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Nigiri from n/naka
Photograph: Courtesy Jesse Hsu

The 26 best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles

Whether you’re looking to splurge or save, the best L.A. sushi bars will satisfy your craving for immaculately cut raw fish.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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Los Angeles has the most diverse, expansive and wide-reaching sushi scene in the country, so how does one even begin? This highly vetted guide, for starters. In the process of scouting, I visited dozens of Valley strip malls, Little Tokyo shopping plazas and swanky counters in Beverly Hills in search of L.A.’s best sushi restaurants. These days, pricey omakase experiences predominate my top sushi picks (a reflection of L.A.’s changing sushi bar demographics), but you can still find a few high-quality, affordable à la carte options around the city (if you’re willing to wait, it’s still hard to beat Sushi Gen’s sashimi lunch special).

Why should you trust my expertise? I’m an L.A. native who enjoyed my first set of tekka maki at Hide Sushi on Sawtelle (which is still around, by the way) and cycled through love affairs with unagi (freshwater eel), saba (mackerel) and SushiStop’s famous dynamite rolls in adolescence and college. Though it’s hard to turn down freshly pressed Edomae-style sushi, I’m still fond of a good spicy tuna crispy rice once in a while, and I’ve even sampled a few of the city’s vegan sushi options. In the last two years, I’ve tried 37 different L.A. omakase menus, and I'm still scouting, since there’s at least a half-dozen more I’ve yet to try. 

In the high-end realm, I look for places that maximize overall wow factor; even within the upper echelons of L.A. dining, I take price, atmosphere and booking convenience into consideration. After all, not all folks want to plan their dining schedules around Tock reservations going live. Note that this sushi list is numbered, but consider the ranking relative; it mixes everyday and special-occasion restaurants. When it comes to ultra-premium sushi, however, know that any one of these places will deliver an experience worthy of special occasions. 

The best sushi in L.A., ranked

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Little Tokyo
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

Omakase only. For all the warm sushi rice and dragon rolls, L.A. boasts plenty of excellent Edomae-style sushi bars, with no better example than this relatively new omakase ($300) hidden away in the basement of a Little Tokyo office building. Run by veteran sushi chef Yoshiyuki Inoue, Sushi Kaneyoshi tops out in luxury, refinement and overall wow factor. The exact seafood used in Kaneyoshi’s approximately 20 courses changes seasonally, but diners are likely to dig into a delicate Hokkaido crab chawanmushi, along with one of the city’s best preparations of ankimo (monkfish liver) and nodoguro (blackthroat sea perch). A word of warning: Tock reservations here are tough to snag, but the eventual outcome is well worth the time and effort.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Torrance
  • price 4 of 4

Omakase only. Currently operating out of sister restaurant Inaba in Torrance, Yasuhiro Hirano’s intimate sushi counter offers an ultra-premium omakase ($280) that deftly incorporates dry-aged fish and exotic ingredients like mantis shrimp and plump Japanese oysters. This is the kind of place where you can expect a crash course in the art of sushi from the chef himself, plus the appropriate tuition and fees to match. If you’ve got a lighter appetite, ask Yasu-san to halve the amount of rice—of the 37 different L.A. omakase options I’ve tried, the only place where I worried I’d have to stop the meal early is Inaba. For a taste of Inaba closer to L.A. proper, head to Kaneyoshi on Tuesday nights, where Hirano pops up for a reservation-only collaborative dinner that runs $400 per head.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Atwater Village

Omakase only. If money is truly no object, the legendary craftwork at Morihiro Onodera’s eponymous Atwater restaurant is a gourmand’s delight. Book the bar-only omakase ($350 to $400), and you’ll enjoy a mix of kaiseki-style appetizers presented on ceramics made by the veteran chef himself and a diverse array of dry-aged and fresh fish (including a few I’ve had nowhere else). Best of all is the option, once Onodera finishes making the last nigiri, to repeat as many sushi courses as you like—but personally, I left here full enough after the twenty-odd courses. If I had to pick just one place to spend $300 or more on sushi, I honestly still prefer Kaneyoshi, though Morihiro does offer a less expensive table omakase ($250) prepared by assistant chefs. Still, Onodera’s 40 years of experience and detail-oriented approach translate to one of the city’s finest omakase experiences, albeit not my absolute favorite.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Little Tokyo
  • price 2 of 4

If you’re looking for a slightly more budget-friendly sushi meal, this Little Tokyo classic is beloved among L.A.’s diehard raw fish aficionados for its reasonably priced, high-quality à la carte nigiri selection. The main draw, however, is the $23 weekday lunch special, complete with a rainbow of sashimi, soup, salad and rice. For a quicker table, head here during the evening, when you’ll be rewarded for waiting with fresh halibut, fatty tuna, sea urchin, monkfish liver, scallops and oysters, all in a wonderfully serene, wood paneled sushi bar setting. Just mind the rules: no personal device usage while dining, and make sure your whole party is present outside the restaurant to get seated—and no, you can’t put your number down and wander elsewhere.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Bay
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

