Sushi School - Where should I begin?

We just received the bummer news that Kinjiro is closing for a few weeks after Feb 4th. It was my birthday dinner request. Sadly it will have to wait.

Oh well… This is a good time for me to get out of my comfort zone and start my premium sushi journey. Where am I going? Not too hoity toity, but someplace nice where we can get our feet wet, so to speak.

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Hi @TheCookie,

If I may ask, what Sushi restaurants have you tried before in the past? What were your thoughts?

You might consider:

Aburiya Raku - They not only excel at Yakitori Skewers, but have great Small Plates (like Kinjiro), and their Sashimi is exceptional (top quality, without the intimidation of sitting at a bar). Relaxed atmosphere. :slight_smile:

Shunji - You can try Shunji’s Lunch Special ($40) to get your feet wet, Shunji-san is really nice and affable. :slight_smile: Or try dinner Omakase and let them know it’s your first time trying things out. Shunji-san won’t steer you wrong.

Hope you have a Happy Birthday! :blush:


Second raku and shunji.

You may also like sushi of gari in Hollywood, not too traditional but definitely premium, the space is also a lot nicer for a birthday dinner. Plus the Toto S350e.


Sushi Tsujita on Sawtelle has great lunch specials!


Do you want to start with more traditional sushi, or more creative (new-wave) sushi? I think if you are truly serious about your sushi edification, then the saying “To know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been” applies here…

If you agree with the above strategem, then you should try the more traditional sushi places first. Learn how sushi was made originally in the old days. Get used to the terms/lingo. Also, armed with such knowledge, you may be more adept at enjoying the more creative stuff later on in your journey.

Need I remind you that the quickest way to learn is by sitting at the bar? (Furthermore, doing omakase often facilitates more banter between you and your itamae).

Having said all that, here are some traditional “starter” places (not too hoity toity, as per your request):
Sushi Gen (J-town)
Nozawa Bar (Beverly Hills)
Sushi Kimagure Ike (Pasadena)

Whatever you decide to do, savor your adventure! And please report back!


@TheCookie if you ever find yourself in the Seal Beach area, I highly recommend Koi Restaurant on PCH. That’s our go-to for very good sushi in a not serious environment. Ask to be seated with Taka-san at the bar…Daigo-san is good, too, but we like how Taka-san is more fun. It worked out real well for me because he always remembers that I will eat or try anything. Our last meal there was between Christmas and NYE, and it was so satisfying.

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Okay, but you have to promise not to laugh. I have been mocked enough about my lack of Asian seafood knowledge in the last day. Ha ha, very funny J_L & Ipse :smirk:.

Keep in mind this is because we in live an undesirable sushi 'hood (Miracle-Mile), and my crew doesn’t exactly jump at the chance to drive to WLA for sushi. But it’s my bday and they’re at my mercy.

Been to:
*Izaka-ya by Katsuya (beverly-grove)
*Sugarfish (la brea)
*Q or Sushi Gen (dtla) - I can’t remember.
Whichever one has been open for years.
*Sushi Roku (when they were on 3rd)
*Matsuhisa (B.H.) - But that doesn’t count. It was years ago and I was very young.
*Murakami (beverly Blvd) - @MaladyNelson turned me onto it as a neighborhood place.

Anyway, you get an idea of my experience.

Aburiya Raku & Shunji (dinner omakase) are definitely what I’m talking about. Great tip about letting them know I’m a first timer. I wasn’t sure about Aburiya Raku, because it’s a grill. But the husband will thank you for that one.



Looks pretty incredible

Personally I think you should go to the best place you can get to on a semi regular basis preferably in your neighborhood. If possible go with someone who knows more than you, sit at the bar and order by the piece, (call me old fashioned omakase should be tailored to the guests individual tastes and that can’t happen if you don’t even know what you like.)

All that being said Sushi Tsujita and maybe Echigo are on the more traditional end might be a good place to start


This is perfect. Yes I agree about starting with traditional. Thanks!

Awww sweet! Okay, I take back what I said.

Hi @TheCookie,

Of course I won’t laugh! :wink: That’s good to know. Definitely ask to be sat at the bar, and if you’re going to Shunji then ask for a spot in front of him. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and note which fish you liked more or less (the lighter ones, the oilier ones, shellfish, etc.). You can let the sushi chef know if you really liked a certain piece and that will help inform them of your preferences (and how to serve you the rest of your meal).

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Thanks! That would be ideal. It’s been my problem though, not many good places in my area… I don’t know why. Sugarfish (la brea) is closest for regular basis, but that line :rolling_eyes:. I would love a knowledgeable sushi companion too… nope.

I have been looking at those incredible lunches you and others have had at Sushi Tsujita.

This should be fun!

I saw that great girls lunch you posted.

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How about Sushi Ike? And you might be able to con someone here to meet you! lol

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Ha ha… I should have said a companion the husband would let me alone with. I’m fond of my teeth.

Threesome? -for dinner I mean :wink:

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Thanks @Chowseeker1999 & @PorkyBelly! I think we’ll try Shunji. As far as straight sushi goes, I’m the most comfortable with that choice, as we’ve been discussing it on FTC a lot lately.

That’s a great idea!

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Sushi Ichi in Pasadena