? They have tuna tacos at Mori? I wonder if this is the right Mori.

                                                The lunch specials are good, but just lunch specials. To get the proper Mori experience, get the omakase. But then, I shouldn't have to tell you this.

                                                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                  Spicy tuna tacos which are more like spicy tuna chunks on a simple cracker.

                                        1. Anyone ever been to Chiba in No Hollywood? It is in a strip mall and totally ghetto, but the fish was AMAZING. Best I have had in a while.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: towjc10

                                            We have been to Chiba dozens of times. Love it. It just so happens, tonight we have the pleasure of going to Urasawa. I am so excited.

                                            -----
                                            Urasawa Restaurant
                                            218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                          2. any thoughts on sushi sushi and sushi dokoro ki ra la?

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: wilafur

                                              Sushi Sushi is OK, nothing great.

                                              Sushi Dokoro KiRaLa is above average.

                                              Neither are contenders for 2010 Top 5, IMHO...

                                              -----
                                              Sushi Sushi
                                              326 1/2 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                really on sushi sushi on beverly? i heard it was supposed to be one of the most authentic, top notch in LA, even though it is not mentioned that often on these boards like mori and zo are. at the very least, isn't much better that sushi dokoro (aka the old nouveau cafe blanc space)? i went to sushi dokoro at it was pedestrian at best, maybe better than the roll factories out there, but nothi8ng really special

                                                1. re: kevin

                                                  That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it...

                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                    I like Sushi Sushi a lot, especially if you are prepared to spend. A lot of Japanese customers and a civilized atmosphere at dinner. Too many self important Hollywood types at lunch. Cannot do Zo anymore - just feels too mechanical and uncivilized. Been awhile since I have been to Mori. I agree that you cannot judge Mori by the lunch specials. It would be like ordering a $20 bottle of wine and expecting something earth shattering. You got to talk to the wine steward for that and expect to pay.

                                                    -----
                                                    Sushi Sushi
                                                    326 1/2 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                  2. re: kevin

                                                    Taste test both for yourself, and let your own taste buds decide...

                                                2. re: wilafur

                                                  I ate at Sushi Sushi last week for the first time -- somehow I had missed it. I was impressed. Old school totally straight up like in Japan style sushi places are rare now, and this was a good one. The fish was very good, well cut. They had several types of Toro: O-toro, chilled toro (which isn't my favorite). The sushi lunch special ($30) wasn't your typical fare, but included Toro, Uni, Japanese sea eel. The uni was fantastic too (from Santa Barbara).

                                                  Color me impressed.

                                                  Andy Gavin http://andy-gavin-eats.com

                                                  -----
                                                  Sushi Sushi
                                                  326 1/2 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                3. I heard there is a place somewhere in the Valley in a fish market or some market in a strip mall. If you know somebody who works there you can get into the back where they make fresh, delicious sushi. Any clue?

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: mc michael

                                                    please let me know if you find it sounds great, although Go's Mart is like a fish market display counter and an amazing sushi bar, but i don't think that's what you are talking about.

                                                    -----
                                                    Go's Mart
                                                    22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        This does very much sound like Go's Mart: Sherman Way and Shoup in a strip mall.

                                                        -----
                                                        Go's Mart
                                                        22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

                                                          1. re: liu

                                                            Sounds to me also like it' Go's Mart...

                                                            -----
                                                            Go's Mart
                                                            22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

                                                            1. re: J.L.

                                                              Go's Mart used to be a Japanese market, now just a Sushi bar. You don't have to know someone, just walk in the front door. The decor might startle you a little, but go sit down and enjoy a different take on the best fish around!

                                                              -----
                                                              Go's Mart
                                                              22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

                                                      2. Hanami's very good IF you sit in front of Kaz (with omakase by Kaz it's like a different restaurant)...it can be on par with Kanda in Thousand Oaks, but while both are good they're not top 5 in LA. Sushi Gen is below, not anywhere close to them at all - but not a bad choice for a normal sushi lunch - just not "top." i consider Sushi Nozomi in Torrance around that same level as Kanda, but i find Sushi Sushi, Kiriko, and Sushi Zo a step higher, and Mori Sushi even higher. i have not yet been to Urasawa, nor have i been to Asanebo (but i am doubtful that Asanebo will beat Sushi Sushi/Kiriko/Zo), Go's Mart, Nishimura or Shibucho (i ahve lots of places to go!).

