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A Mexico City Sushi Sensation Makes a Splashy Silver Lake Debut

Santo brings nigiri, hand rolls, sake, and more to a compact space on Sunset

A close up side shot of a torched piece of raw fish, pink, over rice, at new LA restaurant Santo.
A blistered bite of sushi at the new Santo.
Jakob Layman
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 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.

A blistered piece of yellow-red fish over sushi rice on a wooden plate at new LA restaurant Santo.

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.

A close corner look at a dark wooden bar of a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles named Santo.
A view from one side of a tan room of a dark wooden bar with stools and art beyond at new LA sushi restaurant Santo.
Vertical slats let sunlight into a dark sushi bar with deep wood tones, as tables are set for service at new LA sushi restaurant Santo.
Soft wooden touches and lots of bar seating.
Black plates hold raw fish, shishito peppers, and more at new LA restaurant Santo, on a wooden table.
A collection of sashimi and snacks.
Salmon, uni, and other sushi bites over rice served on a long wooden tray at new LA restaurant Santo.
Nigiri of all sorts.
Fried shellfish sticks out of a nori-wrapped rice roll with avocado at new LA sushi restaurant Santo.
Crispy soft shell crab hand roll.
Black chopsticks hold up a single piece of sushi roll topped with chopped tuna against a black background at new LA restaurant Santo.


3822 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90026 Visit Website
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