Omakase only. For those who can regularly afford it, there’s an L.A. omakase for every whim, reason or predilection—making it all the more remarkable that this newer Gardena sushi counter manages to stand out among its older peers. Run by Katsu Sando’s Daniel Son, the omakase ($200) at Sushi Sonagi dazzles with Korean influences, California seasonality and thoughtful, warm service that justifies setting a reminder for the sought-after Tock reservation and paying the steep cost of entry. Bites like rainbow trout garnished with delicate, nutty-tasting sesame seeds and miso butter-topped tamago will leave you on cloud nine. The Korean American chef sources most of his fish from the same supplier used by the veterans at Morihiro and Shunji, yet Son fuses traditional technique with hints of bold Korean flavors and farmers’ market produce in a way that feels fresh and memorable. Despite its greenhorn status, I would already rank Son’s menu among my top five omakases in L.A. If that’s the case, just imagine the heights Sushi Sonagi could reach in a year or two.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Beverly Hills
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

Omakase only. In the last few years, the number of omakase options in L.A. has likely quadrupled, but I still think this Michelin-starred sushi counter in the back of Sugarfish Beverly Hills delivers the best mix of fun, quality and value. Head chef Osamu Fujita plays fast and loose with tradition, delivering a transcendent array of generously portioned pieces over approximately two hours—a quicker meal, so to speak, in fine dining terms. In that time frame, you’ll find yourself immersed in a cornucopia of flavors and textures, starting with something like a rich, solid piece of sweet freshwater eel and a sashimi trio consisting of Japanese octopus, New Zealand shrimp and succulent bluefin tuna. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Arcadia
  • price 3 of 4

There are a half-dozen ways to cut a fine meal at Arcadia’s Sushi Kisen, including the extremely affordable omakase experience at the counter, where I’ve enjoyed a dinner that rivals Sushi Kaneyoshi or Morihiro for less than half the price of either. Since the chef will tailor your meal to your preferences, I can’t give you an exact cost, but unless you’re especially hungry or ask for exclusively premium cuts like nodoguro (blackthroat sea perch) and fatty bluefin tuna, we’re talking well under $200 per head to leave more than satisfied. Chef Hiro Yamada also stocks an extensive selection of raw fish, so if you know exactly what you’re in the mood, you can also order a couple two-piece orders of those and call it a day. Either way, I recommend making a reservation for weekend evenings, though you can often call the day of and still find some availability at the bar. Sushi Kisen also does takeout and opens for lunch, if a midday omakase is more your speed.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Little Tokyo
  • price 4 of 4

Omakase only. These days, most of L.A.’s very best Edomae-style omakase meals require setting an alarm to snag a difficult Tock reservation, plus the willingness to dine early or on a random, often inconvenient weekday. Not so at Sushi Takeda, which, as of writing, remains surprisingly easy to walk into on any given day for an amazing nigiri-only omakase ($140 per head). Hidden away on the third floor of Little Tokyo’s Weller Court, Hideyuki Takeda’s tiny counter-and-table operation remains somewhat overlooked—even after a recent shout-out in the L.A. Times. Though it does require advance booking, the full kaiseki-inclusive experience ($280) rivals the city’s very best, while the slightly more reasonable $110 lunch offering and openness to walk-ins make Sushi Takeda a great high-end sushi experience for those who want to be a little spontaneous.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Santa Monica
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

Omakase only. Now relocated to Santa Monica from its longtime chili bowl-shaped home on Pico Boulevard, this Westside sushi bar run by the eponymous chef and his wife Yuko Sakurai offers a streamlined, exclusive approach to top-notch sushi in the form of a $280 omakase—one of the best in the city’s upper sushi echelons. Every night of service, after a brief sequence of  kaiseki-style appetizers, Shunji Nakao breaks out a wood block of sliced fish, each brilliant, shining row ready to be prepared for each guest. The luxurious selection always satisfies, as does Sakurai’s ultra-refined sake selection. For $30 less, you can also experience the same menu prepared by Takahiro Miki, Nakao’s right hand, in the room next door.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Little Tokyo
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

Omakase only. Immaculately crafted highballs, soothing hi-fi jazz and some of the city’s best sushi: Bar Sawa is my favorite omakase in L.A. under $200—and unlike its more upscale next-door sibling, Sushi Kaneyoshi, it’s easier to get a reservation here. Built-in speakers behind the bar and a glowing wall of glass-encased whiskey bottles lend the space an elegant, lounge-like feel, and upstart chef Anthony Nguyen’s set sushi meal ($185) combines Edomae-style technique with more unconventional seasonings to great effect. For all but the most diehard purists, Bar Sawa makes for an unforgettable evening of sushi—and did I mention there’s the relatively reasonable $45 cocktail pairing?