                                                        in my experience i'll layer it like this (grouped by category, but not necessarily in respective descending order):

                                                        Top:
                                                        Mori (la)
                                                        (from what i've heard, Urasawa is top 2 for sure)

                                                        Near Top:
                                                        Kiriko (la)
                                                        Sushi Sushi (la)
                                                        Sushi Zo (la)
                                                        (i haven't been to Go's Mart, Nishimura, or Asanebo, but i'd expect them around here)

                                                        Quite Good:
                                                        Sushi Nozomi (torrance)
                                                        Kanda (thousand oaks)
                                                        Hanami (calabasas)
                                                        Matsuhisa (la)
                                                        Sasabune (la)
                                                        Nozawa (la)
                                                        (comparable with Sebo in SF, and the now-closed Sakae Sushi from Burlingame?)

                                                        Quick daily go-to:
                                                        Shibuya (calabasas)
                                                        Sushi Gen (little tokyo)
                                                        Echigo (west la)
                                                        Hide (west la)

                                                        personally, although i haven't tried everywhere, normally for an omakase dinner i'll go to Kiriko, and if i'm splurging, go to Mori. Kiriko is a far better experience than Zo (though the fish is about the same), and their meal can be a little more creative (they walk a fine line - but still preserve traditional sushi) - going to Zo you get pretty much the same thing (which is my only gripe with Sushi Sushi - the menu never changes), whereas with Kiriko you can get 2 different omakase dinners in the same week. once you get to know them, Kiriko will serve some excellent stuff that i wouldn't have expected judging by the first time i went there (conch sashimi, sumi-ika, buri belly, etc.). Mori is the best place i can think of, but a lunch at mori cost me $150/pp, which is what dinner at Sushi Zo costs, and that's a slight bit more than dinner at Kiriko, or Sushi Sushi (which i find to be the least expensive of the 3).

                                                        -----
                                                        Urasawa Restaurant
                                                        218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                        Sushi Zo
                                                        9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                        Matsuhisa
                                                        129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                                                        Asanebo
                                                        11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                                                        Kiriko
                                                        11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                        Shibuya
                                                        4774 Park Granada Ste 8B, Calabasas, CA 91302

                                                        Echigo
                                                        12217 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 201, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                        Nozomi
                                                        1757 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

                                                        Go's Mart
                                                        22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

                                                        Sushi Sushi
                                                        326 1/2 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                        Sakae Sushi
                                                        1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd Ste 112, Gardena, CA 90247

                                                        Sasabune
                                                        12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                        Mori Sushi
                                                        34320 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste B, Dana Point, CA 92629

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: kyee87

                                                          I've had 3 different omakases on 3 separate nights in the same week(!) at Kiriko. Ken-san and his crew are tops.

                                                          -----
                                                          Kiriko
                                                          11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                        2. Mori. And go now. They won't be there forever.

                                                          15 Replies
                                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                            "They won't be there forever"

                                                            Do you know something I don't?

                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                              Word on the street is he's trying to sell it. That word has been on the street for > 1 year.

                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                Really? Mori? I talked to him 2 weeks ago, he said business was very good. Didn't know he was selling. Will ask him next time. It would be a huge blow to the LA sushi scene as Mori is pretty much the only high end traditional sushi specialist in town. Not even $500pp at Urasawa will get you the quality of rice or knifework. It would be a very sad day indeed...

                                                                -----
                                                                Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                  I ran into Mori and his wife a couple of months ago and they said that business had been slow lately. Maybe it's improved since then.

                                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                                    Hey man, I'm just a messenger. :)

                                                                    I don't think many people know he's selling...unless you're buying.

                                                                    FWIW this was information that I received "a while ago"

                                                                          1. re: epop

                                                                            What is he going to do if he sells it? Retire? Move? I hope it's just a move.

                                                                            1. re: choctastic

                                                                              Having recently been hit with the news that Yasuda in NYC is moving back to Tokyo come 2011 and being faced with the possibility that my top 2 favorite sushi spots may be gone soon, I decided I had to call and straight up ask when Mori was planning on selling/moving/retiring.

                                                                              1. The person answering (Mori's wife maybe?) sounded very surprised I was privy to this information and asked where I heard this from. I told her NS1 and foodiemahoodie spilled the beans...

                                                                              2. She would not deny that he was planning on rumoured move and confirmed it by saying "not for a year at least". Which could mean, as soon as he finds a buyer.

                                                                              These are dark times in the sushi eating world indeed.

                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                thank god Ns1 can't identify me IRL.

                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                  Yeah. Let's hope it doesn't lead to the Dark Ages.

                                                                                  1. re: epop

                                                                                    I'm a bit confused, epop. On one thread (many actually) you talk about the dearth of good sushi (good food for that matter) in Santa Monica (all of LA in many posts) and yet, in this one, you seem to be making light of the potential loss of one of the best sushi places in all of Southern California. Which is it?

