As the saying goes, ask ten people in LA to name their favorite sushi spot, and you’ll get 20 different answers. Plain and simple, we have incredibly fresh fish in this town, making it all too easy for people to find their favorite local spot and stick to it religiously. We’re certainly guilty of that, too. But it’s also important to take note of the exciting new spots that have opened up - even in the middle of the pandemic. From Highland Park to Studio City, here are three excellent new sushi spots that need to be on your radar.
Studio City couldn’t possibly have room for more excellent sushi spots, right? Wrong. And Yume is proof. The casual sushi bar on Ventura Blvd. only opened in May, but it’s quickly elevated itself to being one of the more exciting new sushi spots in The Valley. The name of the game here is the Yume Box, which gets you six pieces of premium nigiri, truffle edamame, and a Yume Roll for $30. It’s an excellent value, considering both the amount of food you get and the fact that the Yume Roll (spicy tuna and mushrooms, topped with avocado and more tuna) on its own is $21. We’re not saying Sugarfish has some serious competition now, but we’re not not.
Ichijiku is a neighborhood sushi bar in Highland Park and the kind of place you order from and realize how long it’s been since you’ve had a real endorphin rush. To be sure, the wheel is not being reinvented here, but there’s something to be said for a spot that serves fresh and affordable fish that you can put right into your monthly - and weekly - rotation. Our recommendation is to stick mostly to the nigiri section (the $6 branzino is a standout) and then throw in a yellowtail and habanero roll as well. All that said, the biggest surprise at Ichijiku are their inventive and delicious vegan options. From beet and tofu cream-filled rolls to roasted red pepper with crispy lotus root, make sure a few of these end up in your order - whether you’re vegan or not. They offer takeout and have a big back patio if you can’t wait to get home to eat.
If the phrase “affordable sushi omakase in Beverly Hills” doesn’t immediately register with your brain, that’s fine. Normal, even. It sounds like an oxymoron, akin to “jumbo shrimp” or “ethical consumption under capitalism.” But make no mistake: Sushi Tama is the real deal. The neighborhood’s latest spot has all of the trappings of a restaurant with a much higher price point, but for just $45, you can order an incredible ten-piece omakase nigiri set, which comes with smooth, buttery cuts of toro, ikura that bursts in your mouth, and fresh uni that’s been shipped from either Mexico or Japan - all of which will be patiently explained to you by a member of their waitstaff, even if you’re just grabbing the box to-go. Is Sushi Tama too good to be true? Probably. But for now, we’re not going to question it.