The Best Sushi Restaurants on Sushi Row and Beyond

Assorted sashimi | Photo courtesy of Asanebo, Facebook

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.

Photo courtesy of SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa

SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa | 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.

Assorted sashimi | Photo courtesy of Asanebo, Facebook

Asanebo



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 | Photo by Clarissa Wei

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.

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.

Salmon sasuga | Photo courtesy of Nomura, Facebook

Nomura



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.

Tuna carpaccio at Okumura | Photo by Clarissa Wei

Okumura



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.

Halibut sashimi | Photo courtesy of So Sushi, Facebook

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.

Unagi (freshwater eel), squid stuffed with crab, butterfish at Sushi Spot | Photo: Stacey Sun

Sushi Spot



Sushi Spot in Tarzana is known for their a la carte sushi selection, so come here if you have a specific cut in mind. Dinner omakase prices start at $37 (a steal for the quality) and for lunch, there are combos that start at $10. We recommend the raw octopus and uni selections. Don't be deterred by the location either. It may be nestled in a sketchy looking strip mall, but the food is top notch and for us, that's all that really matters.

Photo courtesy of Kushiyu Sushi

Kushiyu



Kushiyu in Tarzana is the sushi place to hit up if you have 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 Chiliean sea bass skewer is most definitely something to try. Lines can get long so be mindful and make a reservation.

Photo courtesy of Sushi Ichiban Kan, Facebook

Sushi Ichiban Kan



Ichiban 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.