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Sushi Zo vs Mori Sushi?

My family and I will be in LA in a few weeks and I've been trying to decide whether to dedicate our one available evening for a nice meal at Sushi Zo or Mori?

Background: I live in the Midwest. We don't have good sushi. And by *good* I am referring to pure, unadulterated rice-fish-dab of soy-dab of wasabi-sushi. None of this fusion, cream cheese, godzilla, sauce drenched, mushy rice and tasteless fish wrapped in dried seaweed stuff that seems to run rampant here.

My sister's been to Sushi Zo and had a great experience, but I've heard good things about Mori, too (and some negative comments about Zo's attitude having gone downhill recently--not sure how the recent Zagat rating will have affected that).

I would be happy with all or mostly (85-90%) sushi/sashimi omakase, but my mom's interested in having some cooked dishes. I can't tell, but from some reviews it seems that Mori includes a lot of cooked dishes in their omakase. Zo is mostly (only?) fish?

We plan to sit at the sushi bar (as if that's even a question :), so while I'm mostly concerned with the quality of the food, I don't want the experience to be tainted by a surly chef experience either.

Can anyone provide some insight on either and help us decide where to go?

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Sushi Zo
9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

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

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  1. go to mori as sushi zo has essentially zero cooked dishes unless you count 1 or 2 "cooked" nigiri such as unagi and butterfish.

    1. From Zagat 2011 Los Angeles Guide Top Food: "The award for Top Food went to phenom Sushi Zo, replacing last year's winner, Urasawa, which fell to No. 21. The "brilliant" yet "subtle" Japanese cuisine of chef-owner Keizo Seki, rated a rare 29 rating out of a maximum possible 30, despite its "austere" strip-mall setting which scored a 13 out of 30 for decor." I know some people could care less what Zagat says, I for one certainly don't believe Urasawa belongs at #21 so take it with a grain of salt.

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      Sushi Zo
      9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

      2 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        yeah Zagat is like the Yelp of review books.

        1. re: ns1

          Agree with ns1. Zagat has pretty much zero street cred with me. I'm ashamed I actually used to be a Zagat reviewer. Once I saw the process, I abandoned it and switched to Chowhound.

      2. Mori vs. Zo is well-covered territory on this board.

        My 2 cents for you & your family (if I had to pick btw. the two): Mori, by a landslide. BUT you must sit at Mori's sushi bar for best experience.

        Honestly, most L.A. sushi places worth their salt would beat your description of Midwest sushi by a mile.

        Kiriko is my actual best pick for you, since their cooked dishes are excellent also, and Head Chef Ken-san & his entire staff are extremely cordial.

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

        1. Based on your description, our taco trucks make better sushi. Sorry. I am sure you get better pierogis. Never been to Zo but Mori, although quite expensive, is really very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JudiAU

            I like Zo, but the service might leave you with a sour taste in your mouth (though sometimes the chef is very cordial, so it may be the luck of the draw). The number of dishes here are great, and that yuzu shooter at the end is divine. It is expensive (though not Urasawa expensive, though I find it very interesting that Zo rated the top score for food in LA, over even Urasawa, maybe Zo just has some fierce proponents aka cheerleaders).

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

          2. I love Sushi Zo and go there about 4-5 times a year. But for a quintessential and more memorable experience, I agree with those who recommend either Mori or Kiriko. More variety, more ambience, very high quality food. You will not get cooked dishes at Zo unless you consider mildly blowtorched butterfish on rice a cooked dish.

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            Sushi Zo
            9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: NAspy

              and as for the torched butterfish, just not a fan of that sauce they glop on it. all the other items are pretty good, except for warm ankimo, which i'm definitely not a fan of.