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BEST SUSHI in LA...

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I don't eat fish. My husband is a sushi snob ala Yasuda San in NYC.

We need to go to "the best" place where I can order something - veggie rolls, soup, tofu, noodles, seaweed, etc - and he can have a mind blowing LA sushi experience.

Staying in Beverly Hills - please help!!

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  1. Kiriko

    http://www.kirikosushi.com/

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805478

    13 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I often have respect for Servorg's opinions. But I politely disagree. Kiriko might be in the top ten, but not even the top five. Mori and Sushi Zo.

      I like Kiriko, but I have a sushi snob friend who won't return. And the last time I went - the rice was undercooked. Fish was good though. The cook dishes were good, but I had fried oyster - and they weren't great. And when my friend saw them open a big jar of1st Mayo - he was turned off ("They should be making their own."). To me it's good "bargain" sushi. (relative to Mori and Zo.).

      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        i would agree w/your kiriko assessment, normally, however, i think servorg was adhering to the context of the OP's request where "veggies rolls, soup, tofu, noodles, seaweed, etc." can be ordered. while zo is most def great for sushi, the other items are not an option (save for the miso soup and uni noodles that are part of the omakase). mori has some cooked items, but i'm not sure whether u can simply order them a la carte.

        1. re: namstermonster

          Yes, a place that does only omakase will not work. What do you think about Asanebo or
          Takao?

          1. re: lavendula

            haven't been to takao. asanebo would probably be better overall, at least for the cooked dishes. as for the sushi, it's only decent, def not mind-blowing. however, that is my sentiment on kiriko as well. i think generally, you'll have to compromise the awesome sushi part if you're also searching for great cooked dishes. ;p

            1. re: lavendula

              I like Takao and lunch there often, but I think it is WAY over rated.

            2. re: namstermonster

              It's been a while Nami! Regarding Mori, yes, the non-sushi items can indeed be ordered a la carte.

              Other options that haven't been mentioned might include Aburiya Toranoko, n/naka, and Nozomi.

              1. re: kevin h

                Aburiya's izakaya offerings are fantastic, but the OP's sushi snob husband may not get a "snob-worthy" experience there.

                n/naka is set kaiseki, with focus on seafood - I'm almost afraid to ask Chef Niki to create a non-fish kaiseki for the OP...

                1. re: J.L.

                  you definitely can get "snob-worthy" sushi experience at Aburiya Toranoko served to you by the talented itamae Hisa-san ;)

                  -----
                  Aburiya Toranoko
                  243 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

                  1. re: yinyangdi

                    The sushi at Aburiya Toranoko is "almost there", in my book. Maybe I'll go for sushi omakase there again soon to convince myself...

                  2. re: J.L.

                    Yeah, I think the only option that's *really* snob-worthy here would be Mori.

                    As for n/naka, I've heard that Chef Nakayama is quite flexible with her menu, and I know she has considerable facility with non-fish ingredients, so it might be an option.

                    1. re: kevin h

                      I don't get n/naka as a recommendation at all, though I think the food there is fabulous. The OPs husband wants sushi. At n/naka, one of the courses might be sushi and one might be sashimi. The fish will be unusual and very fresh, but it won't be a sushi experience. For the OP, n/naka makes very little sense either. Most of the dishes include fish or shellfish and, frankly, that's what Chef Nakayama excels in making. I'm sure she could do a non-fish menu, but why would the OP go there if other places fit the bill?

                      1. re: Jwsel

                        +1 on what Jwsel said...

            3. re: Servorg

              I agree with Servorg. I had sushi at Kiriko on Thursday night and the fish was fantastic. Extremely fresh. The rice was cooked perfectly.

              We stuck to sushi only, but from past experience, the cooked foods at Kiriko always are excellent. They don't have many noodle options, but there is tremendous variety and the OP shouldn't have any problem finding excellent non-sushi options.

            4. Mori Sushi. Make a reservation, sit at the bar, do NOT sit at a table. I recommend the omakase at Mori. If you don't eat fish however, you may have to be elsewhere while he gorges, as Mori is very "fish-centric".

              If you must dine together (hehehe), then Hiko Sushi (a recent "discovery" of mine) may be a good bet:

              Hiko Sushi
              11275 National Blvd.
              Los Angeles, CA 90064

              (310) 473-7688

              For the record, I enjoy Kiriko immensely as well - Their sushi IS legit, as well as their cooked dishes. I think Servorg's recommendation of Kiriko is a proper and right fit for your & your spouse's dining needs.

              (All of the above sushi-yas are about 10-15 min. from Bev. Hills by car)

              Asanebo is a bit more of a shlep from Bev. Hills, and sushi is not really their strong suit. Takao is OK, but nothing to write home about, in my opinion.

