Los Angeles has a plethora of culinary strong suits, like regional Chinese fare and tacos of all stripes, but almost none are as impressive as the city’s sushi offerings. Though the pandemic was challenging for sushi restaurants, especially those that rely on counter-side interactions between chefs and diners, LA’s scene is returning to full strength. From upscale omakase menus to enduring mom-and-pop classics, here now are 19 of Los Angeles’s essential sushi restaurants.Read More
The 19 Essential Sushi Restaurants in Los Angeles
Where to indulge in the most pristine nigiri and sashimi
The Brothers Sushi
The Valley is no stranger to good sushi and Brother’s is a fine addition to the thriving scene. Order a la carte or sit back and let chef Mark Okuda take care of the meal with an omakase. While the more-creative menu costs $200, the $140 menu offers much of the same stellar sushi.
Shin Sushi brings a refined omakase experience from chef Taketoshi Azumi, whom patrons refer to as Take-san. The high-end, Michelin-worthy array of nigiri is priced at around $200 per person for dinner.
Phillip Frankland Lee took an unconventional route to opening a high-end omakase counter hidden away behind Scratch Bar. A longtime fan of LA’s sushi restaurants, Lee took his appreciation to the next level by creating his own style. Traditionalists would balk at Lee’s undertaking, but the fans continue to show up in droves. Prices for a meal here start at $145.
Sushi Note combines the mastery of chef Kiminobu Saito with fantastic wine pairings. The $140 omakase includes pristine fish, moderately seasoned rice, and great service. The $75 wine pairing takes the omakase to the next level.
This unassuming spot in Arcadia has a versatile lunch sushi set from chef Hiro Yamada (Sushi Gen, Shiki). The $33 lunch special comes with nine pieces of nigiri, a cut roll, miso soup, and a few small bites. The price jumps up at dinner, where most opt for the more elaborate, edomae-style omakase.
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Sushi chef Morihiro Onodera founded the celebrated Mori in West LA before helming the counters at Inn Ann and Shiki over the past few years. Onodera has finally opened his own omakase restaurant in Atwater Village, with masterful preparations and stunning world-class sushi. The price to see Onodera in action is equally sky-high.
A purist sushi destination located in an unlikely West Hollywood strip mall. Head here for the blue crab hand roll, unagi, toro, and uni — and don’t be surprised if you see an in-the-know celebrity dining across the way. If price is no object, Sushi Park is certainly one of the top places in West Hollywood.
Chefs Fumio Azumi and Kwan-san have brought a phenomenal destination-worthy sushi place to Alhambra, with a hefty $300 per person dinner menu served at the bar and a more reasonable $120 lunch on weekdays. Quality is top-tier, with two kinds of rice and all the freshest fish available.
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Sushi Tama opened in August 2020 with a sleek counter and impeccable nigiri using Japanese-sourced fish. Chef Hideyuki Yoshimoto worked for years in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market before partnering with Showa Hospitality at this stylish sushi destination in a chic part of West Hollywood/Beverly Grove.
The spirit of Nozawa lives on at this intimate sushi bar located behind the Sugarfish in Beverly Hills. With fewer than 10 seats, this rarified experience feels very much like a top-level place in Tokyo, with theatrical service and a hushed counter dining experience. The $225 per person meal comes with 20-some courses.
With multiple omakase options — from a $110 menu at lunch to a $280 menu for dinner and a nigiri-only menu for $140 — this intimate omakase experience is one of the most talked-about sushi dinners in town. Chef Hide Takeda sources fish from California and Toyosu Market in Tokyo.
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Kaneyoshi is one of the newer stars in LA’s high-end sushi scene. This counter-only restaurant in Little Tokyo costs a hefty $300 a person and serves a truly spectacular dinner comparable to the best around the world. Sister restaurant Bar Sawa offers a more affordable $140 omakase next door with cocktail pairings to boot.
Little Tokyo’s Hama Sushi is best known for its no-nonsense approach. Plastered on the front door is a sign that lays out the ground rules: Only sushi and sashimi. No tempura, teriyaki, noodles, or “rice alone.” Those who find the approach agreeable will be treated to some of the finest sushi in town. Grab a seat at the horseshoe-shaped bar and order a la carte from a list of fairly standard fishes prepared exceptionally well.
Find chef Keizo Seki serving ultra-fresh sushi from an omakase-style counter at the second location of this popular West LA spot in Downtown’s historic core. Reservations are required and prices run above $200 a person.
With a full omakase dinner and a sushi-only option, this under-the-radar restaurant along Westwood Boulevard from chef Shinichi Akazawa is one of the best upscale sushi spots in West LA.
The quality of the fish speaks for itself at this refined sushi den in the heart of Downtown’s Financial District. While dinner will cost a pretty penny, lunch is a worthy splurge for those working in the area. The dinner omakase is priced at $300, while lunch is $150.
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This iconic sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo is constantly packed at the bar and in the dining room. Most come for the unbelievably priced lunch sashimi special, but order directly from the menu or at the bar for an even better experience. The expansive selection of nigiri sushi and sashimi never fails to please.
This casual mom-and-pop restaurant has been serving approachably priced Kappo-style fare in a Gardena strip mall since 1994. Mitsuo Fukazawa and his wife serve pressed oshi sushi that reflects the more traditional, slightly fermented style that preceded Edo-style nigiri. The chirashi is terrific, too. The restaurant offers takeout for lunch and indoor dining for dinner.
Priced at just $65 per person, the omakase from Hirofumi Sakamoto offers one of the best deals in town. Settle in to 15 pieces of terrific sushi that is sure to impress even the snobbiest of sushi-goers. The varieties of fish range from familiar cuts to more obscure ones.