21 places in L.A. to find the best sushi, omakase, chirashi and more

Los Angeles is the best sushi town in America.

if we’re talking high-end omakase places, which compromise most of his list, I agree with @pomodoro la isn’t even in the same league as nyc. all the young talent coming out of japan would rather open in ny than la.

no mention of mori sushi or newly one starred 715? :face_with_monocle:

  1. morihiro
  2. sushi kaneyoshi
  3. sushi i-naba
  4. sushi kisen
  5. sushi gen
  6. kogane
  7. sushi yuen
  8. shin sushi
  9. shunji
  10. sushi takeda

Yah I agree. Sushi in LA could be good but NY is better at the top end.

I do love morihiro though. It’s one of the few high end omakase I feel like is “worth it” cause you get absolutely stuffed with food. And they run their staff and kitchen like a western kitchen so service feels warmer and more interactive. Also sake pairing is really good and generous.

Caveat - they are an astrea client. So are quite a few on the list.


It’s odd to me that he has Q on this list but didn’t mention it in the section on edomae in his “What makes L.A.’s sushi scene so great?”

Addison isn’t talking just about high-end omakase. Does NYC have the same breadth of high quality sushi in different styles and at different price points? Do they have places with the same obsessive focus on rice? Are they as sophisticated at dry-aging? They certainly don’t have the same quality of produce.

Maybe he doesn’t think they’re among the best in their price ranges? I’m not sure the Times has mentioned Mori Sushi since Onodera sold it except in articles about him or his later restaurants.

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21 places in LA to find the best… sure, fair list that makes decent sense. We can squabble on a few, but it’s a list after all.

Addison’s focus on the article on “Edomae” is a bit off, in my opinion. What makes LA sushi scene great? It’s not that the high-end (while very good) is trying to follow closely behind Tokyo, though the focus is pointed toward there. Rather, I believe it’s LA’s:

  1. Early adoption and popularization of sushi in America
  2. Contribution of prolific dishes on a world-wide scale. How often is Nobu Matsuhisa’s style copied around the world, for better or worse, in so many restaurants (not just sushi, but also aspirational steakhouses, gastropubs / New American, fine dining - see Jordnaer 2* Michelin in Copenhagen, etc.)? It’s part of the general non-Japan style of sushi. Like how Kyubey in Tokyo invented gunkanmaki, and now that’s just part of the sushi canon, for a different crowd, Nobu’s hamachi/ponzu/jalapeno style of dish is now almost just part of a “sushi menu” in many parts of the world for different kinds of restaurants. Not saying it’s a great dish, but it can be enjoyable and has its place, a product of its time but no doubting its contribution to the food world, because as you point out we’re not just talking about high-end (it has no place in high-end sushi, imo). The Zo/Nozawa style. The California roll. etc.
  3. Diversity - something for everyone. And relatedly, a sushi culture that embraces all aspects of sushi with quite a bit of interest. You can get sushi in the south bay, the valley (Ventura Boulevard must be in the America’s sushi history), west la, downtown, mid city to weho, etc.

It’s not that LA has the best high-end in the country, it doesn’t. It has maybe #2 or #3, which is still very good. I like Kaneyoshi, Ginza Onodera, Mori Sushi, etc. If one doesn’t go to Japan or NYC, one can have very good and enjoyable high-end here in LA. But going to Tokyo doesn’t teach one about what makes LA’s sushi scene great. If anything, it can show what the inspiration is for some of LA’s best at the high-end, which again, is good. But that’s not what makes LA sushi’s scene so prolific and great. It will continue to get better. So will NYC, which has different strengths. Higher-highs and

Yes, of course, if not better / more.

While NYC itself does not have the same quality of produce as California does, NYC sushi restaurants indeed can serve some produce as good as, if not better, than what is served in California at the high-end (because they’re generally not serving local produce - think Miyazaki mangos and Shizuoka musk melons, wasabi from Shizuoka (though what is currently being served in Japan is still in a different league), great seaweeds from Japan, etc.).

I get and like Addison’s enthusiasm for sushi. I just think the articles are a bit off and they read like too predictable food journalism.

I am curious though, where can one get a great kanpyo maki? I’ve yet to have a good one in LA.

“Do you want maki filled simply with kanpyo (dried gourd) in the strictest Edomae fashion?”

I do like his push for better sake to be served. Yes, people are tired of Dassai and Kubota, but now you have some food influencers getting their mind blown by fairly normal Kokuryus (though of course Kokuryu has some great ones). On another note, I’ve also noticed a recent trend where Aramasa has become like Selosse, collectible by people who know next to nothing about what make them stand out or even basic types of sake / champagne. Let’s see an emphasis on good pairings, not just in-the-know brands, as sake culture outside of Japan has now come to automatically think that the higher polishing = more expensive = more desirable for sushi meals. Give us talk about the methods, the rice, and the synergy with the food. Help expand knowledge of techniques, not just desirable brewer brands.

I’m all for omakase, but I would like to see more places serve good okonomi. Perhaps, as someone else mentioned, institute a minimum order, but let the diner decide how he or she is feeling that day - we need more options for good sushi besides reserving 1 month in advance (on Tock nonetheless)…


Addison mentioned it in this piece:

What other city in the US do you consider a contender in the top 3 in terms of high-end sushi, other than LA and NYC? Need to know for future travel plans.

22 posts were split to a new topic: Drink pairings

NYC also has better Mexican restaurants at the high end too. But I would think a “sushi town” would need to qualify for more diners beyond those who can exclusively frequent places with $500 omakase.


What high end Mexican spots do you like? I find Cosme to be terrible. Haven’t tried that Brooklyn duo yet

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that’s definitely true

no love for Bay Area sushi scene? :cry:

If someone tells me that SF’s sushi scene is good I’ll believe them; I’m in the East Bay and hate crossing the bridge :laughing:

I’m sure Yoshizumi is great but it’s one place and I can’t get a reservation there.

high-end bay area sushi:

Sushi Shin (Redwood City)
Sushi Yoshizumi (San Mateo)
The Shota (SF)
Ju-ni (SF)
Kusakabe (SF)
Omakase (SF)
Ken (SF)
Wako (SF)
Friends Only (lol, SF)
Katsu (Mountain View)


I agree… the sushi scene in New York is much more up and coming than in la. One of my favs is Chiba in North Hollywood!

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