As the saying goes, “Ask ten people in LA to name their favorite sushi spot, and you’ll get 20 different answers.” It’s no secret that this city is home to some of the best sushi in the country, ranging from decades-old institutions to unassuming spots in far-out strip malls. Maybe it’s our close proximity to the ocean, maybe it’s California’s abundance of super fresh produce. Or perhaps it’s the fact that we can’t stop listening to this song by BAYLI and Junglepussy. Whatever it is, if you’re looking to add a spot to your sushi rotation, here are five new, 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.
A meal at Morihiro feels like listening to a Terry Gross interview, or ice-cold water straight from the Hydroflask. Pure excellence, in other words. The Atwater Village restaurant is run by Morihiro “Mori″ Onodera, who gained a cult following during his time at Inn Ann, Shiki, and Mori Sushi. He’s now set up shop in a quieter part of town, and serves an excellent variety of sushi sets, omakase meals, and bowls of chirashi at reasonable prices. Plump pieces of toro come expertly sliced, unique chirashi bowls are topped with tsukemono, uni, and just-picked strawberries, and all of the rice is imported from a special purveyor in Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture. Oh, and he makes all of their ceramicware in-house. It’s an attention to detail we haven’t seen since the time we once chugged a ton of coffee then spent eight hours color-coding the notes on our phone. Call (323) 522-3993 to place an order or make a reservation.
Over in the old Ma’am Sir space on Sunset Blvd., this new sushi restaurant makes food that looks like it belongs in The Broad. It’s run by the same people who own Ichijiku, an excellent sushi bar in Highland Park where the branzino nigiri never fails to give us a surge of serotonin. The menu here is less nigiri-focused, but instead concentrates on high-quality sashimi and chirashi bowls that shine like jewelry boxes. Get the Hokkai don - it’s a seafood-rich dish that’s served with four rows of salmon, blue crab, creamy hotate scallops, and enough ikura to populate an aquarium. Sunset Sushi is open for takeout and limited outdoor seating, walk-ins only.
Hidden away on the top floor of the Japanese Village Plaza, this Little Tokyo restaurant combines the fish you know with the ones you probably don’t. From fatty otoro to spear squid, all of the seafood here is sourced either locally or from Japan’s Toyosu Market, then prepared using the labor-intensive Edomae process. Rather than slicing raw fish to order, this technique involves multiple days of aging, curing, marinating, and sometimes, even bathing, before it reaches the plate. What results is a depth of flavor you might not be used to - hirame, or halibut (which can sometimes fall on the rubbery side when raw), arrives as smooth as butter. Bites of mackerel are salty, and rich with umami. And since all of the fish is pre-marinated, there’s no need for extra soy sauce dipping. Which is honestly good for us - after spending the last year frantically refreshing our Twitter browser every three minutes, our lives could definitely use a little more simplicity. Sushi Hide is on a brief hiatus, check their Instagram for all the latest updates.
Gozen Japanese Bistro is not a sushi bar, nor can you come to this upscale kaiseki spot in West Hollywood and only order sushi. That said, whichever prix-fixe menu you end up going with (there are three different options ranging from $80-240), you’ll absolutely be eating incredible sashimi and/or sushi at some point. Gozen’s fish is flown in daily from Japan, so there’s never a set menu, but know that you’re going to be eating some of the freshest fish currently being served in West Hollywood. This is undoubtedly a high-end experience, but if you’re good with the price point, Gozen delivers on its value - and the sushi is a big reason why.
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.
Plus: One Standout We're Looking Forward To
But wait! There’s more! If we’ve learned anything from the latest Zola trailer, it’s that it’s always nice to have something to look forward to. When we started doing research for this guide, we were super excited to try DSCO, a new Japanese pop-up in the Hollywood Hills. But just as we were about to place an order, they announced that they wouldn’t be open until May. So set your calendars, because starting next month, the team behind Kensho is launching a new menu filled with Kyoto-style temari sushi, and includes the DSCO box set, an omakase meal consisting of ball-shaped sushi topped with tuna, uni, and various seasonal vegetables, and the DSCO fish set, which features nine pieces of sushi, like hamachi prepared three ways. Check their Instagram for the latest updates.