The Absolute Best Sushi in Los Angeles Right Now
If you’re searching for the best sushi in Los Angeles, you’re spoiled for choice: Our area draws from the expertise of not one but three concentrations of Japanese Americans (Little Tokyo in downtown, Sawtelle in West L.A. and Torrance in the South Bay). So eat up, Los Angeles—you have almost as many sushi experiences as there are fish in the ocean, from artisanal hand rolls in Los Feliz to strip mall omakase parades of the chef’s jazziest offerings. Here is an essential rundown of Los Angeles’s vast selection of raw fish meals.
1. Sushi Zo, West L.A. and DTLA
From the humble strip mall location to the splashier downtown restaurant, Sushi Zo is famed for its 30-piece tasting menu that includes orange clam with truffle salt and saltwater eel courses.
9824 National Blvd., #C, 424-201-5576 or 334 S. Main St., #1106, 424-201-5576; sushizo.us
2. Nobu, Malibu
Want to take someone special to a dining experience that’s equally unique? That’ll be Nobu Malibu, where the long waves crashing right underneath the restaurant’s deck are as beautiful as the sake and the seasonal specials (hello, truffles). And instead of worrying about the drive back home, splurge for a night at the elegant Nobu Ryokan right next door.
22706 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 310-317-9140 or noburestaurants.com/malibu
3. Sushi Gen, Little Tokyo
The freshness and simplicity here, as well as the reasonable prices, are what have people lining up before 11 a.m. daily for the $17 lunch sashimi special with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, toro, squid, various chopped and broiled fish, miso soup, cucumber salad and soft tofu. At dinnertime, the same special is $23, but you’ll need to line up at 5 p.m. if you want to nab this great deal.
422 E. Second St.; 213-617-0552 or sushigen-dtla.com
4. Sushi Ginza Onodera, West Hollywood
This high-end spot boasts two Michelin stars and fresh fish flown in twice a week from Japan. So what if this seasonal omakase resto is going to set you back $300 per person? You’re getting traditional skills (like marinating and salting) that date back to the time before refrigeration when the methods were developed to make the most of the haul from the Bay of Tokyo.
609 La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 323-433-4817 or sushiginzaonoderala.com
5. Sogo Roll Bar, Los Feliz
Noted Valley sushi master Kiminobu Saito recently opened this joint as the sushi destination amid the trendy East Hollywood restaurant boom. Foodies love this no-nonsense counter where for less than $20 you can tuck into four fat rolls of snapper, yellowtail, salmon and toro, with a yuzu soda to wash it all down. Perfect for an early dinner while you’re waiting out the rush hour traffic to head west.
4634 Hollywood Blvd.; 323-741-0088 or sogorollbar.com
6. Hayato, DTLA
This fine-dining Japanese spot in the Row complex serves eight diners at a counter, with one private dining room if you’re feeling shy. The kaiseki (multi-course) menu is elegant, seasonal and pricey, but the bento boxes are the real distinction here. The little jewel boxes of sushi, rice and cooked food are a surprise for just 20 lucky patrons daily.
1320 E. Seventh St. #126; 213-395-0607 or hayatorestaurant.com
7. Shin Sushi, Encino
This tiny strip mall newcomer to Encino has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as the city’s next great sushi destination for its chef’s focus on the freshest ingredients and exacting preparations and his great patter with you while you’re enjoying his multi-course omakase offerings. Reserve ahead and sit at the counter to watch him blowtorch, baste and chat, and be sure to enjoy the nigiri bundle of mild Japanese chives [[correct?]] he dusts with bonito flakes.
16573 Ventura Blvd., Encino; 818-616-4148 or facebook.com/Shinsushicorp/
8. GO’S MART, CANOGA PARK
Truffle oil! Gold leaf! These retro food trends are still in force at this former Japanese videotape-and-sushi store that’s let the entertainment go by the wayside to focus solely on the fish. Pro tip: Ask for Chef Go’s “white fish plate,” in which he serves four white fish (like marinated halibut, kanpachi or whatever is freshest that day) with citrus zest and shiso.
22330 Sherman Way, Canoga Park; 818-704-1459
This Sawtelle spot has fancy lineage: Its chef, Shunji Nakao, was one of three original chefs at Matsuhisa Beverly Hills, arguably ground zero in Los Angeles’s love affair with sushi. Dependably fresh, creative and fancy, plus there’s a new innovation worth scoping out—a pop-up omakase-only restaurant on Sunday night, when Shunji is closed.
12244 W. Pico Blvd.; 310-826-4737 or shunji-ns.com
10. N/Naka, Culver City
Wait, is that a work of art you just put down in front of me or actually sushi? Chef Niki Nakayama’s creatively plated food will have you asking that, along with, Why aren’t there more female sushi chefs, anyway? and What’s all this about your spaghetti? (Nakayama’s showstopping dish is her spaghetti tossed in a sauce of abalone and cod roe, dusted with black truffle.) This is the perfect date spot for someone you want to impress (or have impress you, hint, hint).
3455 Overland Ave.; 310-836-6252 or n-naka.com
11. Mrs. Fish, DTLA
Want your sushi experience to stimulate more than just your taste buds? Head to this three-story restaurant downtown where there’s a majorly curated whiskey collection and serious eye candy decor (including fine art by touted contemporary artists such as Nobuyoshi Araki). There’s a full menu of non-sushi items (like lobster uni pasta and Wagyu strip steak) as well as traditional edo (one fish) and sosaku (two fish) sushi styles.
448 S. Hill St.; 213-873-4444 or mrsfish.com
12. Murakami Sushi, Melrose
With their signature bowls of raw fish combos (our favorites include the broiled eel, the spicy tuna with yellowtail, and the salmon, crab and avocado), each for less than $20, this simple spot is your dependable lunch stop—and so much better to grab for takeout dinner than that supermarket sushi you were contemplating.
7160 Melrose Ave.; 323-692-1450 or murakamimelrose.com
13. Matsuhisa, Beverly Hills
The flagship of the worldwide sushi empire (restaurants now span multiple continents) is still going strong in its original La Cienega location, serving the house signature miso black cod to grateful masses.
129 N. La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills; 310-659-9639 or matsuhisabeverlyhills.com
14. Okumura, Encino
This favorite Valley spot is known for its reasonable prices, top-quality fish and a changing menu that includes an impressive selection of rolls for those who aren’t keen on sashimi or nigiri.
17302 Ventura Blvd., Encino; 818-986-9712 or okumurarestaurant.com
15. Matsumoto, Beverly Grove
Don’t let this joint’s unassuming location (in a strip mall next to a dry cleaner) fool you—this fan favorite boasts no waiting as well as high-quality sushi at reasonable prices. Cut rolls as well as nigiri are on offer, and the omakase service is charged depending on what fish the chef deems to serve you, so each time you have it, you’ll be (pleasantly) surprised.
8385 Beverly Blvd.; 323-653-0470 or matsumoto-restaurant.com
16. SUGARFISH, MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
A $25 lunch (or $30 dinner) of seven kinds of sushi? That’s the wallet- and palate-friendly promise of Sugarfish, the former humble Valley spot that’s now mushroomed to 11 locations in the Southland—all of which offer a high-quality yet anti-snobby sushi experience you can order à la carte or omakase-style. Either way, the warm, loosely packed rice is ultra comforting—and delicious.
Multiple locations; sugarfishsushi.com