                                                                                    If we can't lament the thought of Mori Sushi possibly going away here on Chowhound, where then?

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Mori Sushi
                                                                                    11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                      I may be wrong, but I don't think epop is making light of the potential loss. I know him to be a Mori fan and I'm guessing by Dark Ages he is alluding to the sushi scene without Mori, one run mostly by the Nozawa/Sasabune school...the way things were a decade ago. Dark Ages indeed.

                                                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                                                        Thank you, Porthos.

                                                                                        The confusion results from my being a walker and being stringent about the borders of Santa Monica. Mori is not so close to Santa Monica if you're walking around. I do walk there. All I meant was that if I am in Santa Monica proper and I want to grab a bite to eat there are many choices but few mean anything to me. Mori means a lot to me and I would lament any change to it.

                                                                2. everyone's different
                                                                  top
                                                                  shibucho on beverly
                                                                  shibucho in costa mesa (different chefs)
                                                                  kiyono, beverly hills, only with kawasaki-san. go omakase, i don't do "fun" rolls.
                                                                  mori, west la
                                                                  nozawa still. overpriced but good.
                                                                  asanebo isn't just sushi, hard to compare. like izayoi, more varied menu

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Jerome

                                                                    My top three (haveing not been to Mori in years and never to Urasawa):

                                                                    sushi zo
                                                                    go's mart
                                                                    shibucho on beverly

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                    1. re: Jerome

                                                                      Please, anyone: don't believe the above comment about Nozawa. Bad fish, badly cut, badly served, badly priced. Easily the worst.

                                                                      1. re: farmertomato

                                                                        if it makes you feel any better i walked by a few nights ago and it was completely dead.

                                                                        1. re: farmertomato

                                                                          ok to be fair, i haven't been to nozawa in a while, but the other four - definitely. and quite good. never been to urasawa but sounds like they have many non-sushi dishes (i know they have many non-sushi dishes) so perhaps it's not a fair comparison.

                                                                      2. Urasawa is in a class by itself at #1.
                                                                        Then there are various very good places.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                        218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                          Actually, the sushi at Urasawa is the weak link and not as good as the sushi at Mori IMO.

                                                                          The overal experience, the cooked dishes make Urasawa LA's #1 restaurant. The sushi could be better.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                          218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                          1. re: Porthos

                                                                            I don't disagree with that necessarily (nor do I agree necessarily). I was using the word "sushi" loosely and broadly and referring to the overall omakase experience. I haven't been to Urasawa or Mori enough to make a fair comparison with respect to sushi, strictly speaking. However, I do think there's something special about Mori's sushi rice, which is just perfect.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                            218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                            1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                              While I do agree with Porthos and yes I agree Mori's rice is probably the best I've had (haven't been to Japan), for the full experience, I just love going to Urasawa. Once my finances are on track again, I will be back.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                              218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                        2. Hey Angelinos, Love the discussion re: sushi.

                                                                          I'm a Bostonian who visits frequently because my gal lives here (Westwood) and I'm a huge fan of raw fish. Thanks for all the great suggestions, but tell me: If expensive means $150-$200 for two, where would we find the best sashimi?

                                                                          btw, prolly moving out sometime soon and if you're ever in Boston, check out Fugakyu or Oiishi, top two IMHO.

                                                                          kampei, Aron

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: globalevent

                                                                            Mori Sushi and Sushi Zo are easy answers. I've only had omakase at both places, but the fish quality is very high.

                                                                            I don't think any sushi restaurant in LA is as good at creative, non-traditional sushi, and particularly maki, as Oiishi in Chestnut Hill.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Sushi Zo
                                                                            9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                                            Mori Sushi
                                                                            11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                            1. re: globalevent

                                                                              Kiriko on Sawtelle (in Little Little Tokyo) is another good option for sushi, sashimi and other more fusiony type dishes.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Kiriko
                                                                              11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                "Little Little Tokyo" -- I love it!

                                                                                Have you walked the strip recently? There are so many new restaurant spaces yet to be occupied!
                                                                                "Little Little Tokyo" is growing up!

                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                  Actually many Angelenos may not know this, but the Sawtelle area has the distinct moniker of "Little Osaka", for what it's worth.

                                                                                  Just went to Kiriko last night. Awesome sashimi... Tako, mirugai, kinmedai, chu-toro, aji, just to name a few. For dessert: Homemade red bean paste with Japanese-style steamed chestnuts were fantastic. Ken-san is da man.

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Kiriko
                                                                                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                                                    "Little Osaka" -- thanks for this info, J.L.
                                                                                    It is one of my favorite areas in our city...and watching it evolve over the years has been fascinating!