              Good luck, and please report back!

              7 Replies
              1. re: J.L.

                Thank you all so much. I don't want to compromise the mind blowing sushi part. Maybe we will have to do a lunch? Does Mori Sushi do lunch? Will they mind if I sit and drink green tea, haha?

                I wouldn't dare go to Yasuda to sit at the bar and not order fish, so I'm a little scared!!

                It seems like their website is down: http://www.morisushi.org/ Does anyone have the menu?

                THANKS AGAIN :)!

                1. re: lavendula

                  Lunch at Mori is also sushi-centric. No joke: Mori may not have anything other than tea, beer, and sake for you, if you're not partaking in fish. Omakase IS the menu at Mori's sushi bar (whatever is available & fresh that particular day). Unfortunately, I doubt itamae Maru-san will let anyone sit at the bar and just have tea. Your fear of not ordering fish at Yasuda's bar should apply for Mori Sushi as well.

                  ... Which is why Kiriko is still on the table as a great option for both of you.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Would sitting at the table be that bad?

                    1. re: lavendula

                      Just not an optimal experience. ... And you've come so far from NYC to eat here.

                      1. re: J.L.

                        It wouldn't matter where we sit at Kiriko?

                        1. re: lavendula

                          Not as much. You're good at a table at Kiriko.

                          The caveat is that any sushi experience is elevated by sitting at the sushi bar. If your husband is truly a sushi snob as you say he is, then you guys should sit at the bar (fear not, you can order your non-fish items from the menu while seated at Kiriko's sushi bar).

                2. re: J.L.

                  FYI I adore Hiko Sushi, it would be great for your husband but not so much for you. They have an extremely limited menu... possibly miso soup and maybe an avocado roll if I remember correctly (and I could be wrong.) Plus they are super strict and do not allow for any deviations from the menu. But the freshest fish on the west side... yum, I have to go back!

                  Good luck!

                3. Since you're staying in BH, I recommend these two sushi-ya:
                  (including links for photos for examples as both websites have been taken down...)

                  Kiyokawa
                  265 S Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
                  (310) 358-1900
                  http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/JVDy2e...

                  7015 Melrose Sushi & Sake
                  7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
                  (323) 933-6500
                  http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/iHUMUV...

                  -----
                  Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
                  265 S Robertson Blvd Ste 10, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                  7015 Melrose Sushi & Sake
                  7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: yinyangdi

                    I really appreciate all of help :)

                    A friend of mine just suggested Sugarfish. I tried to look up the menu, which states that you CAN order ala cart, but it's not coming up...

                    1. re: lavendula

                      I am not a fan of Sugarfish at all. Not much to eat for a non-fish eater. You can do so much better elsewhere.
                      http://www.sugarfishsushi.com/press_i...

                      1. re: lavendula

                        If your husband likes great sushi then please don't come all this way and take him to Sugarfish...ala carte or not.

                        1. re: lavendula

                          while the fish is fresh, it is certainly NOT "mind blowing," but rather assembly line work done in the kitchen (at least at the downtown location) where they bring the plates so fast as to get you in/out in about 1/2-hour.

                          1. re: yinyangdi

                            100% agree. The fastest $40 meal you'll ever eat outside of McDonalds.

                          2. re: lavendula

                            I do takeout all the time from sugarFISH, and I like it (obviously), but alas, it's not a destination restaurant (here is a crappy photo of my takeout, for everyone's edification).

                            Again, you're flying all the way to LA to have great LA sushi, only to end up eating at our casual (but good) sushi place?

                             
                          3. re: yinyangdi

                            I was a big 7015 fan for a while but now that the first two chefs have left it has taken a real nose dive in quality. I ate there last night and will not be back. I think it is about to go under.

                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                              What?! :( who is the 2d chef who left, Susumu and/or Sei?

                              1. re: yinyangdi

                                Susumu is now gone...not sure who Sei is.

                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                  Both Susumu and Sei are both gone and along with them the delicious food they created themselves and carried on from Shunji.

                                  I feel like I have to find every post where I recommended 7015 and reply a retraction.

                                  1. re: yinyangdi

                                    Here's some good news yinyangdi - Shunji is back in business on Pico in the old Mr Cecil's Rib space. Intimate. Great. Get there before work gets out. Ooops, it just did.

                                    12244 West Pico Blvd LA 90064
                                    310-826-4737

                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                      ;) thank you for spreading the word!

                                      1. re: yinyangdi

                                        Yes...it is wiser to spread the word, than the wor"k" -- as I seem to have (mis)typed.

