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Trying to Choose Between Kiriko or Sushi Masu

c
curiousgeo Jan 12, 2011 12:09 PM

My family and I will be staying near Century City and would like to have a nice sushi dinner one night. Somewhere solid but not high end. Two places that seem to be well thought of are Kiriko on West Olympic and Sushi Masu on Westwood. I've looked at both on Yelp and they seem promising and within our price range. Any thoughts or preferences between the two? Thanks for your help.

  1. n
    ns1 Jan 12, 2011 12:43 PM

    masu is cheap and good. omakase for 2 usually < $120. not super high variety but everything is pretty fresh and I have never left unsatisfied (except for Valentine's day one year...)

    I'd say the fish @ Sushi Gen is better but Masu is a WAY better itamae than anyone @ Gen.

    1. c
      Clyde Jan 12, 2011 01:25 PM

      i have not been to masu but i dream about returning to kiriko in the very near future.

      1. c
        curiousgeo Jan 12, 2011 03:31 PM

        Thanks for your comments Clyde and ns1. So far both places sound good, 1 vote for each. Any others?

        1. p
          PandanExpress Jan 12, 2011 03:39 PM

          I've been to Masu a handful of times when I lived a block away and Kiriko thrice. They're both great in different ways.

          When I think of Masu, I think of his creative sauces and combinations of fish + rice. He's also very good natured and even did a vegetarian (or as vegetarian you can get at a sushi restaurant) omakase for my BF once. I suggest making reservations or getting there early b/c the bar gets crowded at peak hours, at least it used to when I lived there.

          Kiriko is about experiencing the fish. He often has seasonal things that are prepared very simply and delicately. The chef isn't cold or snooty, but definitely not as gregarious as the one at Masu.

          Another option, if you want to drive a little east, is Kiyokawa. They have a couple of set omakase options and their nigiri and sashimi are wonderful, but the omakase there is definitely more like kaiseki, so you get a lot of cooked dishes too. The cooked dishes are quite good, but if you want mostly raw fish, I'd go with one of the two above.

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: PandanExpress
            Servorg Jan 12, 2011 04:01 PM

            I find that Kiriko (along with having very excellent sushi) has a very impressive line up of cooked dishes that are both creative and delicious. Fusion food options that are very satisfying, without going over the top either in terms of ingredients or price.

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

            1. re: PandanExpress
              s
              Sgee Jan 14, 2011 06:01 PM

              If you go to Kiyokawa, don't order ala carte. He does a much better job omakase and seems to enjoy sliding back and forth behind the counter dishes together.

            2. J.L. Jan 12, 2011 04:19 PM

              Yelp sucks, because it gave the OP the illusion of these 2 places being of similar parity.

              It's not even a contest. Kiriko wins by a mile.

              Kiriko: Creative cooked dishes, fresh fish, fantastic desserts, high quality, averages $80-$100 per person per omakase meal.

              Masu: Cheaper. Has gone downhill of late.

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

              9 Replies
              1. re: J.L.
                n
                ns1 Jan 12, 2011 04:29 PM

                1. "Masu: Cheaper. Has gone downhill of late."

                Sad to hear :(

                2. "averages $80-$100 per person per omakase meal."

                I've done 80-100 for TWO @ Masu

                dunno, I think once you're at the 100pp mark it's on a whole different level. I think of masu as a 50pp place.

                1. re: ns1
                  J.L. Jan 12, 2011 04:41 PM

                  Like I said, Masu is cheaper. So is Hide.

                  One can order a la carte (and control costs better) at most sushi places, including Masu & Kiriko. My price quotes reflect omakase. Your mileage may vary.

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

                  1. re: J.L.
                    Servorg Jan 12, 2011 04:46 PM

                    I took a fried to lunch at Kiriko a few weeks ago and we ordered cooked dishes and sushi off of both the menu and the specials for that day and walked out after being very well fed for $80, plus tip. I thought the meal was an extraordinary value for the both the quality and quantity of the meal.

                    1. re: Servorg
                      J.L. Jan 12, 2011 04:52 PM

                      A true Freudian slip on Chowhound, calling your friend "fried"... heehee

                      1. re: J.L.
                        Servorg Jan 12, 2011 04:55 PM

                        And all we had was one large beer between the two of us! (It's difficult to type well with two dogs sleeping across your lap as you lean sideways to get to the computer...)

                        1. re: Servorg
                          J.L. Jan 12, 2011 05:03 PM

                          Heehee just joshin' around Servorg. I'm on a spellcheck binge today, for some reason.

                          1. re: J.L.
                            Servorg Jan 12, 2011 05:09 PM

                            My friend called me the other day to say she was taking her daughter (who was 7 months old when I met her and my son was 22 months) to Vegas for her 21st birthday. I felt ancient at that moment! ;-D> She and I take each other out for our birthdays every year and we've been to Kiriko the past 2 birthdays. It's a great place.

                    2. re: J.L.
                      n
                      ns1 Jan 12, 2011 04:48 PM

                      actually, my costs reflect omakase too. i have never ordered ALC @ Masu. I think he's a good itamae with a quirky sense of humor. Downhill report makes me sad to hear.

                  2. re: J.L.
                    s
                    Sgee Jan 14, 2011 05:59 PM

                    Ditto, in different leagues the two restaurants.

                  3. westsidegal Jan 12, 2011 06:04 PM

                    imho, they are not comparable restaurants.
                    masu: good neighborhood place
                    kiriko: a higher-end destination restaurant.

                    1. c
                      curiousgeo Jan 13, 2011 11:03 AM

                      Thanks for all your thoughtful replies, I really appreciate the comments. I'm a little surprised at the difference between the two restaurants, as they seemed pretty similar when I began my research. This is why Chowhound is such a valuable resource, getting insight from local hounds who have been to both places. So Kiriko will be our first choice, with Sushi Masu our second as a good neighborhood kind of place.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: curiousgeo
                        b
                        bucktown Jan 14, 2011 03:50 PM

                        Sushi Masu is my favorite sushi place in the entire Los Angeles area (and I've been to some so called top tier places like Matsuhisa, Kiyokawa, Mori, etc.). It's my standard, go to place for sushi. First of all, for the price, it can't be beat by a longshot. I've had the omakase there for $35pp (average for me is prob around $45 though). He gives you VERY generous portions of fish and doesn't stop dishing 'em out until you're stuffed usually around 11 pieces (of not your commonly found fish either). It's also fantastically delicious. And as someone mentioned before, I counter it certainly has not gone downhill but remains as great as ever. (although I've noticed I have the best experiences Tuesdays and Fridays for whatever reason)

                        2nd, Masu is hilarious. If you can get passed his very thick Japanese accent, he's one of the funniest people I've ever met (he can be occasionally dirty minded, which often has me laughing out loud). Sometimes it's almost like going to dinner and a show. He's never rude, but can egg on diners who take themselves too seriously. If you want the full Masu though, you sort of have to interact with him to get him going. He'll take it from there.

                        So, it really depends what kind of experience you want to have. Kiriko is more serious minded, as somebody said more of a destination restaurant. Masu seems a little more like an authentic, neighborhood sushi joint that gives you some of the freshest fish for the best price. If you go to Masu though, just make sure you sit at the bar on Masu's side and only order sushi.

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

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

                        Sushi Masu
                        1911 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                        1. re: bucktown
                          n
                          ns1 Jan 14, 2011 03:52 PM

                          thanks for the counterpoint.

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