                                                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                                                      I love the white truffle I've cream there. One day I just stopped in for that as well as a scoop of green tea. Exceptional stuff. Some sometimes forget hid exceptional homemade ice creams.

                                                                                2. So I have been to a few places since I originaly posted...
                                                                                  Kiriko
                                                                                  Kanda
                                                                                  Urasawa

                                                                                  While Urasaw is a once in a lifetime expereience, I will not be going back. I did go alone and it was fun, $500 is just too much for one meal. ($350 plus tip, etc) Plus it was a 4 hour ordeal-

                                                                                  Kiriko...Good, but Mori is too close when I'm on that side of town. ( I live in Thousand Oaks, so for me, Mori is close to Kiriko)

                                                                                  Kanda- Pretty darn good! I've been there 3 times.

                                                                                  But still, Go's Mart #1, and 4 on 6 #2. Both of these places I can walk in for lunch by myself and feel at home, and have the kind of Sushi that I love.

                                                                                  I still have not been to:
                                                                                  Sasabune
                                                                                  Kiyokawa
                                                                                  shibucho

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                  218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                  Kiriko
                                                                                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                  Go's Mart
                                                                                  22330 Sherman Way # C12, Canoga Park, CA

                                                                                  Sasabune
                                                                                  12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Robert Ogden

                                                                                    Ogden-san, I understand your point about price (Urasawa is not an easy meal on the wallet), and I respect your opinion if you say you don't want to go back to Urasawa, but 4 hours is the minimum amount of time it takes to truly appreciate what Hiro-san offers as a dining experience to his esteemed customers. However, you did use the word "ordeal" to describe your meal, so I assume you couldn't wait for Urasawa to be over.

                                                                                    Just as a rant in general (and certainly not aimed at anyone in particular), the 4-6 hour dinner, where diners linger, sip, taste and chew slowly, is a concept alien to many in the U.S.

                                                                                    Tell me if I'm wrong, but by looking at your preferences, you may be much more of a casual sushi-phile. Your taste buds are educated and elevated, yet you want a neighborhood, "walk-in and walk-out" type sushi experience. Urasawa is NOT that. It is kaiseki.

                                                                                    You will find Kiyokawa to be of Kiriko's ilk.

                                                                                    Shibucho is another old school sushi establishment (in Zo's vein). Be ready to drop your jaw at the wine list there.

                                                                                    Sasabune is a tad cold in feeling, but the sushi is serviceable, and at least the itamae smiles every once in a while (unlike Zo).

                                                                                    Please report back when you've tried some others on the list!

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                    Kiriko
                                                                                    11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                    Shibucho
                                                                                    3114 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                                                                                    Sasabune
                                                                                    12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                                                      JL-San,
                                                                                      You are right! First, I didn't mean to brush off Urasawa's greatness so glibly...it was great. I am no stranger to a long drawn out meal that starts off in the afternoon and does not end til the next morning. I have traveled the world and have had many such experiences.

                                                                                      When I was a kid my mother used to say "finish your dinner, there are starving children in Africa", which I never understood...I would of course reply with "then send them my dinner because I don't like it." I guess this is where inherently I feel $500 is too much to spend on myself for one meal. But then, I have no problem routinely spending $100 plus for my Sushi lunches.

                                                                                      When it comes to Sushi, i have become a bit of a "lone wolf". Two reasons for this, one my wife does not eat fish, and two, I have not found anyone else with the budget or passion for my taste. So I think if I went to Urasawa with some friends I would have enjoyed it more and 4-5 hours would not have been too long. Typically when I end up going out to sushi with a group, they want rolls and the like and we end up at some place like Nobu. It's fun, but...

                                                                                      My favorite Sushi joint: Tiny neighborhood place, one chef with a passion for fish, both in variety and presentation. 99% raw, I rarely order cooked items unless I trust the chef and he recommends something. Perfect rice! Since I am ususally alone, I get to know the chef and he gets to know me...Go-San and I are tight, and I like that! I have that kind of relationship with 4 or 5 Sushi chefs and that makes it fun for me. They know I like exotic and unusal and they will bust out with a surprise for me on any given day. Price is never a factor. I guess since I am alone, the chef becomes my sushi buddy.

                                                                                      So, thanks for your comments, I wll try the others you mentioned.

                                                                                      P.S, I am heading to Scottsdale, AZ in a few weeks...do you (or anyone) know a good Sushi spot? If no replys to this, I am heading to Hiro Sushi, just from some internet research.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                      Nobu
                                                                                      11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                      1. re: Robert Ogden

                                                                                        Hmm... As one of my favorite itamaes once said when I asked about sushi in Nevada or Arizona. "Oh, [J.L.]-san, Nevada & Arizona... Veeeeery far from ocean...." Reading between the lines is crucial in this.

