Food & Drink

The best sushi in LA, according to the best sushi chefs in LA

Published On 06/18/2014 Published On 06/18/2014
Jeff Miller

Because you've already eaten at every one of our picks for the best sushi in LA (and even our picks for the best strip mall sushi in LA), we decided to keep things as fresh as the raw fish you're constantly housing by hitting up some of our favorite LA sushi chefs to find out their go-to sushi moves when they're off of work.


Mark Hayashi, Koi

Hayashi is the Executive Sushi Chef at Koi on La Cienega, a long-standing favorite doling out both unique rolls and classic nigiri.


Best Sushi: n/naka (address and info)
This highly acclaimed Culver City find is Hayashi's favorite. "[It's] traditional with a contemporary feel. The uni truffle pasta and Wagyu dish are both outstanding."


Runners up: Shunji ("Every dish has a twist of modern taste."); Miura ("Good range of sake"); Z Sushi ("Quality is great."); and Urusawa ("Great talent. Artful presentations.")


Yoya Takahashi & Wonny Lee, Hamasaku

Takahashi is the Exec Sushi Chef at Hamasaku, and Wonny Lee's the Exec Chef. Together, they make some of the best strip mall sushi in LA (and put together this list).


Best Sushi: Sasabune (address and info)
Not only does this Beverly Hills joint make the best, affordable omakase in the business, but "Ei -- the Head Sushi Chef -- chooses only the best-quality fish, direct from Japan."

Syori The Foodie

Runners up: Sushi Sushi ("Affordable lunch omakase."); Oshima ("Traditional edo-style sushi"); Wasa ("The 'treasures' sushi is unique."); and Kanpachi ("Chef Kido-san was one of my mentors.")

Sushi Roku

Hiroshi Shima, Sushi Roku

Shima is the Executive Sushi Chef for IDG Corporate, and develops the sushi menu for Sushi Roku.


Best Sushi: Osawa (address and info)
This recently opened shabu and sushi spot in Pasadena focuses on traditional preparations, and has quickly become one of Shima's favorites. "The prices are reasonable, given the freshness and quality of the produce."

Jeff Miller

Runners up: Q Sushi ("There is no soy sauce -- everything you need is provided by Chef Hiro, on the plate."); Nozomi ("Chef Yasu makes perfect sushi rice."); Shunji ("Great presentation, texture, and a superb overall experience."); and Mori Sushi ("Traditional, with creative flavor combos.")


Koji Matsuzaki, Katana

Matsuzaki is the Exec Chef at long-time Sunset Strip standby Katana.


Best Sushi: Sushi Roku (address and info)
"This is my favorite sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. Chef Jiro is very talented, and his omakase is excellent."


Runners up: Urusawa ("Chef Hiro Urasawa is one of my mentors."); K-Zo ("He inspires me to fuse different cuisines with different cultures."); Osawa ("A hidden gem."); and Nobu Malibu ("Awesome food, a great atmosphere, and the view is incredible.")


David Lespron, Katsuya

Lespron is the Chef de Cuisine at the always-in-the-tabloids (and always delicious) Japanese favorite, Katsuya.

Yelp user Phillip K

Runners up: Sushi Park ("The sign out front [that has a list of what not to order, including California Rolls.] I can't help but love that."); Matsuhisa ("So much history."); Urasawa ("A representation of everything luxurious"); and Sugarfish in DTLA ("Good quality nigiri on properly warm rice, on a budget.")


Best Sushi: Kiwami (address and info)
"Kiwami in Studio City tops my list -- it feels like I'm dining at home, which is strange, because I'm not Japanese. But the hospitality is comforting even at the high level and there's an intimidating omakase bar, which has a three-month wait list."

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1. Kiwami 11920 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

This popular Studio City eatery offers an array of delicious Japanese options, but if you can somehow score a spot at the omakase bar, by all means do so.

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2. Sushi Park 8539 W Sunset Blvd, #20, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Don't let the strip mall location fool you, Sushi Park doles out some of the freshest and tastiest sushi you'll find in the area. Your best bet is the omakase, and even though it can get pricey, it's totally worth it.

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3. Matsuhisa 129 N LA Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 (Beverly Hills)

Located in Beverly Hills, Matsuhisa dishes out a variety of tasty Japanese dishes, from rolls to specialty plates for lunch or dinner.

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4. Urasawa 218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (Beverly Hills)

This upscale Beverly Hills Japanese haunt is about one of the most expensive of its kind around, but if you're willing to fork over the dough, you'll be treated to hours of culinary delight with a specifically sequenced set of hot and cold dishes that you'll never forget.

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5. Koi Restaurant 730 N LA Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Part of the Koi Restaurants group, this La Cienega location is a long-standing LA favorite, and they dole out both unique rolls and your classic nigiri.

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6. Katsuya 6300 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

With locations across the globe, Katsuya is a sleek, modern Japanese restaurant with a reputation for innovation and quality. Owned and operated by one of the few Master Sushi Chefs in America, Chef Katsuya Uechi, this chain never forsakes quality, always serving fresh seafood prepared with the most intricate of techniques. Known for celebrity sightings as well as the food itself, Katsuya is a hot spot, so go early to secure a seat at happy hour, or make a reservation in advance.

