Are you hungry for sushi tonight? If you’re in Los Angeles, you’re in luck. L.A. is one of the best places in the world to get sushi. Los Angeles is world-renowned for its sushi obsession, with many people noting that it’s practically a food group of its own for Angelenos. L.A. is perfectly placed to offer some of the best sushi that the world has to offer, with the quality and variety of fresh seafood available to the waves of expertly trained chefs waiting to prepare it for you.
Some of these eateries are upscale and refined, or follow old-school and traditional techniques. Some are more fun, more creative and more whimsical. If you want the best of the best, be prepared to pay $100 or more per person. If that’s too pricey for you, we also have some more reasonably priced options.
You to have lots of choices in terms of the vibe, and the style of the sushi place you can visit tonight! Read on to get the information on 12 sushi spots you should know (and try!) in L.A.
Mori Sushi– 11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles (310) 479-3939
Nowaza Bar– 212 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills
Nowaza Bar is named for the famous chef of Studio City. Located in the back of the uptight and upscale Sugarfish Beverly Hills, the bar, run by Osamu Fujita is friendlier, sleeker and more relaxed while still having the same high quality food that would make Nowaza proud. There is a set menu that always has 21 courses, in which you should expect live Japanese octopus, squid, scallop from Hokkaido, and occasionally a Maine lobster roll. While the courses don’t truly represent a traditional kaiseki (an elaborate Japanese eating experience), they are reliably elegant, fancy and delicious.
Sushi Gen– 422 E 2nd St Los Angeles (213) 617-0552
If your budget is tighter and you need something easier on the pocketbook, but still tasty, try this standby in Little Tokyo. Bargain hunting for sushi is often not a good idea (you get what you pay for), but locals know that Sushi Gen’s lunch specials are the exception to that rule. Sushi Gen’s lunch sashimi special is a particularly tasty option, and the price really packs the lunch crowd in (so be prepared to wait!). Even if you don’t go for lunch, check out their great selection of sashimi and nigiri.
Sushi Park– 8539 Sunset Blvd #20, West Hollywood (310) 652-0523
Sushi Park is a hidden-away gem on the second floor of a suburban West Hollywood mall. Don’t let the modest location fool you though, as they take their sushi very seriously. When you arrive, you’ll likely encounter a sign that tells you what they DON’T serve: trendy nonsense, California rolls or tempura. This is traditional sushi in the omakase “chef chooses what you eat” style. The food is serious, the dress code is not. People are here to eat, not to be seen, so casual attire is a-ok.
Hama Sushi- 347 E 2nd St, Los Angeles (213) 680-3454
A lot of sushi places in L.A. (like Sushi Park, above) take their sushi very seriously, in a traditional fashion, while rejecting trends and cream cheese. Other places, like Hama Sushi, are happy to give the customers what they want, even if it’s bourgeoise tastes. Hama will make you a delicious California roll, a spicy tuna roll or a crab roll. It’s no frills and reasonably priced. This is a good bet for “comfort sushi” that isn’t necessarily challenging, but just delicious.
Shunji Japanese Cuisine– 12244 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
If you’re ready to get the real kaiseki experience of delicate balance, featuring small plates of exquisite color and taste, then Shunji is a great choice. This is an extravagant (and pricey) experience that puts you in the chef’s hands. It’s a small space, which allows you to watch the master himself, Chef Shunji, who is recognized as one of L.A.’s premiere sushi chefs, and an expert at matching the meal to the season.
Sushi Ginzi Onadera– 609 La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood (323) 433-4817
It’s misleading to call this restaurant a “chain,” but it is one of a small set of exclusive sushi restaurants anchored in Tokyo, with locations in New York City and Los Angeles. It’s been described as a “16 seat temple to sushi,” a place that is omakase-only, with the chefs choosing your tastes. The prices are high (expect $300 per preson, before drinks), but for good reason. The sushi is exquisite. The choices reflect more traditional and classic Japanese flavors that are hard to find anywhere else.
Q– 521 W 7th St, Los Angeles
Looking for a refined lunch option downtown to impress a client? Q is out to get your vote for best elegant lunch spot. It’s an inviting brick-walled space with an amazing view. Q serves omakase-only options and the atmosphere is intimate and serene. The quality of the fish is excellent, and Chef Hiro gives as much attention to the rice as he does to the fish.
Go’s Mart– 22330 Sherman Way C12, Canoga Park (818) 704-1459
It’s quite a drive for many folks, but if you’re looking to get out of town and try something fun, go to Go’s. It’s an unassuming space, even low-rent, but is well known for pushing the envelope of creativity with unusual preparations. Expect truffle oil, gold flakes, onions, and things you might not recognize. You can order from a menu board, or go full omakase and put yourself in Chef Go’s hands. The word is that each piece is a little work of art.
Okamura Restaurant – 17302 Ventura Blvd, Encino
If you’re not feeling that adventurous, or you’re with friends who just like a good roll, Okamura is a great, reasonably priced choice. Even an omakase tasting from the chef will run you under $100 (compared to $200 and up at other places), and you can order only what you want, as well. The quality is still pristine and delicious, a good family option for a night out in the valley.
Matsuhisa – 129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills (310) 659-9639
This is the flagship and original location of Nobu Matsuhisa’s world-spanning sushi empire. Though he now has restaurants all over the globe, this is the original, and it hasn’t changed much in the last several decades. It’s a humble place that just serves delicious, classic sushi like miso black cod for reasonable prices. The omakase will run you less than $100.
Sushi of Gari Hollywood– 6201 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles (323) 400-6300
And finally, something a little different. This restaurant is a transplant from New York City that takes a strikingly different approach to the traditional chefs that dominate the landscape of L.A. sushi. Much of the fish is seared before serving (creating a much different flavor), and unusual combinations abound, like quail’s egg on halibut or sweet shrimp with miso. If you’re not sure, but want to give it a try, the lunch specials are a particularly good option, with prices right at $40 per person.
So whether you’re looking for something high end, or for something quick and reasonably priced, extravagant or simple, homey or slick, there’s a sushi restaurant for you!