A new sushi option is opening this week in Silver Lake, and it comes from a well-known restaurateur out of Mexico City. Santo launches Sunset Boulevard on Saturday, August 19 as a nigiri and hand roll bar with lots of sake and a classy, understated demeanor — a sizeable difference from the original Santo restaurant located in Mexico City.
That first Santo, in the busy Roma Norte neighborhood, is known as a more party-focused hangout space (complete with DJs) that also happens to serve Japanese food. Expect almost the reverse in LA, with the menu of sashimi, nigiri, rolls, and hand rolls taking center stage. There are bites for diners of all stripes here, and eaters can scale up or down their meal depending on how hungry they are or how long they’d like to linger.
A few pieces of hamachi tiradito sashimi and seared eel nigiri might work for some, while larger shared plates of yuzu salmon and fatty chutoro hand rolls could land for others. There are fun Americanized options like the Double Dragon roll with tempura, asparagus, and avocado too and dishes that bring in the flavors of Mexico like a hamachi nigiri with Oaxacan chocolate and Colima salt. Ricardo Nava of Licorería Limantour in Mexico City (a World’s 50 Best Bars awardee) is behind the drinks program, which includes sake and natural wine. The opening menu is below.
Co-owner Jos Gozain has more than a handful of projects in CDMX, including the original Santo, which is said to be Mexico City’s first hand roll bar. He’s flipped the former La Tiendita space into an elegant, dim dining room with vertical slatted wood and plenty of bar seating. A large piece of art adorns one wall and the requisite rattan light fixtures make an appearance, but taken altogether the idea is simply to make Santo Silver Lake a small neighborhood hangout for sushi. There are only 17 seats inside, with another 25 out on the sidewalk, though Gozain also has plans to expand with a new project next door that will debut next year.
Santo is far from alone in its pursuit of raw fish and drinks in the neighborhood. Longtime option Kombu Sushi sits nearly across the street, with Sogo hand roll bar just to the north and Ozen just to the south. Even more elevated restaurants like Atwater Village’s Morihiro and the Ototo and Tsubaki complex in Echo Park are relatively close by, making for a packed Silver Lake-area corridor for sushi lovers.
Santo opens this weekend at 3822 Sunset Boulevard, keeping hours from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. or later (closed Tuesdays). Reservations can be made via Resy.