The people of Los Angeles are a chic bunch who appreciate the finer things in life, from the city's beautiful beaches to the high-end fashion shops on Rodeo Drive. L.A. fosters an active lifestyle promoted by those aiming for that healthy glow, and the streets are lined with yoga studios and wheat grass bars. Whether its residents are indeed health conscious or just vein is up for debate, but this is a place where glamour and freshness go hand in hand. So it makes sense that sushi is one of L.A.'s food staples – exotic, fresh, healthy, and beautifully prepared – a perfect way to recharge after pampering yourself all day. The following are the city's best sushi joints:
Sake House Miro, or just "Sake House" as the regulars call it, is a quaint little spot just off Miracle Mile. Sake House has a homey vibe to it, guests sit on pillows in booths with low tables and are invited to select their own personalized sake cup. The little corner bar serves giant cans of Asahi at a very friendly rate. Sake house has a large menu, serving traditional omakase sushi as well as a variety of tapas including skewered meats and even udon noodles. Of course, the sushi is the star attraction. The godzilla roll and fire tornado roll are both popular selections. Another great feature of the Sake House is that it stays open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, so its perfect for a late night outing. Be advised that the Sake House also features some peculiarities with scheduling: they close from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day and aren’t open for lunch on Saturday or Sunday.
Robata Jinya sits among a strip of acclaimed restaurants on Third Street. The atmosphere is dark and opulent. Guests are dressed to the nines and celebrity appearances are not out of the ordinary. Robata features an extensive sushi menu, with more traditional offerings as well as Japanese-American fusion such as shrimp toast and an albacore truffle roll. There is also are is also a tapas menu and an extensive robata menu – the Japanese word for grill – featuring an array of meats and vegetables. Beer is available as well as an extensive sake list. For its location and slick atmosphere, Robata is quite a bit cheaper than one might guess, and offers a comparable experience to some of L.A.'s most expensive sushi restaurants.
Sushi Zo should be on every sushi lover's bucket list. It has attained a sort of folklore status amongst locals similar to that of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. Don't even think about taking out your cell phone in the restaurant, or dipping a cut of fish into soy sauce when it is not recommended – you will be reprimanded. The atmosphere is nearly non-existent, just clean, white walls and tables, and set in a strip mall nonetheless. There is a menu, but guests are strongly encouraged to purchase the daily special, a meal of several courses consisting of the freshest cuts of the day. The sushi is absolutely spectacular. Nothing fancy, just traditional Japanese fare prepared to perfection. If you are on any kind of a budget avoid Sushi Zo, but for a special occasion it won't disappoint.
This popular West Hollywood restaurant features a happy hour all day, every day. Echi comes particularly recommended for those who like to drink while enjoying sushi, its a great place to kick off a night, or pack a dozen people in for a birthday party. Guests can also sit at the sushi bar and watch sports on the flatscreens. The menu features a variety of Americanized sushi rolls including the fire roll and the baked Alaskan roll. For a conservative friend, Echi also features a menu of non-sushi items such as teriyaki and noodles.
Photo via their official FB page.
Yoshi's in West Hollywood is a must for those looking for amazing sushi at a reasonable price. With only one location, it is locally owned by a man named Yoshi who works behind the sushi bar most nights. The restaurant features traditional standards, as well as modern concoctions such as the albacore salsa – an amazing sashimi dish garnished with cilantro, jalapeño and pink peppercorns, and the Yuki Roll which features crab, shrimp, scallops, shisho leaves and plum. For those who enjoy a drink during their meal, Yoshi's offers beer and sake specials most nights.