                                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                                          Sometimes the eye sees what it wants to as i did not read it as work but "word"... I had to re-read 03/10 msg to figure out 3/11's. ;)

                                          I did look up Shunji's new restaurant and, from what I read, it is still in the soft-opening stage. But, I was able to find some pictures of his recent dishes and they look delicious!

                          4. Take a look a Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills (not Nobu). That might work with something good for both of you.
                            http://www.nobumatsuhisa.com/

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

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wienermobile

                              Matsuhisa excels at Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, and I love it love it love it, but straight -up sushi, while decent, is not their strong suit. Though I agree that the non-fish eater will have a great time there.

                              Why does everyone insist that it's a sushi restaurant (a la "... oh it's Japanese, therefore it MUST be sushi...")? Actually Matsuhisa is first and foremost a fusion restaurant at its core.

                            2. What about KiRaLa?
                              http://www.sushikirala.com

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: cls

                                You guys are the best, thank YOU! I will stay away from Sugarfish. I think Kiriko is gonna be it b/c I don't want to sit outside on the curb while hubs enjoys his omakase at Mori, haha.

                                As far as sushi snobbery goes, hubs would not bring me to Yasuda b/c he had his preferred seat at the bar and mentioned once to Yasuda-San that I didn't eat fish...and the answer was not pretty!

                                1. re: lavendula

                                  "Get new wife!"

                                  1. re: lavendula

                                    i LOVE kiriko. i've done the omakase there 3 times and all three were just fantastic. i'm sure your hubby will enjoy it AND you can find something for yourself on the menu. i also think kiokawa would be a good choice but personally i enjoyed my time at kiriko more.

                                    1. re: Clyde

                                      +1. I also LOVE Kiriko.

                                      1. re: ThatPat

                                        If I might hijack the thread a bit, Kiriko or Mori for a weekday lunch? Preferred focus would be on sashimi, but we like just about all Japanese food. Mori's website is down, making it hard to compare. And I know some Japanese spots have different offerings for lunch and dinner.

                                        Thanks!

                                        1. re: RChicago

                                          i've only been to Mori once and it seemed fancy pants compared to Kiriko. both were excellent however if you want to go all out i'd go w/ mori. if you want something a bit more casual, i'd choose kiriko. just my opinion, not sure what others would say.

                                          1. re: RChicago

                                            mori all the way.

                                            1. re: RChicago

                                              I recall back in the day going to Mori for lunch and regretting it. Mori himself wasn't in the restaurant and frankly, the meal was mediocre. I ended up having a second lunch elsewhere. I did this twice at Mori before I wised up.

                                              1. re: choctastic

                                                Thanks, folks. And thanks to choctastic in particular about the lunch experience at Mori. As I mentioned, I'm concerned that lunch may be different from dinner, so your input is greatly appreciated. As we only have Sunday, Monday, and part of Tuesday in L.A. proper, I thought Tuesday lunch would be our best bet for fresh fish. But, of course, I'm interested in the best option. If anyone would recommend something other than Kiriko or Mori for a weekday sushi lunch, please let me know.

                                                Thanks again.

                                    2. Pearl Dragon in Pacific Palisades, although not the best, is overlooked among the best, possibly because the tone is casual. The product, in quality and presentation, is top tier.

                                      -----
                                      Pearl Dragon
                                      15229 W Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

                                      1. i think you're set on kiriko, but i was gonna throw in a nod for Kiyokawa. love that place.

                                        my other silly thought was you two should split up for the evening... find him a chowhound to eat at Urasawa with him. figure out where you want to go, and i'm sure someone on here will be willing to meet ya! ;)

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: Emme

                                          Despite all the accolades for Zo, your husband might be disappointed with their sushi.

                                          Fish quality is excellent but the sizing is very teeny tiny .. a speck of rice and a sliver of fish. Great for small eaters but I've never encountered any other sushi bar in the US or abroad that makes nigiri that tiny.....

                                          I have not been myself but Urusawa seems like the best bet in town for blow your socks off experience.

                                          1. re: Sgee

                                            I think you missed the point of the OP - she doesn't eat fish. So she's not going to be able to eat anything at Urasawa.

                                            It's a conundrum - the best sushi places specialize in just that - sushi. So if he's a real sushi snob - he'll be in Heaven with Mori or Zo. (he's looking for great sushi, not big portions) But if he's just a pretender (and I have friends who are pretenders) then he'll be find at a good, but not stellar sushi joint. They could go to Katsu - and she'll have plenty to choose from there. It's a lot of fun, the food is good, but it's not the pinnacle of sushi in L.A.

                                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                              I assume hubbie wants bragging rights to his sushi friends in NYC. If Yasuda is his benchmark, Urusawa, Mori and maybe Zo in descending order would work best. Anything less and he just won't have bragging rights. NYC hold its own compared to LA for sushi choices.

