Hayato is a tiny Japanese restaurant that makes very elaborate, pre-order-only bento boxes during the day, and elaborate traditional kaiseki dinners a couple of nights a week. For dinner, you need to reserve in advance, pay a $100 deposit, and be fine with having no idea what you’re going to eat. The food is good, but the meal is ultimately a bit of a slog. You’ll sit at a bar with five or six other people, and watch as the chef prepares around 10, mostly seafood courses. Dishes range from eel tempura and Kyoto-style sushi to dashi broth. It’s all very subtle and understated, but a meal here ends up being a bit stiff. There’s no music, which gives you the sense that you should probably whisper. All of that combined with the high price, this is a place for Japanese food die-hards only.
More spots in Downtown LASee more
Bargain hunting for sushi rarely yields good results. Unless you’re going to Sushi Gen.
Plan Check downtown has great bar food and an even better beer list, an ideal combination for pre-gaming an event at Staples.
Shin-Sen-Gumi is a build-your-own ramen concept that actually isn’t that gimmicky.
More Japanese spotsSee more
Orsa & Winston
Orsa & Winston is an Italian-Japanese restaurant in DTLA that’s just as good for a casual lunch as it is for a special occasion dinner.
Santa Monica’s KazuNori is a handroll-only sushi option from the people behind Sugarfish. Expect the same quality without the crazy wait.
Joon Shabu Shabu
Joon is a very good shabu shabu joint in Glendale, and your move when you feeling like cooking meat yourself tonight.
Suggested by our writers
Matsuhisa is the Beverly Hills restaurant that launched the Nobu empire, and there’s no sushi place that feels more LA.
Sushi note is part sushi spot, part wine bar, and unlike any other place to eat raw fish in the city.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more