Chiming in... This is an older thread (circa 2010), but I do eat at Nishimura once or twice a year. My last visit was May 2012. As true to my usual M.O., I usually go on a Wednesday or a Thursday night, and I always sit at the bar and order the omakase.
In defense of Nishimura, I've never had anything but good service and good food there (admittedly, it helps to speak a bit of "food Japanese"). Also, I've never had trouble sitting in front of Nishimura-san. He has these 2 very large ceramic serving platters shaped like WWII fighter plane wings (proudly displayed behind him on the wall when not in use). He's quite, quite fond of using these platters for orders. So if you order a la carte, all of your food usually gets presented (in stunning fashion) on said platters.
Meals usually start with an amuse bouche like roasted ginnan (ginkgo nuts), which I'm assuming our sushi connoisseur OnlyBoots had for his first course and found boring and tasteless. On the contrary, I found that I rather liked the ginnan at Nishimura. They are the perfect appetite-stimulant for the upcoming courses. But that's just me.
Nishimura-san's shellfish are exceptional - the botan ebi, awabi and oysters there are very memorable - pristine fresh and well prepared. Tuna-wise, his akami (which I usually prefer to try first before the toro) is on point in freshness and cut. The shari he uses is moderately packed - I like the rice there as well.
Pricey it is: Usual bill runs $150+ per person, food only. He has a "no photo" policy, so I've not posted much on the place. (I'm a bit perplexed from bloggers who've managed to take & post photos from their visits to Nishimura).
I recently visited this Los Angeles sushi restaurant. Claimed to be the best FOOD in L.A., I had to check it out (29 out of 30 in Zagat is pretty good). It's a pretty modest place when you walk in, a counter with a few tables sprinkled around.
I'm a connoisseur of sushi, so it looked like a typical sushi bar. The first thing that struck me when I sat down was the price. It was really pricey. I was unfazed and powered ahead, my wallet crying all the while.
First they gave me some nuts that were roasted or something, they were boring and tasteless. Then they brought out some hamachi sashimi (yellowtail) in some sort of sauce (it wasn't quite ponzu, but more of a blend of sauces). The sashimi was well cut, although somewhat thick for my liking, and the sauce didn't completely overpower the fish - a good dish all in all. Then they brought out a huge platter of sushi.
Normally, I'd prefer to have the sushi made in front of me to have served it at its freshest, so the platter of a bunch of types of sushi was kind of a turn off. Anyways, I dug right in.
First I tried the toro (fatty tuna), then moved on to the salmon, then halibut, followed by the sea urchin, and lastly the salmon roe. It was good, but not enough to sate me; I was still hungry quite a few dollars later.
To sum it up, the sushi was good, but it was too expensive to warrant another trip.
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I'm not sure why they served it all on one platter; it was definitely a turn off since I'm used to watching them prepare it in front of me and serve me one piece at a time. The bill overall was far too much to warrant going back (I can't find the receipt, all I know for sure was that it was more than Sushi Zo, if that works as a reference for you).
I have been more than twice and had the same experience. Quit trying when the place was empty and Nishimura refused to serve us at the sushi bar and had his inexperienced second make sushi. The bill was the same although the sushi was lacking.
He used to stand there as orders piled up and angry customers with no food would leave because he refused to make sushi for the tables.
8684 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069