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May 17, 2014 08:28 PM

Urasawa booked, alternatives?

I'll be in LA next week on a last minute trip and wanted to go to urasawa again but they're booked. Are there any alternatives that compare, or are at least a close second? Thanks.

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    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks, yamakase looks great but what's up with the invitation only? What are my chances of getting a reservation for one this week?
      How does it compare to urasawa?

      1. re: PorkyBelly

        Fellow 'hound J.L. did a nice write up comparing Yamakase to Urasawa, which you can read here.

        Biggest difference to me is the price. All other differences are trivial in my opinion.

        Chances of a reservation? It's one of those, if you have to ask questions ...

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I guess I should add I need suggestions to places I can actually get into with only a weeks notice.

            1. re: PorkyBelly

              Request an invite. As far as I know, it's not that exclusive. The short notice will be the critical factor, not the invite-only-ness.

              1. re: TheOffalo

                Thanks I requested an invite to yamakase. I'll look into n/naka too.

              2. re: PorkyBelly

                Shunji on that case.

                And if it's still Harry crab season or better yet Chilean tiny lobster season then you are in luck.

                1. re: kevin

                  How is old Harry Crab these days, anyway?

                2. re: PorkyBelly

                  Go on the Yamakase web site and send them a nice note. In my experience they were vrery receptive.

              3. You can add Shuni to the list provided above.

                16 Replies
                1. re: Servorg

                  You can add Shuni to the list provided above


                  I wouldn't.

                  (Assuming you meant Shunji and not "Shuni").

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Not a Shunji fan ????

                    Or just not in the tier of Yamakase/n/naka ?????

                    1. re: kevin

                      Obviously, I think one could get a pretty spectacular meal at Shunji, but since the OP specified that s/he'd like to go to Urasawa *again* and if not, then at least a close second, that Shunji may not actually fit. From a cost perspective, Yamakase and n/naka are definitely closer to Urasawa than Shunji.* Also I think the length and pacing might be similar too. This is all based on second-hand accounts, since I've only been to Shunji and not the other places.

                      *Why should the higher cost matter? Because it could actually increase the amount of pleasure derived from the meal, if this study on wine correlates with food:

                      1. re: TheOffalo

                        What Pete, er, TheOffalo said.

                        And, yes, kevin I'm not a Shunji fan.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Fair enough. :)

                          I'll have to
                          Try Yamakase. It sure sounds like Urasawa at roughly Half the price.

                          1. re: kevin

                            Actually, and I'm probably in the minority here, but I think n/naka is the better "economy" alternative to Urasawa.


                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I just noted to kevin that Mr. Gold rated Shunji ahead of n/naka...and I think Shunji with it's mixed palate of cooked dishes, vegetable creations and sushi makes a good option for Urasawa or n/naka or Yamakase...

                              1. re: Servorg

                                And at a reasonable price.

                                Ipse, why no love for Shunji ?????

                                You didn't have to answer obviously. :)

                                1. re: kevin

                                  Why no love for Shunji?

                                  Because the food just doesn't taste very good.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    I think it tastes pretty darn good.

                                    Do you mean for some of The fans it might serve the purpose of more of an epistemological phenomoligical semiotic excercise rather than the delicious punch to the taste buds and unrefined (like me) palate that MC D's serves with its one utterly delicious item in my opinion, Thr namesake filet o fucking fish ?????

                                    The Triple fff delicious threat to the sometimes impentrible jugular.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                I agree wholeheartedly.

                                And agree with you on Shunji too. Like, not love.

                                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                  yes, my expectations were so high of shunji that i was disappointed with my experience. i was however, blown away with yamakase & n/naka. i actually enjoyed both of those experiences more than urasawa now that i'm looking back on it.

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  Considering n/naka has a fixed $165 cost (without supplementals) and Yamakase starts at $200+, anyone who can do math should agree that the former is the more economic alternative.

                                  1. re: TheOffalo

                                    My recent meal at shunji was $175pp for just food. while the cooked dishes were good to very very good, the sushi was just ok. I think n/naka is a much better option at $165.

                                3. re: kevin

                                  It's more like Shunji. But the experience is more fun.

                        2. re: Servorg

                          My fave of the places listed so far would be n/naka, but +1 to Shunji, especially considering that the other 3 mentioned might be tricky to get last-minute reservations to.

                        3. just like ipse said.

                          1. I recommend the omakase at Mori Sushi. Gentle progression from small bites and delicate soup to nigiri. Outstanding rice and wide range of seasonal fish and shellfish. Desserts are simple and light yet impactful, especially the whipped tofu with an exquisite molasses syrup. Japanese hospitality.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: terre_et_mer

                              Good choice.

                              Honestly, I think the sushi at Mori's might be a touch better. And n/naka's "cooked" food is better too.

                              Put n/naka and Mori together and you'd beat Urasawa on both counts. Man, would that be an awesome restaurant!

                            2. n/naka.

                              Yamakase is very informal (and a lot fun).