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New Report Says Some of LA's Best Sushi Restaurants Serve Mislabeled Fish

The Hollywood Reporter does an investigation into some of LA’s most popular sushi spots

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A stunner of a new story out by The Hollywood Reporter alleges that up to 60 percent of seafood being served at some of Los Angeles’s most popular sushi restaurants may actually be mislabeled. The publication took a look at five common fish species and eight different restaurants around town, and came back with some pretty damning evidence.

The piece tackled samples of yellowtail, tuna, snapper, salmon, and halibut (the latter of which was universally mislabeled), passing them off to biologists for testing against the verbiage of each restaurant’s given menu. So which restaurants did The Hollywood Reporter find to be wanting in the accuracy department?

Lowest on the list was Hamasaku in West LA, which only got one fish wrong. Hide Sushi in West LA and Sugarfish in Brentwood mislabeled their fish half the time, while Asanebo in Studio City had discrepancies 60 percent of the time. Jinpachi in West Hollywood, Katsuya in Brentwood, and Kiriko in West LA fell short 75 percent of the time, with the worst offender being Sushi Sushi in Beverly Hills, where a staggering 80 percent of the fish was allegedly listed incorrectly.

Of course, the notion that the fish diners think they’re eating may actually be vastly different than what’s listed on the menu is nothing new. Back in January a UCLA study quoted the number of mislabeled fish products at closer to 50 percent, but cast a wider net in their more official peer-reviewed study. Some of that may be nefarious, but a fair bit of the mislabeling actually occurs further down the supply chain, well before seafood even makes it to the restaurants in question — which is a major part of the reason chefs like Michael Cimarusti work with sustainable seafood programs like Dock to Dish.