11440 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
It’s not extremely lavish, but it’s a neighborhood sushi joint. Located along the stretch of Ventura Boulevard, this restaurant is not made for the weak; if you want Americanized specialty rolls, you won’t find it here. Kazu is known for their traditional sushi sashimi and for giving you the excellent tastes that come with it. The restaurant has one, well-known chef: Chef Kazu. This is also why this place has committed followers and gets packed– customers know that the good dishes they order will continued to be made that way. Kazu is known by many to be an artist who creates little bites of perfection. From the creamy blue crab hand rolls to the assortment of caviar, this is the place for true sushi lovers.
11777 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
You’ve heard it, you know it, and you love it. It’s becoming a chain restaurant, but it knows how to serve the delicatessen that is Sushi. Sure, it’s pricey, but if you know what to order, it’s worth it. Katsuya gives you pretty good portions, as opposed to many pricey places, and it has signature dishes. The baked crab handroll and Rock Shrimp Tempura roll are two reasons I go here. What’s the greatest aspect about Katsuya? It’s a problem solver. If you’re going on a date and craving sushi, but you find out that your companion dislikes it, what can you do? Tell them that Katsuya offers a mouthwatering Miso Marinated Black Cod, Prime NY Steak, Beef Rolled Asparagus with Yakitori Sauce, succulent King Crab, and more. The restaurant offers a myriad of dishes for those who have yet to acquire the taste for sushi. And if you possibly have room, try their Chocolate “Lovers” Cake for dessert. It’s simply to die for.
11941 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Hidden away in an inauspicious Studio City strip mall, this tiny temple to fresh fish does offer fantastic sushi. But the sashimi, like the signature kanpachi with sesame miso and Serrano peppers, is the real star here. Sit down, order the omakase, and close your eyes as you down piece after piece of the best in fresh, buttery fish.
1099 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Why is Yamato my favorite place to get sushi? It’s incredibly good for its incredible prices. Located in the heart of Westwood village, this place impresses not only by its food, but by its appearance. It has two levels and is completely modern; the ambience is a big plus. But let us not digress-their food is why we’re here. With over 15 specialty rolls averaging at $6.00-$8.00, hardly anyone is left unsatisfied. They have great appetizers including luscious Miso soup, Udon Noodle Soup, and a great Seaweed Salad. Their pink roll, baked crab roll, and BSCR roll (which is topped with lightly creamed scallops) are some of my favorites. In short, you can have a very hearty meal and a drink for $20.00. This place is never close to empty. For those who love sushi but not the rawness that comes with it, Yamato’s is the place for you!
347 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
There’s often a wait for a seat at the sushi bar or handful of tables at this moderately-priced, unassuming Little Tokyo favorite. Cooked dishes are limited and the pressure to turn seats can be fast, but the chefs serve up some of the best salmon skin and spicy tuna hand rolls in town, and the red snapper nigiri with a sprinkling of lemon salt is true sushi sublimity.
11301 Olympic Blvd #102
West Los Angeles, CA 90064
Sushi chef Ken Namba’s omakase at this West L.A. gem will take you on an ocean voyage from buttery smooth kanpachi with ponzu glaze to scallop nigiri with a sprinkling of sea salt to a rich, creamy blue crab handroll. And whatever you do, make sure to try the house-smoked salmon sashimi, a bite that yields such complexity of flavor that Jonathan Gold added it to his list of 99 Things to Eat in L.A. before you die.
129 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Probably the world’s most famous sushi chef, Nobu Matsuhisa has been making L.A. raw fish lovers swoon since he opened his Beverly Hills namesake in 1987. Though the omakase will cost you, it is a chance to taste true culinary history, through the chef’s now legendary miso black cod, followed by piece after piece of seasoned, glazed, and seared “Nobu style” nigiri and sashimi.
12400 Wilshire Blvd
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
There are many rules to follow when dining at Sasabune: omakase only at the sushi bar, no California rolls or spicy tuna allowed, no teriyaki or tempura. But for those willing to obey these commandments, the reward is great – impossibly fresh fish, prepared in the traditional Japanese style, made with slightly warm rice and housemade soy sauce. As the signs around the restaurant read, “Trust me.” You’ll like it.
Stephanie Taft is a CBS2 writer who lives in Los Angeles and attends school in Central California. Katie Robbins,an L.A.-based journalist, contributed to the last three entries in this article.