                                                                                        Enjoy your trip, Ogden-san.

                                                                                        1. re: Robert Ogden

                                                                                          Ogden-san, you speak for me as well. If you ever need a sushi companion in LA -- one with modest means -- let me know.

                                                                                    2. Hey there, I'm a frequent visitor from NYC and love L.A. sushi scene. Tonight I'll be going to Shunji's opening party on Melrose & La Brea and I have high hopes because Shunji, I have heard, worked at Matsuhisa for 10 years then opened Asanebo w/ his brother(s?) then is branching out on his own. He also worked at the Hump. I'll try to report back. It probably won't be vying for a top spot but I'm sure it'll be at least pretty good.

                                                                                      Quick two cents - went to Zo a couple years back after reading much Chowhound raves, found the experience to be rather mechanical & cold... Sushi Sushi very good but could be biased as we did know someone there... Mori was fantastic... must go back before he sells it! Ike was also very good, especially for the price, sad that he's not there anymore :(

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: uwsister

                                                                                        Mori is the closest you'll find to Yasuda in this town. Zo is a step down from both.

                                                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                                                          Have you been to Asanebo, Porthos? I am thinking about it.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Asanebo
                                                                                          11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                                                                                          1. re: epop

                                                                                            Nope. Please report back. My impression is that its more along the Nozawa/Sasabune line of sushi although the Yelp photos look more like a Takao kind of thing with many cooked dishes.

                                                                                            How's Keizo treating you these days?

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Takao
                                                                                            11656 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                                              I haven't been in a bit but will go soon. Japan reset the bar and
                                                                                              I can't eat anything here any more.

                                                                                              Takao doesn't do it for me, sadly.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Takao
                                                                                              11656 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                                                                              1. re: epop

                                                                                                Me neither. Very overpriced. Unremarkable sushi. Guess the cooked stuff is more the draw.

                                                                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                  I prefer Kiriko and Mori and home for the cooked.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Kiriko
                                                                                                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                              2. re: Porthos

                                                                                                I have to disagree with your impression that Asanebo is "more along the Nozawa/Sasabune line of sushi." Never much liked the hacked up mediocre oversauced fish served at Nozawa/Sasabune. Asanebo is top quality in my book; both fish and preparation. As for myself, I prefer my sushi a la Edomae and let the itamae know so since Asanebo tends to be sosaku/creative style sushi and cooked dishes.

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Asanebo
                                                                                                11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                                                                                            2. re: Porthos

                                                                                              I have been to both - and will be back to Mori soon! Too bad I won't have time on this trip :(
                                                                                              I found out too late to fit in another dinner in front of Yasuda :( At least my last one was only last fall.

                                                                                              Just wanted to report on the new sushi restaurant mentioned above, as it split off from a Chowhound favorite, Asanebo. Anyway Shunji's seemed pretty promising from what I can tell at the opening party. Delicious and creative cooked dishes (passed around as apps) and the space looked great. Unfortunately nigiri sushi pieces were seating out, given the nature of the event, so it would be unfair for me to judge on absolute basis. Fish looked pristine in the cases but it definitely suffered as the result of seating out. They were cut a little big for my taste as well - perhaps not for others - but those that were already seasoned/sauced were done impeccably. I've never been to Asanebo either so I don't know what level of expectation this place will carry - but the space is pretty big (two floors) and given the location I don't imagine their overhead is cheap - so I hope they do well.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Shunji's
                                                                                              7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                                                                                            1. I would love to know what you guys think of Sushi IKi in tarzana. So far Eddie takes the cake on sushi in LA for me. Ursawa reeks of pretention, and personally i'd rather be gutting fish on a boat, then sitting in that overpriced beverly hills shack any day.

                                                                                              23 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: VJ the singing CHEF

                                                                                                "personally i'd rather be gutting fish on a boat, then sitting in that overpriced beverly hills shack any day."

                                                                                                I guess that makes one of us.

                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                  I agree, NS1. Guess the shack is getting crowded.

                                                                                                2. re: VJ the singing CHEF

                                                                                                  I actually agree concerning the pretention however, given the 2 choices...

                                                                                                    1. re: epop

                                                                                                      Perhaps that of the clientele... ;-D>

                                                                                                        1. re: JAB

                                                                                                          I would think that seeing the lengths that Japanese restaurants (along with every other facet of their culture) go to for "artistic presentation" would be a much more likely answer for the use of gold leaf rather than pretentiousness.

                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                            "Pretention" (as VJ writes it) depends on the eye of the beholder.

