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Aug 10, 2013 12:33 AM

Best sushi in little Tokyo

I will be in downtown la on saturday night. Where is the best sushi these days? Not looking for crazy expensive. Just want great fresh fish

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  1. My go to is Sushi Gen. Good prices (though omakase pricing can be a bit of a mystery), very fresh fish, unpretentious. If you love sashimi you can't go wrong with the Sashimi Deluxe (huge plate of sashimi) or the Sashimi Dinner (smaller portion of sashimi, but with tempura, soup, etc...). If going on a Sat night be prepared to wait an hour unless you have a res, and if you have a res do not be even five minutes late (I have had them give my table away for checking in at 8:05 for an 8:00 res). Very popular and run a tight ship.

    4 Replies
      1. re: PommeDeGuerre

        second sushi Gen. good prices and just straight up sushi. nothing fancy.

        1. re: PommeDeGuerre

          Thanks. Appreciate it. We would be going early before the Joseph Gordon-Leavitt show at the Orpheum which starts at 8pm. So I am thinking of getting there at 6pm---I assume they are still busy at that time?

          1. re: Victor Lieberman

            Yes. Especially this weekend since it is Nisei week.

        2. I suggest Sushi Go 55... Very good, very fresh. All types of fishes from Japan. Not super crowded like Gen.

          1. Mako.

            because Sushi Gen is intolerable.

            18 Replies
            1. re: TonyC

              What about Sushi Gen is intolerable? (Never been, just curious.)

              1. re: TonyC

                And subpar.

                Weirdly. And how can this even be ? There's not very good or even just good sushi in Little Tokyo.

                1. re: kevin

                  You guys seriously have no idea how good you have it - sushi gen is very good and would be top tier in non-major cities.

                  It's only above average for Los Angeles IMO but LA has soooo many sushi joints. At least at gen they have so much turnover that their fish is pretty damn fresh. I'm sure with the amount of money they spend they have it good with the fishmongers too

                  The sushi/sashimi specials at gen are unbeatable.

                  1. re: ns1

                    I guess I just have high standards when it comes to sushi (many moons ago it was the reason I came to chowhund that and bbq). Sometimes I take it for granted.

                    And to this day, LA still has subar BBQ and yet I'm still pretty content with the few decent places we have (i.e. phillip's, bludso's, big mist, and maybe smoke city on the days when it's actually good).

                    1. re: ns1

                      call me crazy but i even prefer hikko or possibly if i squint my eyes, sugar fish, too.

                      btw, if you haven't tried sugar fish you can get on their mailing list for a free bday dinner.

                      probably it's the best deal in town on one's bday apart from perhaps free admission to disneyland.

                      1. re: kevin

                        "I guess I just have high standards when it comes to sushi (many moons ago it was the reason I came to chowhund that and bbq). Sometimes I take it for granted."

                        I used to work for a japanese audit firm and we had japanese clients all over the country. Of course, during audits we would go to what they would consider "the best japanese in the area". Sushi Gen was better than all of them by a factor of a 10+.

                        This gave me a much greater appreciation of the sushi joints in LA.

                        1. re: ns1

                          I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

                          To me, Mori, Kiriko, and Shunji are are all ten times better than Sushi Gen (kiriko might be 7 x better actually truth to tell).

                          1. re: kevin

                            "To me, Mori, Kiriko, and Shunji are are all ten times better than Sushi Gen (kiriko might be 7 x better actually truth to tell)."

                            I'm not saying they're not. I'm saying your assertion that all sushi in little tokyo is not good is 100% wrong. Not as good as Mori/Kiriko/Shunji sure, but not good? That's a stretch.

                            1. re: ns1

                              "Not as good as Mori/Kiriko/Shunji sure, but not good? That's a stretch."

                              My bad, you are 100% right on that point.

                              I guess I thought why bother when you still have exceptional goods just a hop, skimp,and a jump away of the 10 fwy.

                              But you are right Gen is ok (i just never got into it nor liked it), R23 in downtown (though i still don't know if it's still there was great) Sushi Go Go 55 (?) (formerly kwacho and formerly tsukasa was pretty good), and Mako in Weller court is good.

                              i think i agree with tony that Mako might just be the best in the Little Tokyo area.