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7. Hamasaku 11043 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (Westwood)

This Westwood sushi spot combines sophisticated and traditional Japanese flavors with Californian twists in an elegant and welcoming space. Tucked in the corner of a strip mall is this beloved roll-zone, as noted for its celebrity clientele as it is for its food. The rolls are deliciously over-the-top (The Lourd: spicy tuna, avocado, tempura flakes, spicy rice, mango and Jalapeño sauce. Tell me that doesn’t sound good.), and the chef takes his omakase very, very seriously.

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8. Sushi Sasabune 11917 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (Beverly Hills)

This Westside mainstay serves up a game-changing and belly-filling omakase for minimal green, with fish that compares to some of the priciest establishments in town.

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9. Sushi Roku Hollywood 2.0 8445 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

Sushi Roku Hollywood 2.0 is a complete reinvention of the classic sushi spot featuring a unique menu and an exquisite interior outfitted w/ a high-top table lounge/bar area, dark walnut floors, and an art installation that looks like a 3D bonzai tree, though not to that fat dude in Mallrats.

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10. Q Sushi 521 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Downtown)

Master Chef Hiro came to LA from Japan with the goal of recreating as high-quality an experience as he had delivered in Tokyo. His fish (from brilliantly briny mackerel to melt-in-your-mouth salmon) is exceptional, along with his rice, which is far more al dente than you’ve been grown to expect. Omakase-only, Q Sushi features 20 courses of Hiro's choice every night.

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11. Nozomi 1757 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

Nozomi’s a local favorite, and for good reason: they only serve ultra-fresh, traditional seafood, including uni straight from Santa Barbara that’s submerged in salt to maintain its flavor and a ton of fish straight from Japan, presented with unusual toppings, marinades, and infusions made with killer technique that take it from a neighborhood restaurant to one worth traveling for.

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12. Mori Sushi 11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

This West LA sushi spot offers numerous dishes with traditional and creative flavor combinations, but you should definitely check out their omakase.

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13. Katana 8439 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

Katana is a sultry Asian-fusion hub with sushi that's got steak on top of it. If you need more reason to go, their cocktails and standard roles are insanely fresh and unique.

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14. Nobu Malibu 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265 (Malibu)

For sushi and celebrity sightings in LA, there's Katsuya. For sushi, celebrity sightings, and beachfront views, there's Nobu Malibu. From master chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro, the PCH outpost of the worldwide brand has been delivering consistently A-list Japanese fusion food since 1999. Expect Matsuhisa's signatures -- black cod miso and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño -- as well as Malibu specials like ribeye with truffle butter sauce. The space feels more like a resort than a restaurant thanks to an open patio with lounge seating, bonzai trees, and views of the Malibu Pier.

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15. sushi sushi 326 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (Beverly Hills)

It's got some of the freshest sushi in LA because the chef goes to the fish market every morning to get fish from all over the world -- including the Tokyo Fish Market. And they always have 30 authentic types of sushi.

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16. Oshima 1956 N Tustin St, Los Angeles, CA 91403 (Orange County)

They've got some killer sushi and keep everything fresh and authentic. Try it omakase.

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17. Wasa Sushi 13124 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602-2306

Wasa always serves fresh sashimi, seasonal #3;vegetables, and an variety of fish. Try their specialties like Spicy Tuna Tartar, Wasa Ahi Poki, Yellowtail & Jalapeño, and Treasure Sushi Rolls.

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18. Sushi Kanpachi 1425 W Artesia Blvd, #27, Gardena, CA 90248

This is a great place to try omakase because all the sushi is so good. The chefs know their stuff and you'll be glad you left it up to them.

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19. Osawa 77 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101 (Pasadena)

This Pasadena sushi spot is ultimately know for its omakase, but if you venture into one of its amazing appetizers or 'tails, you won't be going wrong either.

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20. K-Zo 9240 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (Culver City)

K-ZO is doling out some of the best Japanese eats in all of Culver City. The specialty at this tucked-away spot is the omakase.

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21. n/naka 3455 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034 (Culver City)

Niki Nakayama's tiny Culver City spot serves a traditional kaiseki set menu. The 13-course meals are the Japanese equivalent of haute cuisine, with each course revolving around a different technique and ingredient (some ingredients are steamed, others are served sashimi-style). N/Naka is an essential spot for LA foodies, and thanks to Nakayama's appearance on the wildly popular Netflix show Chef's Table, it's reached national fame, too.

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22. Shunji Japanese Cuisine 12244 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064 (West La)

One of the most exciting developments to ever hit LA's Japanese cuisine scene, Shunji's blackboard menu proffers unique eats like a martini glass filled with noodles made from ground snapper and purple mashed potatoes. "Bottoms Up" isn't just for drinking anymore.

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23. Miura 2040 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717

Miura is a great stop for authentic Japanese food -- order the omakase, sit back, and enjoy the chef's selections. Be sure to select something from their extensive sake menu as well.

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24. Z Sushi 1132 N Garfield Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

Z Sushi in Alhambra will always please, whether you're looking for hot rolls and miso soup or just fresh, quality seafood.

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25. Sugarfish 600 W 7th St Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (Downtown)

Kazunori Nozawa takes the food he perfected at his namesake restaurant and makes it more accessible to the masses without sacrificing an iota of quality. That quality's ensured by forgoing flashy rolls and fusion dishes in favor simple set preparations -- you choose from three set menus ranging from small to large-ish, and while a la carte items can be ordered on top of that, if you pick the right size and trust the master, you really won't need them.