                                                                                                            What Hiro-san does at Urasawa is a traditional style of dining known as kaiseki. It originated in Japan, the land of formality. In fact, I feel kaiseki is DEFINED by its strict formality - using the right ceramic, the right tea, the right order of foods, the right presentation, served at the right season of the year, etc.

                                                                                                            If some people here in the U.S. feel that that level of service and dedication in replicating an authentic Japanese dining form is pretentious, then so be it. I'm a bit surprised that someone who has the word CHEF (upper case) in his Chowhandle would see it as such. I'm not surprised, however, by the misspelling (the noun form is actually spelled pretenSion, with an 's', not 't').

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                                            218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                            1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                              It is a costly meal but I consider a hundred other prices that are less expensive to be more pretentious, including the revered corporate celebrity chef run but chef is absent places.

                                                                                                              1. re: epop

                                                                                                                is that matsuhisa you are talking about?

                                                                                                                also, when is mori going to have his place until or has he sold?

                                                                                                                and does urasawa employ gold leaf and triple 000 beluga caviar on his dishes? I will go to a pretentious place if the food is good.

                                                                                                                the prices at the above mentioned Sushi Iki are pretentious though and i do not think you get the presentation, and artistic dishes you would at Urasawa, also if you go hog wild and sushi iki it can easily fit the bill of a meal without alcohol at urasawa i believe.

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                                                218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                                Sushi Iki
                                                                                                                18663 Ventura Blvd Ste 106, Tarzana, CA 91356

                                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                  Nobu is one such guy but there are many others.

                                                                                                                  Gold leaf shows up.

                                                                                                                  Don't have the Mori update but wonder if others do.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Nobu
                                                                                                                  11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                                                  1. re: epop

                                                                                                                    My most recent Mori update from my 12/17/10 visit. He made no mention of moving, selling, or having sold when I INdirectly asked him about it.

                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754548

                                                                                                              2. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                I truly appreciate you pointing out this huge (but seemingly misunderstood by some) part of the Japanese culture. I also wonder about spelling and how it changes the intent:

                                                                                                                >>...and personally i'd rather be gutting fish on a boat, then (sic) sitting in that overpriced beverly hills shack any day.<<

                                                                                                                Even the singing CHEF admits that both would be great to do - I agree. But if I might most politely ask if the kind and most honored singing CHEF were to refrain from the otherwise enjoyable singing (practicing my formal telephone talk Japanese :)).

                                                                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                  what post are you referring to?

                                                                                                              3. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't consider random gold leaf "artistic presentation".

                                                                                                                1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                  So you prefer to ascribe it to pretentious behavior then? Looking at the overall presentation that Hiro-san turns out does it seem out of character to you that he would use gold leaf on something? Or is it more inline with his artistic presentation of the entire meal he produces?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                    I believe that the reason that he uses it is to give a perceived value in order to help justify the cost.

                                                                                                                    1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                      It must be somewhat frustrating for Urasawa, who does appear to be a genuinely humble, sincere guy, to have to deal with a cadre of wealthy, cantankerous American blowhards on a nightly basis.

                                                                                                                      Wouldn't it be nice if he gave "nice guy" discounts to sincere, humble, less monied Chowhounds? :)

                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                                                      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        well put. Funny.
                                                                                                                        I think he's operating under the Japanese model, which allows for extravagance where there is excellence. I think the latter is the more important issue, not whether gold leaf allows for sticker shock. I admire the fact that he's got a tiny place that he's trying to run with high ambitions.

                                                                                                                        1. re: epop

                                                                                                                          Please don't get me wrong. The only problem that I have is with the gold leaf gilding the lily (pun intended). Otherwise, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for what he does.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                                                                                            I guess the food itself would be considered pretentious, because it is pretty fancy, and yeah, he does employ a decent amount of gold leaf, caviar, seasonal garnishes, etc. But while yeah, I would have to agree with Porthos that Mori has an edge, rice and even fish-wise (not always imho) overall, if I have the money, I'm going to Urasawa. I'm not usually into pretentious stuff. I think I like people who are crazy about their work, and Urasawa is definitely crazy in love with his work, no question.

                                                                                                                            Urasawa himself is definitely not pretentious though. Last time I checked (admittedly a while ago), he was driving around in a beat up Honda Odyssey and he doesn't really have a "filter" when it comes to his comments, which I like because I'm the same way. As an example, I hadn't been there for years and when I dropped in the last time, he said I had lost weight in that shocked tone you're not supposed to use when someone has lost weight. No filter! haha.

                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                            Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                                                            218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                          You get it, that's all I have to say, less about the man, more about the customers.

