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HRB Hand Roll Bar sushi in Downtown Los Angeles DTLA
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Downtown’s new hand-roll sushi bar, HRB, is now open—and there’s a Westside location on the way

Written by
Stephanie Breijo

DTLA’s affordable sushi champion has some new competition.

HRB: The Hand Roll Bar Experience finally opened its doors over the weekend after months behind papered-over windows and mouthwatering Instagram posts teasing out what’s to come. Now, the casual hand-roll restaurant and sake bar is open on 6th Street all day, daily, with a Century City outpost set to launch in December. 

The new counter seating spot sits just blocks from the neighborhood’s sushi go-to, Sugarfish, as well as Kazunori Nozawa’s sibling hand-roll shop, KazuNori. On Sunday HRB entered the market with crispy nori, warm rice—a Sugarfish staple—and comparable prices, with hand-rolls at $5 apiece. 

While HRB and the Sushi Nozawa empire might appear identical from the outset—you can even order informational, aesthetic, bento-like branded boxes of sushi to-go from both—HRB stocks double the sake as most L.A. Sugarfish locations, and offers it at $2 per shot.

Its sake bar, which sells bottles from Berkeley, California, as well as international storied brewers such as Nigita’s Hakkaisan, isn’t the only focus; HRB also prides itself on sustainability and quality of its fish, promising to cite its daily sources to every customer. 

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HRB only sources its seafood from providers who’ve been certified at FSSC 22000 and ISO 14001—high standards on the Global Food Safety Initiative-approved metrics for environmentally-minded fishing, pollutant testing, company management, life-cycle awareness and beyond.

“Today, fishing is at the center of many controversies caused by disrespectful and abusive behavior,” says the restaurant’s creed on the official site. “One of our most important challenges along with quality is respect. At the end of the day, our backyard is the sea and we want to preserve it.”

At HRB, this sustainably-sourced seafood includes hand rolls packed with salmon; toro; blue crab; bay scallop; lobster; spicy tuna; hamachi; otoro; and albacore belly.

You can supplement your à la carte hand rolls (or hand-roll omakase meals) with specials such as ikura; uni; fatty toro tartare in a truffled yuzu ponzu sauce; and fatty-toro sashimi, and if you’re not in the mood for seafood at all, HRB even offers a few vegan, vegetable-centric hand rolls: daikon, shiitake, and cucumber, for instance.

Sound good but you’re usually on the other end of town? Westsiders won’t have to wait long for their own HRB; the quality-forward hand-roll bar is set to open in the Westfield Century City mall this December.

HRB is now open in DTLA at 529 W 6th St, with daily hours of 11:30am to 10pm.

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