At Morihiro, you can have every sushi experience under the sun.
Looking to sit at the bar and be personally served by the chef? There’s a $400 omakase that lasts for hours and can go head-to-head with any of the biggest names in LA sushi.
Have a serious date coming up, one where you want your partner to feel special, but aren’t in the mood to do something ridiculous like buy them jewelry or pledge to stop thirsting over Dev Patel in public? There’s a wonderful prix-fixe at the table option ($250), complete with sleek, silver-skinned hikarimono, abalone on the half shell, and those warm little towels for your hands.
Or, perhaps you want a meal that doesn’t cost as much as a high-quality Bose speaker. Well, Morihiro also serves six-piece ($65) and 10-piece sushi sets ($100), as well as luxurious chirashi bowls and vegan cut rolls, all made with the same immense care and attention-to-detail as a technician gluing six-inch acrylics to your stubby, bitten nails. Which is to say, a lot.
Whether you’re a raw fish novice or a master, looking to drop serious cash or simply eat a meal, all you need to experience one of LA’s greatest restaurants is a reservation, which is actually quite hard to come by. We recommend keeping an open tab with their Tock page running in the background.
No matter what you order, you’ll receive an elaborate appetizer and dessert–think dishes like fermented monkfish liver, baby white corn still wrapped in the husk, and homemade chestnut cream puffs. Servers explain each dish in painstaking detail, and most of the dinnerware, from plates and bowls to seemingly unending cups of tea, is made by hand, courtesy of chef Mori Onodera himself, who apparently spends a lot of time at the pottery studio.
Our favorite way to experience this place though is through option number two: the omakase at the table—a rapid-fire journey that bounces between traditional nigiri and experimental dishes. It’ll set you back $250 per person, which, yes, is a lot of money, but it’s the best way to try everything that Morihiro has to offer.
Silky tofu cubes are draped in fresh soy sauce. Japanese abalone is served on the gleaming half shell. Scallops are paired with briny tsukemono pickles, and rotating plates of nigiri arrive with jumbo prawns, yellowtail, red surf clams, otoro, and perfect mounds of uni. Beneath every fish slice lies a scoop of wasabi, Morihiro’s freshly grated secret weapon—a sinus-searing ace the size of a pea that makes every piece of sushi come alive in your mouth. On past visits, we’ve had it with sea bream, fatty tuna that melts like butter, and the chef’s personal favorite, silver-skinned hikarimono (gizzard shad).
On any given night, you’ll find Atwater Village’s sole sushi spot packed with parents trying to impress their surly teenagers, couples sitting on the same side of the table, and Millennials who are just happy to hear Miles Davis and John Coltrane playing over the speakers. It’s a destination that should be on every sushi enthusiast’s to-do list, and your mind whenever you wonder, “Where should I take my hard-to-please mother on her birthday?” Morihiro is fine dining at its best; food so exquisite, so exceptionally exceptional, it deserves its own Netflix documentary, combined with a warm atmosphere you’ll enjoy eating in. Just be sure to keep an eye on that reservation page, OK?
Omakase At The Table
As we mentioned before, this is the way to go. Sure, you won’t be seated at the actual bar, but you’ll be saving money and will enjoy all the dishes that make this place great. The exact offerings vary, depending on the seasons and the chef’s preference that day, but expect things like cherry tomatoes suspended in white wine jelly and scallops served next to pickles, plus round upon round of nigiri ranging from red surf clams to two different types of uni. If you don’t leave slightly disoriented, you’re probably doing it wrong.
A truly wonderful, perfect option. This little meal feels like watching a 90-minute movie—it’s not a second too long, plus there’s a distinct beginning, middle, and end. You’ll get the chef’s choice of sushi in addition to miso soup, an appetizer round, and dessert.
Not your traditional chirashi, this one comes adorned with tsukemono pickles and tiny mushrooms, alongside fresh cuts of hamachi, uni, ahi, and ebi shrimp. It’s a refreshing combination of flavors you might recognize and others you might not, and a dish we’d eat every day if not for the threat of mercury poisoning.