                                                                                                        2. Sushi at Sasabune in West LA is absolutely incredible. Some of the best around for the price. Decor is minimal and menus are printed on ghetto pieces of paper, but if you love authentic sushi, Sasabune has you covered!

                                                                                                          www.gourmetmiser.com

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Sasabune
                                                                                                          12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Gourmet Miser

                                                                                                            interesting. i may give it another try. have only been there for lunch - and the omakase wasn't. it was just a sushi special, same all the time, served with single pieces. no seasonal change, no quality compensation , better fish of one type one week vs another .
                                                                                                            i was unimpressed. but glad to see they have fans.

                                                                                                          2. The Westside (and all LA) has a lot of great sushi.

                                                                                                            1. The Hump used to be my favorite, but they closed down (/cry)
                                                                                                            2. Matsuhisa still really has it, better than Nobu by far. Not totally straight sushi, but still very very good.
                                                                                                            3. Urwasawa is of course devine, but the price is crazy ($350 a person for food)
                                                                                                            4. Go sushi in the far valley is a total hole in the wall, but the sushi itself is remarkable, closest to Urwasawa in presentation.
                                                                                                            5. Takao is like Matsuhisa in Brentwood, and great. He'll do all sorts of Omakase, 3 "basic" one on the menu. The specials are great, and the sushi is great.
                                                                                                            6. Sasabune is great in the warm rice dept. Don't forget to ask for the Japanese Omakase if you're adventurous. I have a detailed comparison of "normal" vs Japanese on my blog. If you are partial to this style with the warm rice and the tangy sauces, this is very good.
                                                                                                            7. Echigo is very similar to Sasabune, but considerably cheaper. They are both in the warm rice school.
                                                                                                            8. Hiko sushi is also in the warm rice school, and similar to Sasabune and Echigo
                                                                                                            9. I've only been to Mori once, but it was very good too.

                                                                                                            Most of these places I have detailed photo blogs of most of these on my blog, look in the food index.

                                                                                                            Andy Gavin http://andy-gavin-eats.com

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Matsuhisa
                                                                                                            129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                                                                                                            Echigo
                                                                                                            12217 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 201, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                                                                            Nobu
                                                                                                            11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                                            Sasabune
                                                                                                            12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                                                                                            Takao
                                                                                                            11656 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: agavin

                                                                                                              i've never seen pre-sliced fish at dinner at echigo, whereas i've heard sasabune preslices all the time... . .

                                                                                                              1. re: agavin

                                                                                                                I'll add to my earlier list:

                                                                                                                1. Sushi sushi is a new favorite place of mine. This place is GOOD! Not only because the fish is totally delectable, but because it offers that relative rarity now in LA, the “traditional sushi bar.” I like the warm rice Nozawa/Sasabune school and the modern Nobu school, but there is something satisfying about the original. It reminds me of Tokyo.
                                                                                                                2. Sushi Zo is like "even higher end sasabune." The fish is amazing, but the service is cold and each piece looks like it got stuck in a little shrink machine. The tiny battleship uni had me cracking up. Still it tasted great.

                                                                                                                I'm going back to "go" this month, which will be great.

                                                                                                                Andy Gavin http://andy-gavin-eats.com

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Sushi Zo
                                                                                                                9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                                                                                Nobu
                                                                                                                11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                                                              2. 2011 update...

                                                                                                                1. Still Go's mart. Why? Consistently best fish and best rice. Some may say he over uses truffle oil and other condiments, but that is just his style. Most other chefs will use soy based dressings, Go-San just has a different take, which I find to be awesome! Don't confuse his use of truffle oil with Sushi Iki's use of black truffle ponzu. I am not a fan of Iki at all. Go uses a white truffle oil which bears no resemblance to Iki's Ponzu.

                                                                                                                2. Kiyokawa. Fantastic in every way. Tradition mixed with modern touches and thoughtful presentation. The only problem for me is his location, I don't live near Beverly hills, and there are no freeways close to Kiyokawa, I would definately be regular if I could get there easy.

                                                                                                                3. 4 on 6. Way under the radar, similar to Mori, easy location for me, and much more reasonably priced. Saito- San likes to use ponzu a lot, I just ask him to skip it and he does more yuzu/salt kind of thing for me. Bottom line is excellent variety of fish, great rice, and satisfaction every time.

                                                                                                                4. Kiriko. Less formal than Mori, solid sushi, hits the spot. I haven't been to Mori in a very long time, I'm not sure why...I guess I switched to Kiriko. One thing I will mention...Fumi, one of the chefs at Mori, moonlights occasionally at 4 on 6.

