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Sushi Omakase: Sushi Zo vs. Asabeno?

stever70 Feb 28, 2013 10:02 AM

Going out for a birthday and debating between Sushi Zo and Asanebo for dinner. My wife and I are purists and want a straight sushi omakase. I see Asanebo has several omakase options and several straight-sushi omakase options. As great as the non-sushi dishes look, we'd go for the straight sushi omakase. All of this has me wondering whether Asanebo's true strength might be in their fusion, non-sushi dishes and whether we wouldn't be happier at Sushi Zo. Zo seems a bit more expensive and possibly lacking in service, but to be the better place for a straight sushi omakase. So that's where I'm leaning. Curious to hear any feedback - thanks in advance!

  1. d
    dagordon Jul 2, 2013 11:04 PM

    Ate at Sushi Zo the other day... was quite disappointed by the over-saucing, which apparently is a fairly well-known issue (though I hadn't done my research beforehand).

    The rice itself was I think a bit on the sweet side, but the real problem was the sauce on virtually every piece, which was thick and cloying and totally ruined it for me. A shame, because the fish seemed to be of good quality.

    Have eaten at Jiro (Ginza location), Mizutani, Sawada, etc. in Tokyo (i.e., I know what this is supposed to taste like) -- this was far, far from that level.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dagordon
      quddous Aug 24, 2013 01:00 PM

      What do you recommend in LA?

      1. re: quddous
        PeterCC Aug 24, 2013 02:00 PM

        Shunji, Mori, Kiriko...

        1. re: quddous
          J.L. Aug 24, 2013 04:18 PM

          Try Mori first.

      2. a
        AlkieGourmand Mar 13, 2013 10:50 PM

        These are both good, but Mori Sushi is the best and most serious sushi in Los Angeles. Mori Sushi is 2-3 Michelin-star quality on a Tokyo scale.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AlkieGourmand
          foodiemahoodie May 20, 2013 10:47 PM

          Agree with Alkie. Mori is #1. Then Zo, and then others share the 3rd position.

          Mori is also more entertaining than Zo, which is a bit of a sterile, but excellent sushi-fest.

        2. m
          mc michael Mar 7, 2013 11:32 AM

          Have been to Asanebo, not Zo. Asanebo is expensive and in my view the portions/pieces are small. Very good, but small. Maybe that's good if you are going with a supermodel?

          1 Reply
          1. re: mc michael
            westsidegal Mar 7, 2013 12:32 PM

            as the world wide price of fish has skyrocketed, it seems like almost all sushi bars have reduced portion size.

            probably necessary for survival.

          2. s
            stever70 Mar 1, 2013 09:34 AM

            Thanks, everyone!

            2 Replies
            1. re: stever70
              Servorg May 20, 2013 09:42 AM

              Where did you finally end up and what was your experience like?

              1. re: Servorg
                stever70 May 20, 2013 11:25 AM

                Sushi Zo. It was indeed pricey and the portions were small, but the quantity and quality of things we were given left us very satisfied and overall we had a great experience. We even mentioned to the chef that we were in no rush at the start of the meal, so we didn't feel rushed. Really enjoyed it. Asanebo is next on the list...although Nozawa Bar also beckons. Thanks for asking!

            2. m
              manku Feb 28, 2013 04:31 PM

              Zo is straight sushi...I won't return because it's just not a pleasant dining experience, IMHO. Also, too pricey for such a cold and quick experience.

              Asenebo I adore...it's too expensive for me to go to on a regular basis, but I always leave happy, if not broke! The sushi however is not the strong point.

              1 Reply
              1. re: manku
                kevin Mar 7, 2013 11:54 AM

                I agree with you on Zo, plus I had a severe service problem with it. But having said that Zo is some of the best sushi in LA, based on my previous visits.

              2. J.L. Feb 28, 2013 04:26 PM

                It's apples & oranges.

                If you guys are purists, Asanebo is not for you. Zo would be a better fit.

                Consider Mori Sushi as well, while you're at it.

                4 Replies
                1. re: J.L.
                  cls Mar 1, 2013 06:45 AM

                  Since you have stated you like a more purist experience, I would second Mori. Zo is very good, but much more embellished than is traditional.
                  Asanebo does sushi very well, but I would give the edge to Zo.
                  BTW, my last visit to Zo was very warm and friendly and Keizo took the time to come and explain dishes when we asked. I have no complaints about attitude or service.

                  1. re: cls
                    Porthos Mar 1, 2013 07:03 AM

                    Third Mori. If you want sushi only, ask for sushi only omakase (a bit less expensive).

                    It would be a shame to miss out on the 2-3 really nice prepared dishes at the beginning though.

                    1. re: Porthos
                      kevin Mar 7, 2013 11:53 AM

                      What are the 2 or 3 dishes, appetizer dishes,prepared at the beginning usually ?

                      And are they essentialy zensai ?

                    2. re: cls
                      westsidegal Mar 7, 2013 12:30 PM

                      fwiw, in the years when i had enough money to frequent zo, i was always treated in a warm, friendly, fashion by Keizo.

                      even now, on my infrequent visits he treats me warmly.
                      i've never witnessed anything but good treatment to all the customer when i've been there.

                      he is also more than willing to slow down the pace a bit if you prefer.

                  2. p
                    prawn Feb 28, 2013 04:10 PM

                    If you're looking for a 'no muss, no fuss, just hit me with the best stuff you've got, i'm here to eat, not talk' experience, go with Zo, the chefs will serve you outstanding nigiri and they will do their best to get you in and out as quickly as possible.

                    1. carln Feb 28, 2013 01:57 PM

                      For my money, there is no comparison (in either the food or the price). Zo is much better in my opinion...and more expensive

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: carln
                        carln Mar 7, 2013 10:52 AM

                        Sorry...for some reason, when i wrote my initial response I thought you were looking to compare Zo with Sasabune (i guess i just misread), not Asanebo. Asanebo is also an excellent sushi bar in my opinion and you really cant go wrong with either. Please disregard my prior comments as they clearly are not accurate (Asanebo is both very good...and very expensive).

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