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Jan 20, 2006 02:15 PM

Hide Sushi

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What has happened to Hide Sushi? For years we've really liked their Sushi, consistently. While I'm sure there are other, better sushi destinations, I've never left one feeling so satisfied once the price is factored in! But yesterday's birthday event was so disappointing. Supposedly the owner has a new wife and after the divorce and departure of wife #1 5 of the chefs quit and several other staff.

Does anyone know whether the dispersed anchors of the old restaurant have set up shop anywhere else? I am missing that great big slab of yellowfin and perfectly constructed monkfish liver. *sniff*.

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  1. I totally agree with you - last time I went there it wasn't great. Have you been to U-Zen on Santa Monica? I think their prices are comparable and the sushi & traditional japanese dishes are much better than Hide Sushi.

    10 Replies
    1. re: clustysurfer

      I actually *have* tried U-Zen possibly from a suggestions on this list; can't actually remember (my surprise stems from the fact that I have tried so few places other than Hide Sushi I am pleased to actually know what you're talking about!). I didn't find their food as good or as inexpensive either as Hide Sushi. I think this may not have been a terribly independent assessment; I am so partial -- or was! -- to Hide Sushi that my judgement may have been clouded. I think I have grown so very accustomed to the way *they* make sushi that everything else just doesn't cut it; so to speak. But I will try it again now that my golden standard has become leaden (maybe overstating things); perhaps another night and attitude will improve things.

      I am also interested to try the sushi place mentioned on Sawtelle near Nebraska. I'm wondering whether that's the place I visited years ago which was essentially in some gentleman's dingy "rec room". He had rather a snobby attitude as I recall; might decide your looks didn't cut it as far as Sushi-afficionado goes, and deny you service. We did however pass muster but the food seemed mostly just over-priced. Still, things change not to mention attitudes!

      Also, I may try the place mentioned on Westwood Blvd as being rather wonderful. Still, all these places will be way way more expensive than Hide Sushi and so while the New Hide Sushi's prices seem not to have changed, the essence has. Sigh....

      1. re: Sara

        If you're thinking about Sushi Sasabune, they've moved out of that dingy place and have taken over where the "Fake" (as I refer to it)Todai used to be, on Wilshire Ave.

        1. re: Tmblweed

          Interesting; thanks! I guess I must have been referring to that place -- actually I don't know, but if you say so then I believe it! I don't think I acutally ever even knew the place's name; I don't think there was anything posted. You entered through a patio! It was a residence. Do you still recommend the place in its new version?

          1. re: Sara

            sorry, but I think I'm going to have to defer to the expertise of more experienced CH'ers. Even though I live around the corner of Sawtelle & Nebraska, being a somewhat recent college grad, the price of Sushi Sasabune always scared me away from trying the place. =)

            But I think that if you search for Sasabune in the CH archive, you can find some pretty good links. good luck, and sorry that I couldn't be of more help! =)

            1. re: Tmblweed

              given the budget try Echigo at lunch. a word to the wise. that is Sasabune (maybe better)

            2. re: Sara

              I'm not a fan of Sasabune and never will be. It does however have a stong cult following as I like to put it. I think there's a slight sado masochistic relationship that its' patrons and chef's share where the patron sits and is whipped with the chef's choice as he screams "No Spicy Tuna!". Some call this Omakase. I call it horsepoo.

              All this being said, I think everyone should try it once. If you don't like it, don't go back. Be warned however that the rice is luke warm to very warm. It can also get rather pricey.

              Tough to find a replacement for Hide. I only went a few times when I was a student and I thought it was fine for the price. Maybe you could try Daichan on the second floor of the Olypic collection right down the street. It's Kaiten sushi but it's cheap and decent enough to satisfy a craving.

              1. re: yokozuna

                "...there's a slight sado masochistic relationship that its' patrons and chef's share where the patron sits and is whipped with the chef's choice as he screams "No Spicy Tuna!"."...

                ..that's the one! Very silly. It goes along with the odd pretention of certain Japanese (sushi only?) places that don't label themselves even as a restaurant. I'm thinking of the place on the corner of Pico and Gateway (sign w/fish skeleton only). I understand it's wonderul sushi and may try it but I also understand that w/o liquor even it "may run $120/2 pp." Such chutzpah! Anyway it's hard to *find* the place when there's no sign with a label. But of course that's the point isn't it? Non-cognescenti needn't disgrace the place.

                I guess I really like the unpretentiousness of Hide Sushi in contrast with, say U-Zen. Most know this as "decor" but I find it a little intimidating. Bread-and-butter sushi is a good thing!