                                              Agree with your point about pretender... then just go to Matsuhisa and say they visited Nobu's first stateside restaurant :-)

                                              Best solution, hubbie goes to Urusawa on his own. Lavendula separately goes to Cut, Spago, Bouchon, Bazaar or Puck's new place in renovated hotel. All should be in close proximity to where they are staying.

                                              As for Zo, I just don't think his sushi is technically correct. Where Urusawa claims ~170 grains of rice to form his nigiri, Zo probably only has ~50 grains.. Any experts in the hallowed halls of Kyubey, Jiro care to weigh in on the technical aspects of Zo's nigiri?

                                              1. re: Sgee

                                                Been to Jiro, Mizutani, Kanesaka, and Sawada in the Tokyo area.

                                                Been to Urasawa, Mori, Zo, Kiriko, Shibucho, and Go's Mart in the L.A. area.

                                                Been to Yasuda and Masa in the NYC area.

                                                I'm by no means an expert, just a Chowhound. Yes, the rice and how it pairs with the seafood is key, but my experiences and past conversations tell me that leeway is given to the rice-to-fish ratio. Every itamae has their own way of doing things. Call it artistic license.

                                                By the way, Puck's new place is in the Hotel Bel Air, which is just a bit more of a drive from all the other Beverly Hills eateries you also mentioned.

                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  JL, how did you manage Jiro? I was under the impression it was native speaking regulars only. Please email me. Thanks.

                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                    I have a Japanese friend who was on the "in" crowd, and I was allowed to tag along. The whole affair lasts about 45 minutes. A bit too much vinegar in the rice for my liking at Jiro, but that's just me. The freshness of the offerings is unmatched, though...

                                                    Yes, I have already seen the "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" film (at an advanced screening last May in L.A.). You should go see it, if you haven't done so already!

                                                  2. re: J.L.

                                                    It's not so much the ratio of rice-to-fish, but the overall serving size. Sushi Zo has 50grains and a tiny piece of fish to match. And is it not weird to anyone else that he forms the rice while his assistant adds the fish and then serves it to you?

                                                    1. re: Tkn

                                                      Yes, sounds really weird. However, I do like the smaller pieces of nigiri sushi because they are easier to eat.

                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                        And you can eat more dishes. That's a reason I love Zo...he doesn't stuff you up with a few slabs of fish and too much rice. His smaller portions allow me to sample many kinds of fish. Folks can quibble (actually, folks around here do a lot more than quibble) about what he charges/item but for me it is worth it, once in a while.

                                          2. Sushi Hide @ Sawtelle Blvd - a hidden gem! Quite close to Beverly Hills.. Somewhere btw. Beverly Hills and Santa Monica

                                            Authentic sushi restaurant. Even though I used to eat American-Fusion sushi. This place changes me. Their fish is so fresh! Go for Monkfish.. Albacore.. and even their salmon - I've never had salmon ngiri as buttery as that. Ohhh... And their salad too.. It's extremely yummy. They use different ingredients.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: indofood

                                              Hide is good sushi, but nowhere the quality of a Kirilo or Zo. Hide's biggest selling point is that it is cheaper and good quality for the money. It's not a place that is going to cause a sushi snob to rave.

                                              1. re: Jwsel

                                                +1 on what Jwsel said...

                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  +2, xcept for the part about it being good.

                                                2. re: Jwsel

                                                  We ended up at Kiriko and it was great! We went with 2 friends from LA and we all left super happy and satisfied. There was a delicious spinach and mushroom salad for me, shisito peppers, edamame, vegetable rolls, red miso soup...and homemade ice cream with berries. Hubs was in heaven and thought the fish was very fresh. His only comment was that there were many cooked pieces and a few more tricks, sauces, etc, and he does prefer straight up traditional sushi. The fact that we could all eat together was what made it the best and right choice for us. He also thought it was a bit over priced but we did do the the Kiriko omakase. If any other vegetarians are reading this, I must admit I had to excuse myself when they ripped the live shrimp heads off! Thanks so much for all of the help, we did thoroughly enjoy the meal :)

                                                  1. re: lavendula

                                                    Glad to hear that it worked out for all of you. Thanks for reporting back. It's always nice to "see" a local place through the eyes of outside guests.

                                                    1. re: lavendula

                                                      so did you end up at the sushi bar or a table? was it a veggie omakase or did you order from the menu?

                                                      1. re: AAQjr

                                                        We sat at the sushi bar, I had made a reservation in advance. They did not have a veggie omakase, I ordered off the menu. At first they were not okay with it, saying that if one of us wanted the omakase we all had to order it, but after a little prodding they finally said it was okay :)