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Jul 5, 2011 10:14 PM

Kiyokawa, Kiriko, Matsuhisa or somewhere else?

Coming back to L.A. this week; as usual, we look forward to some fabulous dining. In the past we've enjoyed Lucques, Angelini Osteria, Joe's, Pizzeria Mozza & Amandine Cafe. Places we thought were okay were Tacos Por Favor, Anisette, Griddle Cafe & Zankou Chicken. While girls (now 12 & 15) & I enjoyed Musha very much, DH didn't appreciate the pub food. It was a fun place with great, friendly service. DH basically prefers innovative/fushiony sushi/sashimi. It is in this regard, I seek your help.

Decided we would love to have some good sushi during this trip (other choices for this night were AOC, Wood & Vine). Based on food & atmosphere, Katsuya Hollywood would be ideal; however, don't want to chance subjecting kids to rude hostesses/service & long waits even with reservation. I guess ideally, we would like a restaurant that has quality food, good service & offers items similar to Katsuya. BTW, 12 yr old will be quite happy to make a meal out of soup, rice & toro, toro, and some more toro (we mainly go to Sushi places near home in the SF Peninsula). At 15 yr old's request, we celebrated her birthday in May at Ozumo in the City. DH has been to Nobu in NYC on business so he would prefer to go elsewhere in L.A. Lastly, 12 yr old & I are allergic to shellfish.

Trip is also be a little early anniversary celebration; therefore, I have a reservation for CUT for one of the days. Rounding out the trip will be an early Pizzeria Mozza dinner before heading out to Hollywood Bowl. We'll be staying at Renaissance Hollywood.

As always, appreciate your help.

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  1. If you are staying at the Renaissance, why not Yamashiro? No one will pretend it is LA's best sushi, but it is close, convenient and has a great view (that you pay for).

    Other than that there are two dozen contenders for "L.A.'s best sushi" and you've named three of them, can't really go wrong. Matsuhisa is my favorite, but that is partly out of habit.

    129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

    1 Reply
    1. re: scottca075

      Oh let's not scare away our out-of-town friends with Yamashiro. While I wouldn't call the food at Yamashiro abominable, it gets close to it. I agree the view is good, and it's OK for drinks (with teenagers in tow?), but skip the food there.

      1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

    2. "... innovative/fushiony sushi/sashimi ..."

      Kiyokawa offers that, but the vibe is more for couples out on dates, and less of what you're looking for. I think Kiriko serves the same great fare, AND has more of a vibe you'll all be comfortable in, but if you sit at the table, I feel it's a sub-optimal experience.

      BUT... I have an even better suggestion for you: n/naka. The modern kaiseki cuisine at n/naka is amazing. The menu changes each season. It's very family friendly, yet upscale. And food preferences/aversions/allergies are all taken into consideration at time of booking. There is no a la carte menu, but I've never had a bad meal with Niki Nakayama cooking.

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

      6 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        Second this post.

        About Kiyokawa, I would say that the main sushi chef (I think his name is Satoshi) is very friendly and easy to talk to, and I imagine would be great with kids. That being said, I do agree that the vibe is more for couples, and I feel that's due to the other patrons that tend to eat there. You can get a pretty mean bowl of soup at Kiyokawa for the 12 y/o though.

        Anyway, yes, n/naka is great.

        1. re: J.L.

          Kiriko is great at a table if you reserve the tatami table in advance and give them your budget and food restrictions. Tatami dining could be fun for the kids.

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

          1. re: J.L.

            Had a fantastic birthday dinner at n/naka last night -- food and service were fantastic.

            1. re: will47

              very nice to hear. I just made a reservation for next week.

            2. re: J.L.

              Place Link added for n/naka (including website info).

              3455 S. Overland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034

            3. I’ve seen families with kids eating at Shunji’s. The staff is awesome, the chefs are brilliant and the food is absolutely delicious. Check out Shunji’s menu at There is also a slideshow where you can see pictures of the interior.

              7015 Melrose Avenue
              Los Angeles, 90038
              (323) 933-6500

              7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

              1. Thank you all for your replies. Glad Shunji's is recommended, forgot that was in the running too (had read waay too many posts including J.L's); will give them a call.

                I agree that Kiyokawa would be okay to take the kids as I think I spoke to Mr.Satoshi himself who seemed very friendly on the phone when I was inquiring about reservations.

                Completely forgot about Yamashiro - my friend took me there for drinks & view about 16 years ago to be exact, lol!

                As for n-naka, just not sure if DH will go for it without an a la carte menu. I've already struck out twice with him (first Musha, then Sakagura last year in NYC). Again, the latter was a fun place with extremely gracious, friendly service. While kids didn't love the food (save for the black sesame creme brulee), they admitted they had fun trying everything & proclaimed a successful evening overall. DH is a seasoned traveler but when it comes to food...sigh.

                Lastly, I got cold feet regarding CUT & cancelled my reservation. Too many mixed reviews even from esteemed L.A. hounds; may be if it were just me & my husband.