The Best Sushi Restaurants in the Valley

Your Los Angeles guide to Sushi Row and beyond

Los Angeles is a wonderful place to be if you’re a Japanese food aficionado. There are entire neighborhoods dedicated to cuisine: Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles, Sawtelle Japantown on the Westside, and the suburban Japanese culinary destination in the South Bay.

Sushi Row is a stretch of Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley that's named from the area's many raw fish specialists. Often overlooked when it comes to the conversation of sushi in Los Angeles, are the restaurants along Ventura outside of Studio City. While the majority of them are heavy on the rolls and cater to a more Westernized crowd, it’s a good choice for happy hour or if you’re planning an epic food crawl. Read on for the best sushi restaurants on Sushi Row and beyond.

Albacore sushi at SUGARFISH Studio City
Albacore sushi at SUGARFISH Studio City | Photo: Postmates

SUGARFISH | Studio City

Sugarfish is well-covered and well-frequented. There’s almost always a wait, but believe us when we say the hype is justified. The menu is simple, designed for patrons to think less and enjoy more. It’s omakase-style, because the restaurant wants you to trust them with the fish. Tender cuts of tuna, albacore and salmon are layered over warm rice, brushed with just the right amount of flavoring. It's nice to not have to think too heavily about what to order. Add-ons are, of course, readily available.

Momotaro Tomato with Alaskan snow crab at Asanebo
Momotaro Tomato with Alaskan snow crab at Asanebo  |  Photo: Joshua Lurie


Asanebo is the most upscale sushi restaurant on Sushi Row and skews toward the pricier end. It's hard to leave without spending at least $80 per person. The dollar signs are justifiable, as they are a recipient of an elusive Michelin star and are a champion for lovely omakases featuring some of the best cuts in town. The seared toro is a must, and believe it or not, the hot dishes are just as good as their sushi selection.

The Sushi House in Studio City
The Sushi House in Studio City | Photo: @thejonmarco, Instagram

The Sushi House

The Sushi House has a marvelous chirashi bowl, packed with a sizable and extremely diverse amount of fish. Overall, though, they're sushi roll specialists. Makis average out to $5 a pop and house specialty selections are about $6. We like the BSC roll, which is scallop and mushroom baked on top of a California roll. Tip: request the fresh wasabi.

Dai Chan Daimyou Chirashi
Daimyou chirashi at Dai-Chan  |  Photo: Clarissa Wei

Dai Chan

Dai Chan is a champion of Japanese soul food. Gone are the bland, monochrome walls typical of sushi joints. Dai Chan screams eclectic – a trait that shines through in both their wall decor and food. There’s not a spot on the wall that’s bare and even the dishes are drenched in color. The daimyou chirashi ($19) is a party on a plate. There’s a mound of sesame sushi rice, covered by a fan of tuna, salmon, snapper, yellowtail, squid, scallop, albacore, mackerel, unagi and salmon roe. Shredded egg, green onion and seaweed are sprinkled on top. If you prefer noodles over rice, you can try something new in the form of their poki noodles. It’s raw tuna sliced over soba noodles and seaweed.

J-Roll at Nomura Sushi in Sherman Oaks
J-Roll (spicy tuna & avocado wrapped with albacore, topped with fried onions) | Photo: Nomura Sushi, Facebook


Nomura doles out refined rolls, with a lovely happy hour that spans from 3 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday. The price ranges from about $4 for basic rolls to $8 for more elaborate ones like Rainbow and Caterpillar; It’s guaranteed to fill you up. Notable items include the scallop roll and albacore, and for an a la carte order, sample the red snapper sushi. Of course, happy hour isn’t happy without booze. We got you covered: order the pineapple sake. It’s homemade, unique, and goes down smoothly.

Unagi fried in bone marrow fat at Sushi|Bar in Encino
Unagi fried in bone marrow fat at Sushi|Bar | Photo: @phillipfranklandlee, Instagram

Sushi|Bar Encino

Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee opened their "omakase speakeasy," Sushi|Bar in June 2017. Hidden behind Scratch|Bar, the intimate ten-seat bar showcases California ingredients in a 17-course, $145 menu. Don’t look for chopsticks or soy sauce - guests eat the atypical dishes by hand.

After a complimentary welcome cocktail at Scratch|Bar, courses might feature unagi (freshwater eel) that's fried in bone marrow fat with green tea matcha salt, house-made soy sauce, ponzu, fresh lemon, and poblano yuzu kosho. Recent courses include tai (sea bream) with kazami, fresh lemon, house-made soy sauce, Balinese sea salt; and mirugai (geoduck) that's sprinkled with dehydrated lobster roe and matcha salt. For the sweet finish, Kallas-Lee created a hojicha ice cream bon bon with white sesame shortbread and toasted rice powder.

Seared bluefin toro with gold flakes at Okumura Restaurant in Encino
Seared bluefin toro with gold flakes at Okumura Restaurant in Encino | Photo: @natgallmeier, Instagram


Okumura is the place to go if you want to skip the rolls and indulge in nicely seasoned, high-quality fish. Sashimi is Okumura’s strong suit. The tuna carpaccio, marinated in a beautiful light pool of soy vinaigrette, is sprinkled with edible gold flakes. You can taste the quality - the cuts are delightful, the choices are plentiful, and the prices are quite reasonable. On any given night, you might even spot a celebrity or two here. The owner and chef is Ryota Okumura, a Hattori Culinary Academy graduate with experience at Koi, Katana and Sushi Zo.

Amaebi topped with caviar at So Sushi in Tarzana
Amaebi (sweet shrimp) topped with caviar at So Sushi in Tarzana | Photo: @dimpledru, Instagram

So Sushi

While it’s a small place in a small plaza, So Sushi is the Tarzana hotspot for substantial rolls. Behind the toque are owners Ryo Kuroda and Taka Cong, who have been chopping fish for over a decade. The portions are reasonable; each roll is cut into seven to eight pieces. Target the bellies: blue fin and yellowtail belly will serve you well. Perhaps begin the meal with a blue crab roll and finish with their acclaimed cupcake roll. Don't worry, you won’t find frosting in it. It’s an ample roll with spicy crab and avocado, sans rice, wrapped in your choice of fish; try yellowtail or albacore. The wait can get intense, so plan ahead.

Kushiyu Sushi
Photo: Kushiyu Sushi


Kushiyu in Tarzana is the sushi place to hit up if you have an inevitable couple of people in your party who aren’t that enamored with raw fish. They have a grill and an extensive yakitori selection, with lots of meat available on skewers. For the fish people, omakase is available. The yellowtail is quite spectacular and the Chilean sea bass skewer is most definitely something to try. Lines can get long so be mindful and make a reservation.

Whitefish tempura at Sushi Ichiban Kan in Woodland Hills
Whitefish tempura at Sushi Ichiban Kan | Photo: @ibegfx, Instagram

Sushi Ichiban Kan

Sushi Ichiban Kan is a Woodland Hills gem. The chef has been around the Valley since 1984 and has created a sensible menu with a mix of everything. There are noodles and tempura, simple sashimi slices and rolls. People tend to gravitate towards the latter. We recommend the bluefin toro belly sushi and albacore belly. For roll lovers, the seared scallop roll with avocado and asparagus will make you very happy. There’s also a decent amount of sushi bowls - they have tuna over rice, salmon and salmon roe over rice, and of course the classic chirashi.