photo credit: Jakob Layman
The Best New Sushi In LA
Seven fresh spots to add to your raw fish rotation.
This city is home to some of the best sushi in the country, ranging from decades-old institutions to unmarked shops in far away strip malls. After all, who wouldn't be inspired to serve sushi in California, given our proximity to the sea, fresh produce, and this song by BAYLI and Junglepussy. So, if you're looking to add a new name to your sushi rotation, here are seven exciting restaurants that need to be on your radar.
Looking for our all-time favorite sushi in LA? We’ve got a guide for that, right here.
The Best Sushi Restaurants In Los Angeles
If you’re undaunted by a drive deep into the Arcadia suburbs, Kisen is a real destination: the rare sushi restaurant that lands in the middle of a good price/great selection/high quality Venn diagram. Run by a chef who spent years at Sushi Gen and Shiki in Beverly Hills, the dedication to detail here is apparent in the perfectly vinegar-seasoned rice and pristine seafood that’s been aged in traditional Edomae style. There’s an $80 minimum to sit at the blonde wood bar, but spending that much will get you a kingly meal and the focused attention of whichever skillful chef is slicing the goods that day, which might include seasonal fish like skipjack tuna and goldeneye snapper imported from Japan. Otherwise try the dine-in sushi sets that go for $35 at lunch and $50 at dinner—they’re Lexus finesse on a Mitsubishi budget.
photo credit: Kat Hong
Introverts should avoid Beverly Hills’ newest sushi restaurant. A meal here functions like an open mic night: jokes of varying funniness are flung out and audience participation is mandatory. But if you can stand the hot seat, this one-man show housed in a tiki-themed sushi restaurant is second-to-none in entertainment value. At the center of it all is the magnetic Hilo, a Maui-born chef who almost certainly was an entertainer in a past life. While other omakase spots ask for your preferences mostly out of obligation, the chef here is genuinely curious to know your likes and dislikes. Did you mention a love of silver-skinned mackerel? You got it. Not a fan of uni or ikura? You’ll never have to see it. Meal prices are calculated by the fish, which means you could stop in for a quick snack or four hour-long epic saga, depending on the night. The standard omakase hovers around the $200 mark and features a quirky array of non-traditional nigiri and Hawaiian fish like opakapaka (pink snapper) and kahala (greater amberjack).
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Silver Lake is good at many things—coffee shops, Spanish-style homes, dogs with overly cute names like Button—but sushi is not one of them. And while Kenbey would shine in any neighborhood, the mid-priced sushi restaurant on the corner of Sunset and Fountain is especially bright here, a place where the only real competition is Gelson’s and a rather sad-looking Sweetfin. Choose between fun, Americanized favorites (like crispy rice loaded with fresh tuna and green shishito peppers) and an elegant omakase that costs either $120 or $150 and comes with two nigiri rounds plus a handroll. Nigiri range from simple, traditional cuts like otoro brushed in shoyu to seared Wagyu slivers and hotate scallops dolloped with the tiniest scoop of truffle.
photo credit: The Brother's Sushi - Santa Monica
The Brothers Sushi - Santa Monica
The Brothers Sushi’s second location in Santa Monica is a huge win for Westsiders. Instead of schlepping to Woodland Hills, this fantastic sushi restaurant has come to you, and brought all its Okinawan jellyfish, dry-aged fish collars, and ora salmon caviar along with it. There are two omakase options (which cost $140 or $200) and various a la carte dishes, but the star of the show is their premium chirashi: a luxury box loaded with 15 types of seafood, seasoned sushi rice, plus a side of miso soup. It’s the culinary equivalent of a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado or this scene from Mamma Mia: 2 Here We Go Again—an instant classic.
Haru Omakase Sushi
Haru is an excellent option if you’re craving sushi in Westwood—and not in the mood to give any more of your money to KazuNori this month. The tiny shop on Westwood Blvd. is takeout-only at the moment, but service is efficient and everything comes packaged looking like a work of art. The menu has everything from bento boxes and carpaccio to specialty rolls and a daily sashimi board, but our pick—particularly during lunch when it’s $30—is the chirashi bowl. Filled with 12-15 pieces of premium fish ranging from toro to raw scallop, it’s the perfect treat-me lunch without burning too big of a hole in your wallet.
photo credit: Eugene Lee
This scene-y Arts District izakaya from the team behind Kensho is extremely pleasing to behold. The indoor-outdoor dining set-up has a minimalist aesthetic that feels calming, but with a certain cool-kid energy courtesy the hip DTLA crowd that dines here. While we aren’t huge fans of the grilled bar bites at Kodō, their sushi menu deserves your time and attention. A la carte raw options make use of high-quality seafood sourced from Alaska and Australia, and a $120, six-course, sushi omakase involves a bunch of nigiri and an excellent chef’s choice sashimi. If you’re looking for a dramatic new place to have a sushi and sake-fueled dinner party with some friends, Kodō does the job in style.
Kogane is exactly what the San Gabriel Valley lacked, a high-end omakase spot in the land of dim sum and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppers. Is it our favorite sushi in the world? Not quite, but for $100 at lunch and $250 at dinner, you probably won’t find a superior option in Alhambra. It’s run by two seasoned sushi chefs who you’ll see standing behind the bar, cheerfully chatting with repeat customers as they slice toro, red snapper, and mackerel into silky, uniform pieces. We prefer to come at lunch—it’s an easy, breezy meal that lasts for about an hour and begins with an umami-packed prawn miso soup and ends with ahi hand rolls. Plus, there’s a Jamba Juice next door in case you’re in need of dessert (as we always are).