                              1. re: ns1

                                interesting discussing, ns1, kevin. :> i think it's all relative, imho:

                                i've known friends of friends who visit LA for the first time and love In-n-Out Burgers; then there are those of us living here that have moved beyond In-n-Out. for some, In-n-Out is "good" and a "must have" when they visit LA. for others, "no thanks. gimme Father's Office or whatever else floats their boat." what's "good" for one person isn't "good" for someone else i guess.

                                but count me in the boat of "Sushi Gen, no thanks." i'd rather save my money and go to other places, even if they cost more. on a side note, of course i'd rather go to Gen than, say, some neighborhood "crazy sushi roll place" or kabuki or something, but for a choice of going anywhere for sushi (within reason), i'd rather hold off. :>

                                1. re: chowseeker1999

                                  chowseeker, i agree 110% with you on your sushi gen note.

                                  though if i was only limited to Honda Plaza, i would go to Kagaya which still sets the standard for shabu shabu and is the very same mini-mall as sushi gen, but then again we would be veering off the sushi tip.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    that's actually how I ended up at kagaya the first time. Went to Gen, didn't feel like waiting, walked into kagaya. They seated me w/o a rezzie, which sounded like something out of the norm to them.

                            2. re: ns1

                              interestingly enough, i never actualy got into sushi rolls like some who are usually non-hounds say they like sushi, but really like the rolls stuffed with cream cheese and avocado and doused in copious amounts of sticky, sweet eel sauce and spicy mayo.

                              so i just kind of jumped into some of the relatively good stuff.

                              this was more than a few years before mori, kiriko, and even zo entered the scene.

                              i think i popped my sushi cherry at sushi nozawa.

                              1. re: kevin

                                I think people are missing the point regarding Sushi Gen. Gen has been and will always be best known for their Sashimi lunch and Sashimi deluxe. These items are what Gen should be judged by. There is no way that any of the above mentioned places can give you the quantity and quality of fish for the same price as the Gen sashimi plates. The original poster asked for fresh fish and a good value. In DT, there is no better place than Gen.

                          2. re: ns1

                            true. LA people are spoiled but they all have to pay the big bucks to live there. just transplanted our family to the denver area from LA where there is not one sushi place that doesn't do a cream cheese roll with dynamite sauce. in fact, the best sushi places here pride themselves in their inventive rolls with cheese and salsa. the crazier the better. just enjoy what you have bc one day you could end up like me!

                              1. re: trolley

                                (as the music from the shower scene in "Psycho" plays in my mind)...

                        2. Komasa.

                          Cuz, you know, it is a bit ghetto and pedestrian, but that sort of sounds like what you're asking for.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I actualy rather enjoyed Komasa (last time I went was several yrs ago). Fish is fine (but not amazing); their green tea is delicious. Have never been to Sushi Gen, though.

                            1. re: ilysla

                              I, too, like Komasa.

                              But it's a bit like In N Out. Gourmet it is not. Haute, neither.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Totally agree. It's sort of like Cheers, except for sushi.... ;)

                              2. re: ilysla

                                Sushi gen has the best sushi bar in LA if you like authentic Nigri style sushi. You're missing out

                                1. re: medicine

                                  Its rep for long lines has kept me away, and I'm too lazy to try to get there early.... ;)

                                  1. re: medicine

                                    Sushi gen has the best sushi bar in LA if you like authentic Nigri style sushi.

                                    Sorry, but that's just incorrect on so many levels.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Man, medicine is good...

                                      medicine is entitled to his opinions, but there is no freaking way I could have contributed to this Chowboard while in graduate/professional school. I was simply too busy studying to try anything Chowish to make any worthwhile posts.

                                      Mori Sushi alone wipes the floor with Sushi Gen in L.A. when it comes to nigiri sushi. And we're not counting a host of other better sushi-yas around town...

                                      1. re: J.L.

                                        I flunked out of 5th grade, twice. Then I just stopped trying.

                                        And I can still say with certainty and more than a bit of self-righteous conviction that Sushi Gen is not the best nigiri sushi in LA. Maybe not even in Little Tokyo.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          I agree.

                                          I may get shit for this. But I'd prefer even R23 that is if it even still exists.

                                          For nigiri sushi, I still preferr Mako Sushi in Weller Court (by the way whatever happened to Mako in Beverly Hills ?)

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            About Mako in Beverly Hills: Chef Makoto "Mako" Tanaka shuttered Mako and started Robata-ya on Sawtelle back in 2008.