Sushi Go 55, Little Tokyo

Thanks to @T3t for the recommendation in another thread. We stopped in today for a quick lunch and it was very good value. No one’s going to mistake this for a top tier place but it hits above its weight price-wise. My wife got the chirashi special: $17.50 for quite a lot of fish and rice and she thought the fish was all more than acceptable. I got one of the lunch sushi combos: $14.50 for five pieces of nigiri (bigeye, hamachi, salmon, tai, albacore) plus a blue crab handroll. Both deals came with miso soup and some pickled veg. We then added on some extra nigiri which ranged from decent to good. Basically, my share of the lunch was $32.50 before tax and tip and for that this is what I got (combo bits in bold):

  1. Bigeye
  2. Hamachi
  3. Salmon
  4. Tai
  5. Albacore
  6. Blue Crab Handroll
  7. Kanpachi x2
  8. Hotate x 2
  9. Ankimo
  10. Uni

Plus miso soup and pickles.

You’re not going to confuse it with Mori (the rice is forgettable and the knifework pedestrian–may well be a different story at dinner or if doing omakase) but if I lived/worked within range this could well be a regular budget stop.

Speaking of which, we need more recommendations for the future for similar value propositions for sushi in LA. Too much of the talk seems focused entirely on the very high end.


sushi gen

Today’s lunch at Sushi Go 55 was far superior to what I remember of Sushi Gen’s sashmi deal (last eaten 5 or so years ago) and also to dinner there at the bar (non-omakase).

I have had perfectly good meals at both Komasa and Hama on 2nd Street in Little Tokyo. A little farther afield, Noshi on Beverly has always been reliable for affordable sushi. One thing that each of these places have in common is the avoidance of novelty rolls, drenched in corn syrup-y sauces (a personal fave: the Jessica Alba-Core Roll at Omi Sushi in WeHo). I regularly crave Noshi’s spicy tuna hand roll, which has an almost pate-like quality to it.

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She digs the sushi at all levels. We sat next to Mrs. Warren’s party once at Urasawa. (Ya hear that, ipse?!)

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I’ve been a semi-regular at Gen and Noshi for more than two decades, and during the last ten years have occasionally hit Go-55, particularly when Gen’s lines become insane. I enjoy all of 'em, as does Cam The Man (he was briefly crestfallen to discover that Noshi was closed much of his NY holiday return visit in LA). I think both Gen and Go are a notch, (or maybe half a notch?) above Noshi, in terms of knife-work, subtlety, and variety, particularly once you stray away from the nigiri and sashimi specials. Those lunch specials are terrific bargains for the hungry, but, to paraphrase Jim Leff, they don’t provide a “Zen-like bubble of serenity” dining experience.

Toshi and Tamon both offer better “serenity” than the cow herding at Gen.

I’ve given Go55 enough chances to never eat there again.

Given how much her company is worth, shouldn’t it be Mr. Alba??? :wink:

Zen like bubble of serenity, huh?

That’s Mr. Cash if you’re nasty… :slightly_smiling:

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I haven’t been in a few years but had good experiences a handful of times - Might have gotten some special treatment dining with a friend whose father used to go to the place in the 70’s. The dad had just moved to the states from Japan. But it still remains on the “when in the neighborhood” list, I’m not making special trips for it.

At the risk of upsetting those with much higher standards, here is my brief writeup of our quick lunch at Sushi Go 55 a couple of weeks ago. Pictures are on the blog: Sushi Go 55 (Los Angeles, Winter 2015-2016) | My Annoying Opinions and without the least bit of irony I will ask those who know more to point out visible flaws in the sushi that I do not know enough to have noticed.

Here is the last of my meal reports from our recent trip to Los Angeles. I began those trip reports with an account of a very expensive omakase dinner at Mori and so it’s appropriate that the last one be of a quick lunch closer to the opposite end of the sushi continuum in Los Angeles: at Sushi Go 55, an unassuming restaurant in a mall in Little Tokyo that serves largely people who work in nearby businesses and for which no one (well, no one who is not on Yelp or Tripadvisor) has ever made any strong claims. We were going to be in the area and needed a quick place for lunch and given how poor the sushi scene in the Twin Cities is, were more than willing to roll the dice on an affordable fourth or fifth tier place in L.A. And wouldn’t you know it, the meal was, on the whole, superior to all my sushi outings in the Twin Cities, and far cheaper.

That’s not to say, of course, that this is sushi that is going to blow your mind. The fish was all of acceptable quality but you’re not going to get here the attention to detail or the high quality rice and seaweed that you are not paying for. As such I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time describing the meal. I’ll note, however, that you can do a lot worse for the price even in L.A—I’d certainly pick it again over standing in line forever for Sushi Gen’s sashimi combo at lunch—and that their offerings go beyond merely the standard-issue fish. On the whole, a good budget sushi option when downtown—and frankly, for the fish alone probably almost as good as Nori (though the ambience at Nori is better).

The best deal here is probably the chirashi. My memory is failing me now but I think there might be a couple of options. The missus got one that ran about $17 and it was quite a lot of decent fish for the money. It is served strikingly in double decker bowls, with the fish up top on a bed of slivered radish and the rice, ginger and other stuff in the lower bowl. Get one of those and that’s probably enough for someone who’s not very hungry. Or get one of the sushi combos (I got the $14’ish one which includes five pieces of nigiri plus a handroll) and add on a few pieces a la carte. As always, we made this a little more expensive than it needed to be but that’s because of how sushi-starved we are in Minnesota. Still, with everything we got, the bill, including tax and tip, was $75. My nigiri-only share of that was about $33, and got me 11 pieces of nigiri (including acceptable uni and scallops) plus a handroll. I call that good value. You may too. Or you may think me a fool with inconsistent standards. Your call.

I think sushi go 55 is mediocre for the most part. And I’m just being polite by stating that as an opinion. But they do have some things that are excellent. If it’s live it’s good. Duh.

I would agree that it’s mediocre (for L.A). It’s decent value for what it is even in L.A though.