photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Omakase By Osen image

Omakase By Osen


Silver Lake

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerFirst/Early in the Game Dates


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If you’re in the mood for a casual, relatively affordable night of sushi, Omakase By Osen might be a place you’d initially skip over. After all, “omakase” is literally in its name, a word that conjures up visions of an hours-long meal and several hundred dollars from your bank account. But while this Silver Lake does indeed offer an omakase—$180 per person at the sushi bar, $150 at a table—there’s more here than meets the eye. That’s because Omakase By Osen is, in fact, a low-key neighborhood sushi spot in disguise. And a pretty solid one at that. 

If you’ve eaten much Japanese food on the Eastside, the name Osen might sound familiar. That’s because the chef of Omakase By Osen also runs Izakaya Osen, a consistently crowded spot on Sunset that's been a Silver Lake mainstay for years. While Izakaya Osen serves an array of small plates, meat skewers, and sushi, Omakase By Osen focuses exclusively on the latter. The space is warm and welcoming: There’s a long wooden bar against the kitchen where the omakase goes down, a row of cozy tables with bench seating, and a tiny front room with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer excellent people-watching along Sunset. The servers are warm and attentive, happy to pour more sake at a moment’s notice and constantly check in to make sure you like the food.

Omakase By Osen image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

The menu at Omakase By Osen is big, with sections for starters, sushi, and "cold signature plates." Your eyes will likely be drawn to the more decadent dishes first: Caviar-topped toro appetizers, sashimi plates covered in truffle, and buttery baked king crab hand rolls. These are all delicious to have on your table, but if your meal is dominated by them, it can quickly get expensive—not ideal if it’s a random Tuesday night and you’re kind of wearing pajamas. Instead, you’re better off focusing on the more straightforward items—such as the daily nigiri and “classic” handrolls—all of which fall under $10 and are among the best things on the menu anyway. From there, you can add on a few of the decadent, splurgy dishes (the miso crab salmon is a clear winner) and call it a day. 

You might also be curious about the sushi bar omakase. The $180 per person price is high-end, but considering some omakase meals in LA go for more than double that price these days, it could be worse. At Osen, you’ll start with around seven small plates, from clam miso soup to monkfish with seaweed salad to start, then a full sashimi platter, followed by nine pieces of nigiri and a dessert. It’s a good amount of food, but for that price, you’d expect every dish to be executed perfectly and that’s not the case here. The steamed egg custard is a bit runny, the wagyu beef arrives at room temperature, and the toro tartare doesn’t taste like much of anything. Plus, all of these dishes are available on the regular menu anyway, so it’s not like you’re getting special treatment from the chef. You’re much better off snagging a table and ordering off the regular menu instead. You might even see us there doing the same—just don’t judge us if we’re sort of wearing pajamas.

Food Rundown

Omakase By Osen image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp


Despite the size of menu, you can have a satisfactory meal at Omakase By Osen simply by sticking to the nigiri section. Our favorites are the amberjack brushed with sweet soy and the Hokkaido scallop sprinkled with sea salt, but you can just follow your heart—we’ve yet to try something we wouldn’t order again. Most of the basic nigiri falls under $6 per piece.
Omakase By Osen image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Miso Crab Salmon

If you want a fancy dish that’s unique to the restaurant, get this. It’s essentially a specialty roll, but instead of nori, hunks of snow crab are wrapped in salmon and drizzled with truffle oil and miso dressing. It’s sweet, savory, and tangy—and the best signature dish on the menu.
Omakase By Osen image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp


With close to 30 varieties on the menu, handrolls are a strong suit at Omakase By Osen and what most people in the restaurant are eating. An $8 salmon handroll might seem a bit steep, but the ones at Osen are massive. We recommend starting with a few simple ones (spicy salmon, yellowtail cilantro, etc.) and ending with something decadent like the baked king crab or whitefish with truffle.
Omakase By Osen image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Wagyu Beef With Ameabi

This is basically Osen’s take on surf and turf: a thick, medium-rare cut of wagyu topped with cold sweet shrimp. As part of the omakase, the wagyu comes out at room temperature, but when ordered a la carte, the portion is both bigger and better-cooked. If you want to splurge on an appetizer, this is a great option.
Omakase By Osen image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Matcha Mochi Cake

No matter how many hand rolls you end up ordering, make sure you save room for this baby: A thick, chewy mochi cake with a stripe of savory kabocha frosting going down the middle. It’s big enough to share, too.

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