                                                                                                                5. This is tough, do I list #5 as the Place I frequent the most, or the place I think tastes the best? I live in Thouasand Oaks, so there are 2 places I visit often. My old standby, Hanami, which I still maintain is an excellent sushi bar
                                                                                                                if they know what you want. And the new Kanda in Westlake Village. Kanda is very good, not in a class of some of the above mentioned, but very good and if you Re in the area, it is really the only choice. I keep thinking about Mori though which really should be on this list.

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Kiriko
                                                                                                                11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                                                Sushi Iki
                                                                                                                18663 Ventura Blvd Ste 106, Tarzana, CA 91356

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Robert Ogden

                                                                                                                  My favorite would be Go's Mart although I haven't been in some time now. Great kawagishi toro (kawagishi, kawagishi, kawagishi, how sweet are thee?), and the sweet shrimp topped with shaved white truffles, and truffle oil, blue crab hand roll, Holy Cow or seared Kobe beef, monkish liver pate with goji berries and miso sauce, oh, I am so overdue on a visit. I wonder if he's open on Sunday evenings, or even for lunch on Sundays???

                                                                                                                  (Sadly, I haven't been to Sushi Zo, for ages because of a bad experience there. Fish was excellent and fine as always, but it had to do with management and service).

                                                                                                                  I liked Kiriko the last time I was there maybe a few months ago, especially for that black truffle ice cream (i think it's like 8 or 10 bucks for a couple scoops) and the salmon wrapped with mango and toro and yellowtail, and oysters although it didn't at all for me at least hit the heights of Go's Mart (or Sushi Zo).

                                                                                                                  By the way, is Mori still good, since the main chef/owner sold it, and do they still carry Uni from Hokkaido and that persimmon jelly with sliced fruit dessert dish???

                                                                                                                  In the neighborhood, I just tried Yakitoriya on Sawtelle and their duck and shittakhe mushroom ravioli in a truffle oil sauce were great but sadly they ran out of the coffee jelly.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Sushi Zo
                                                                                                                  9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                                                                                  Kiriko
                                                                                                                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                                                  Go's Mart
                                                                                                                  22330 Sherman Way, Los Angeles, CA 91303

                                                                                                                  Yakitoriya
                                                                                                                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                                                  1. re: Robert Ogden

                                                                                                                    Don't confuse his use of truffle oil with Sushi Iki's use of black truffle ponzu. I am not a fan of Iki at all. Go uses a white truffle oil which bears no resemblance to Iki's Ponzu.
                                                                                                                    =======================
                                                                                                                    I don't even want synthetic truffle oil on my fries or mashed potatoes. Why would I want it on my sushi? I would be more willing to try Go's Mart if he WASN'T covering up the taste of his fish with 2,4-dithiapentane.

                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffle_oil

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                                                                                                                    Go's Mart
                                                                                                                    22330 Sherman Way, Los Angeles, CA 91303

                                                                                                                    Sushi Iki
                                                                                                                    18663 Ventura Blvd Ste 106, Tarzana, CA 91356

                                                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                      I'm woth you on this. Truffle Oil -- black, white, whatever -- has no place on my sushi.

                                                                                                                  2. i don't know if i posted on this but why not. here's my top sushi experiences, not necessarily places, but meals that were memorable - in no order:
                                                                                                                    1) Sushi Nishi-Ya Omakase. (my favorite crab roll & smoked salmon sushi with kelp)
                                                                                                                    2) Kiriko Omakase (the choice of all three= sushi, sashimi, and kitchen items)
                                                                                                                    3) Sushi Zo Omakase
                                                                                                                    4) Hirozen - i've had two memorable pieces of fish that i will never forget eating in the years i've gone there. one was a snoked white fish (during omakase), another was an imported yellowtail (had it during lunch one day).
                                                                                                                    5) I have a list of sushi places to try! The next one just may be my 5th!

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                                                                                                                    Sushi Zo
                                                                                                                    9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                                                                                    Kiriko
                                                                                                                    11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                                                                    Hirozen
                                                                                                                    8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                                                                                                    Nishi-Ya
                                                                                                                    1712 Victory Blvd, Glendale, CA 91201

                                                                                                                    1. I'm going to Mori this Friday for omakase. Is Chef Mori still working? Should I expect the same level of quality?

                                                                                                                      Any recommendations or highlights I should look out for? Thanks.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: ssl5b

                                                                                                                        Is there a 2012 thread like this?

                                                                                                                        I know it's not usually right on the money, but Zagat places these as the top 3:

                                                                                                                        Asanebo
                                                                                                                        Sushi Zo
                                                                                                                        Takao

                                                                                                                        1. re: lavendula

                                                                                                                          forget Zagat - what are your top five and why?