Raw fish and... COOKED MEAT

Because some strip-mall sushi actually deserves its "A"...When it comes to Japanese food, there's always been a cruel iron wall between top-notch rawness and high-grade cooked action; choose a restaurant for one, and you're often left with a perfunctory selection of the other. Get the raw and the cooked, you fine young manimal, with Sushi & Kushi Imai.Covertly nestled in a strip mall at San Vicente and Wilshire, Sushi & Kushi Imai's a midsized neighborhood mainstay with stone-brick walls and semi-private booths, boasting not just peerlessly fresh fish but also an extensive list of gourmet, BBQ'd-at-sushi-bar skewered meats & veggies, known as Kushi -- completely delicious, notwithstanding its origins as a typo. Kushi comes still-on-stick with two to four healthy-sized pieces of your selection, including top-grade Jidori chicken (prepped six different ways, i.e., rolled w/ shiso leaf, ground into chewy meatballs); red meat options like filet mignon, lamb, and Kobe beef; seafood like seared scallops and fresh water eel; and loads of uniqueness: skewers of quail eggs, lotus & bacon, chestnut-like Ginkgo nuts, and Japanese pumpkins, who've got a nasty rumor going around that their creases run sideways. The extensive sushi menu's similarly well-stacked, with daily fresh fish from both LA's best markets and straight from Fukuoka, Japan; the menu includes classic rolls like albacore & jalapeno and salmon & avocado, nigiri w/ high-end standards like giant clam and Spanish mackerel, and out-there specials like flying fish and barracuda, which you will most certainly Heart.All the Kushi comes with spicy miso, spicy mayo, and soy-ish "special" sauce; there's also a fairly crazy happy hour, with $3.25 Sapporo drafts and $3.50 spicy tuna rolls, which can be ordered with top-it-yourself sides of crunchy onions or tempura bits -- which will most certainly drive you crazy, and you can't help yourself.