romantic sushi restaurant in bev hills?!
i'm a hollywood guy. Don't know the west side at all..
What are my options?
I hear Sushi Roku is overrated?
I'd take matsuhisa any day over either...sushi sushi is really pricy and I seem to recall serving one piece of nigiri per order too, not 2...kiyokawa is better than ok but not my first choice...neither say high end romance to me, or classy traditional Japanese feel either...frankly id take shunjis over all of em foodwise!
good sushi is not particularly romantic, though in a more purist/traditional setting the atmosphere will be understated and reserved. you will be able to carry on a relatively intimate conversation and the wait staff will not be intrusive if you elect to sit away from the bar. the quality of the sushi may suffer a bit though as it will sit and oxidize if you order it all in one fell swoop.
anyone who appreciates the more purist view will enjoy sushi sushi in BH. the well-known sushi chef maomichi yasuda has been quoted as saying that sushi is 90% about the rice, and the quality of the rice they serve at sushi sushi is among the best i've ever had. nothing shigei serves is less than perfect, but if you get on his good side, he'll volunteer offerings not on the menu, though you will have to sit at the bar to develop some rapport. i should mention that i've found shigei to be mercurial.
some people will be put off that his plates typically feature one piece rather than the customary two you get in the US, but i am typically satisfied with the same number of orders i might order elsewhere.
it may not be the right spot for your date, but i do recommend trying the place for the reasons i mentioned.
If your priority is romance over actual sushi quality, the following breakdown might help (all data contained are simply my opinions, and only places near the 90210 are considered):
KEY (5 is max. score): R = romance factor, Q = quality of sushi, $ = cost
Sushi Roku (for your frame of reference): RRR, Q, $$$
Nobu (La Cienega): RRRR, QQ, $$$$
Koi: RRRR, Q, $$$
Matsuhisa (flagship): RRR, QQQ (sushi only), $$$$ (their fusion food is actually QQQQQ)
Kiyokawa: RRR, QQQQQ, $$$$$
Sushi Sushi: RR, QQQ, $$$$
Crazy Fish: R, Q, $$
Urasawa: RRRRR, QQQQQ, $$$$$
Yojisan: RRR, QQQQ, $$$ (warning: it's more Italian crudo than sushi)
Nozawa Bar: RRR, QQQQ, $$$$
Sugarfish: RR, QQQ, $$
California Roll Factory: R, Q, $
Sushi Roku is not overrated - it is simply awful. I have never understood people who like Matsuhisa. The sushi is second tier. The sushi at Sushi Sushi in Beverly Hills is actually good. I was not impressed with my one meal at Kiyokawa many years ago. Perhaps it has gotten better.
I think romantic and good sushi are more or less oxymorons, although I guess the private room at the old Ginza Sushi-Ko (now Urasawa -- I have not been since it changed hands and I assume the room is still there) could be considered romantic in its intimacy and there is nothing like letting a date know that you care by spending close to $1,000 on her dinner.
But basically, I would decide whether you care about the food or the atmosphere and then choose accordingly.
I actually like Matsuhisa a lot too. It's just so damn pricey...hypocritical, since it's coming from a person who spends all of his disposable income on sushi. The sushi's decent, but that's not why you're going there anyways. Wouldn't call it romantic though - more of a starf**ker spot w/o the trendy ambiance.
I really like Kiyokawa, but it's hardly romantic. One can lose libido waiting for Sato-san to finish plating a matchbox car inside a jewel box.
Anyone try Shiki(sp?) yet? That could be an option.