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As Good as Sushi Nozawa?

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Fru Jun 24, 2010 07:12 AM

We're going out for our anniversary this Saturday night. I'm probably too late in asking but since Sushi Nozawa isn't open on weekends, what do you think is as good or a close second in Studio City or just over the hill?

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Sushi Nozawa
11288 Ventura Blvd Ste C, Studio City, CA 91604

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  1. f
    farmertomato RE: Fru Jun 24, 2010 08:36 AM

    From our experience, almost anyplace in Studio City would be better than Nozawa. But that doesn't help you much. Asanebo is a more upscale place that'll feel like an occasion. Sadly, the perfect spot, and coincidentally the best sushi in a very wide area, Tama (AKA Katsu), moved to Beverly Hills, hit a problem with its location and then folded.

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    Asanebo
    11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

    Katsu
    306 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    4 Replies
    1. re: farmertomato
      f
      Fru RE: farmertomato Jun 24, 2010 11:17 AM

      From your answer, it sounds like my query is coming from an ignorant point of view. My parents still live in the area but I haven't for 20 years. My husband has been there and really liked it which is why I mentioned it as a frame of reference. Thank you farmertomato for the Asanebo recommendation.

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      Asanebo
      11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

      1. re: Fru
        c
        cls RE: Fru Jun 24, 2010 11:44 AM

        Like it or not, Nozawa has a pretty unique thing and if you are looking for that style, only Sasabune makes it as far as I know. Because Nozawa is not very "traditional" it may be hard to find a substitute given that as a frame of reference. I do, however, think Asanebo is likely what you are looking for. A bit of fusion, a bit modern style(for lack of a better description,) usually very good, and seems to please non-traditionalists more than purists. Because you opened with Nozawa, I put you in the former category.

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        Asanebo
        11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

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

        1. re: cls
          f
          Fru RE: cls Jun 24, 2010 12:03 PM

          Thanks cls. Like I said, since I've never been, I had no idea it wasn't a traditional omakase. And, you're absolutely right, I did start the thread with Nozawa. I do appreciate all recommendations.

          1. re: cls
            k
            kevin RE: cls Jun 24, 2010 08:29 PM

            sasabune, is in the same vein, so is echigo, so is hikko, so is nishi-ya and so is wasabe in tustin,

      2. c
        cdub RE: Fru Jun 24, 2010 01:52 PM

        i really like nozawa. i think they're very good.

        in the area, there's a few places you can go to that will be pretty good. there's kiwami and kazu which are both open on saturdays. asanebo which was already mentioned is good too.

        1. j
          Jwsel RE: Fru Jun 24, 2010 06:27 PM

          I'm not a fan of Nozawa, but if you want the exact same menu (including the same signs), go to Sasabune. It was opened by former Nozawa chefs, so you will get the same soggy albacore and blue crab rolls.

          In the SFV, if you want traditional nigiri and sashimi, Sushi Iki in Tarzana has extraordinary quality fish. The cuts are very big, but you will spend a lot and the variety is not that great. If you want a place with creative rolls and non-traditional preparations, I would recommend you go west to Sushi Ichiban Kan in Woodland Hills (Ventura at Corbin).

          If you go over the hill, try Kiriko on Sawtelle and ask for Ken-san to do a sushi omakase (or you can do sushi and cooked foods).

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

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

          Sushi Ichiban Kan
          19723 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA

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

          5 Replies
          1. re: Jwsel
            k
            kevin RE: Jwsel Jun 24, 2010 08:29 PM

            can u explain Sushi Iki more and further? might have to give it a whirl after all these years.

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

            1. re: kevin
              j
              Jwsel RE: kevin Jun 24, 2010 11:56 PM

              Iki is a small restaurant in Tarzana. It is mostly traditional nigiri and sashimi, though I think they have a few rolls. The fish is amazingly good quality and Chef Eddie is extremely talented and good natured. It definitely is worth a try.

              The caveats are that it is extremely expensive. I actually have discussed the place with chefs at other sushi bars and they have told me that some of the chefs joke about the prices Iki charges. However, for the price, you do get larger cuts of fish than at most restaurants, so I recommend that you do not over-order.

              My other criticisms is that the menu offerings for plain nigiri are limited. You can get bluefin, toro, yellowtail, salmon and other basic fish as sushi or sashimi, but other things that you can get at most restaurants are only available at Sushi Iki in "live" preparations. For instance, I love scallop, but the only scallop on their menu is "live scallop." An order consists of two pieces of nigiri, plus a variation on dynamite made from the parts of the scallop unused in the nigiri. The cost the last time I ordered it (probably in 2007 or so) was $22. At most restaurants, Japanese scallop nigiri would be about $7. I asked if I could just get the nigiri, but was told no. Uni is also an item that is only available as a "live" preparation and I believe most other shellfish items are the same way.

              Here is a review from January: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/682515

              And an older review that describes my experience: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/490130

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

            2. re: Jwsel
              f
              farmertomato RE: Jwsel Jun 24, 2010 08:35 PM

              I'm curious about Sasabune. Is the fish higher quality and/or fresher than that at Nozawa? I wouldn't mind Nozawa's non-traditional preparations if he was a more knowledgeable judge of fish. Coming from years of eating at Katsu/Tama, the difference was substantial.

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

              1. re: farmertomato
                c
                cls RE: farmertomato Jun 24, 2010 08:59 PM

                Sasabune's fish and preparation is basically the same as Nozawa, which IMO means not the freshest or of the highest quality. I do think Nozawa has it's place though.

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

                1. re: cls
                  k
                  kevin RE: cls Jun 24, 2010 09:50 PM

                  I reallly like Nozawa and Sasabune, well, maybe more Nozawa than Sasabune, and the fish is fresh but some people don't like their fish drowning in sauce, so these places are not exactly traditonal even though they purport to be by saying "No California rolls, no spicey" and "Chef's special; trust me" aka omakase, and like someone mentioned before, the omakase at these places never change and are more like a prixe-fixe chef's special, and yet i still thoroughly enjoy it.

                  Go to Shibucho for something much more traditional in my opinion.

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                  Shibucho
                  3114 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

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

            3. f
              Fru RE: Fru Jun 25, 2010 08:14 AM

              I love the passionate opinions that everyone has contributed to this thread. Thank you all. I'll be referring back to it as, Grandma & Grandpa will be doing more kid sitting & thus giving us more opportunities to try your suggestions.

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