                And then speaking of Daichan -- that sounds like it must be in the space of the one-time Mi-shi-ma, I think it was called, on the second floor of the Olympic Collection and which left several years ago now. We referred to it as 'Japanese Tapas'. It is quite likely a recognized style of Japanese cuisine that these neophytes know nothing of but I sure miss it. I *loved* when they would serve -- *darn*, I've forgotten their name; hot Japanese sort of cross between pancakes and omelette -- anyway they served those things with some sort of dried little fish on top that wiggled from the steam of the heat of the pancake -- Okonomi yaki perhaps? -- and their little eyes stared up at you, winsome. It was performance art.

                Ah well, things change. Any more suggestions for plebeian suchi would be welcome! TIA.

                1. re: Sara

                  If you haven't seen Perceptor's photo report on omakase at Irori in Marina del Rey I dare you to gaze at these food porn photos and then not jump in your car and head over there...This meal was about $60 PP according to Perceptor.


                  1. re: Sara

                    hehe maybe i just like to be flogged, as i'm a big fan of nozawa (sasabune's senpai) and my one experience at mori sushi (the place with no name on the sign), while breaking the bank, was well worth it.

            3. re: Sara

              U-Zen's better (and more attractive) than Hide, but you're right that it's not as cheap.

          2. I heard horror stories about the new regime from some of the employees that left. I miss their Albacore tataki. I also would appreciate any news of Seki-san or other sushi men from Hide and where they're holding court now. Hide was always so reasonable in price. What is the new replacement for it, with an amazing buyer and low prices? I eat too much sushi to pay $80 or $90 every time I go out for it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sing me a bar

              The guy who opened Sushi Zo used to work at Hide Sushi years ago. Sushi Zo is vastly superior in terms of the quality, presentation, service, and execution, but it's also much more expensive.

              As for Hide, I have not seen the same rapid descent into poor quality. I've definitely had some meals there that were not as stellar as they once were, but I've also had some meals there that reminded me of the good old days. It's just inconsistent. Of course, if a place is not consistently good, then it's just bad, I suppose.

              1. re: sing me a bar

                One of the sushi chefs -- (sorry, I don't remember his name) -- left about a year or two ago to join his buddy at Irori Sushi in Marina del Rey. I think he is a partner there, but I don't know this for sure.

              2. Hide is the only Sushi restaurant on the Westside where I can sometimes leave feeling like I've had excellent sushi for a bargain price. Other times I feel like you get what you pay for, which is still more than I can say most other sushi places.

                Mateo R

                1. If you go to Hide looking to have your world set on fire, it ain't gonna happen. It's just really basic, reliable sushi -- some of it, such as the albacore, a bit better than that -- and it's highly inexpensive. It's not a destination restaurant. I picked some up over the weekend and when the guy told me the price, I said, "No, it should be more than that," but he was right. It's just a really good value and the insanely high turnover guarantees freshness.

                  1. I've been going to Hide for so long that I remember their original, smaller location next door, next to George's Vacuum... remember that??? It had like three tables. That must have been about 15-20 years ago. I'm still a fan of Hide and go there about once a week. While the service is sometimes slower and less cordial as it used to be (being crowded even at 3:00 in the afternoon!), I still leave overall pleased. I think their albacore, yellowtail and special scallop is always very good, especially for the money. I think their salmon and toro are usually subpar. I don't know why, but their salmon seems to always have a smoky, odd taste to it. Their dynamites are excellent.

                    Uzen happens to be another favorite sushi spot of mine. It's less crowded, a little nicer (just a little) than Hide, there's a much wider menu, with many more cooked dishes (try the gomae next time, it's wonderful) and the sushi is always great. But, it is proportionately more expensive than Hide. It's still one of the best values for sushi on the Westside, IMO.

                    You can't compare Sasabune to Hide. While the omakase is usually outstanding, the experience is so different, you might as well compare Urasawa to Hide.

                    The best deal for sushi that I have found -- even BETTER than Hide -- is Sushi Don on Laurel Cyn, just northwest of Riverside Drive, in Valley Village. Same co-owner and thus the same fish as Sasabune but for about 1/5 of the price. The "B Special" is five pieces of choice nigiri (yellowtail, salmon, tuna and two pieces of albacore) plus your choice of roll, hand or cut (e.g., CA roll, spicy tuna, scallop or the exact same blue crab roll as Sasabune), plus miso soup... for an astonishing $9. But, it's just a casual, take-out place so don't try to impress a date there, unless he or she can have the same appreciation for a sushi bargain.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowmominLA

                      I second the rec for Sushi Don, though I'm not sure it's better than Hide used to be. Not to be confused with Sushi Dan, which is supposed to be awful.