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Studio City
  • price 3 of 4
  • Recommended

Three decades in, Tetsuya Nakao’s strip mall sushi bar in the Valley—and its wonderfully nontraditional omakase—has stood the test of time and become veritable L.A. sushi royalty. In a similar style as Nobu (and the chain’s original restaurant, Matsuhisa), Asanebo offers a selection of fusion-style seafood dishes, as well as traditional nigiri—but the right order here always leans towards the former. Where else can you find a deep-fried tempura “seafood stick” served in a martini glass, a flaming conch filled with bubbling hot broth and pieces of tender A5 Wagyu and juicy red onion in sweet soy? Plenty of other cheaper places around town might riff on the legacy of Matsuhisa’s signature yellowtail jalapeño sashimi, but none of them execute new-school sushi as well as this gloriously no-frills L.A. classic.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Canoga Park
  • price 3 of 4

Omakase only. For the last 25 years, this Canoga Park sushi bar (and former seafood market) has served the San Fernando Valley, and anyone else willing to make the trek, a brief, but extraordinarily delicious L.A.-style omakase that goes full throttle with truffle oil, garlic chips and other unconventional fusion-style garnishes atop high-quality raw fish. Depending on the day, a meal here will usually set you back around $200 before tax and tip—and like most Valley-style omakases, it’s up to you to tell chef-owner Tsuyoshi Kawano when to stop. These days, the restaurant is a two-man show, which means reserving a table can be difficult—the pair only take reservations over the phone. There’s essentially no chance for walk-ins, so if nobody answers, I wouldn’t suggest trying your luck.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Toluca Lake
  • price 3 of 4

This neighborhood sushi restaurant in Toluca Lake flies under the radar, but the reasonable prices and top-notch L.A. style sushi make Sushi Yuzu a top choice in my book whenever you’d like to choose your own adventure. The crowd-pleasing menu includes some seriously delicious rolls, hot appetizers and sampler plates, many of which come with truffle salt or freshly shaved truffles (not exactly a bonus in my book, but reflective of Yuzu’s overall culinary slant). The lime roll is a study in pure balance with albacore, avocado, black pepper and yuzu-based ponzu dressing drizzled over the entire dish. Order the 10- or 15-piece omakase ($90 or $120), however, and you’ll find the kitchen takes its nigiri just as seriously as more purist L.A. sushiyas, minus the difficult reservations and much higher prices.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Silver Lake is now home to surprisingly great sushi, all thanks to this tiny Japanese strip mall joint and its sushi-focused sibling, Omakase by Osen, just down Sunset Boulevard. Both perpetually busy restaurants are led by seasoned chef Damon Cho, who's worked at Matsuhisa and Tao. While the actual $160 counter experience at Omakase by Osen isn't worth much (I found it wholly unremarkable), the donburi options ($28–$36), as well as the two-person chirashi ($70) at Izakaya Osen are so delicious and reasonably priced that I doubt you'll miss eating capital-S sushi. If you're in the mood for actual nigiri and hand rolls, Izakaya Osen has those too—and while they're not the cheapest around, the fish quality and craftsmanship definitely make for tasty à la carte sushi that doesn't break the bank. Also, I definitely recommend reservations, since the restaurant is quite small.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tarzana
  • price 3 of 4

Countless no-frills strip mall joints make up the San Fernando Valley’s sprawling sushi scene, each with their own devoted local following, but Taku Shimuchi’s Sushi Spot is a countywide standout thanks to its high-quality fish selection and reasonably priced omakase sets. Each carefully made piece of warm rice nigiri at this Tarzana restaurant comes simply, and elegantly, seasoned—no truffle shavings, black caviar or gold flakes here. For the more budget-conscious, the $60 chef’s set course includes a sashimi course, a dozen or so pieces of sushi and a handroll. What I recommend, however, is the market priced omakase, which starts at around $100. Delivered to each patron three to four pieces at a time, it’s one of the best L.A.-style omakases. Just be sure to tell your chef when to stop—otherwise they’ll keep the sushi coming.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Santa Monica
  • price 2 of 4

​​With locations all over Los Angeles—Brentwood, Marina del Rey, Hollywood, Studio City, Beverly Hills, Pasadena and Downtown—Kazunori Nozawa and Jerry Greenberg’s mini-empire favors straightforward, no-nonsense sushi over dragon and rainbow rolls. The emphasis is on trust here, as exemplified by its trademark omakase-style set menus, which originate from the chef’s now-closed Sushi Nozawa in Studio City: Trust Me, Trust Me Lite, Nozawa and the Don’t Think Just Eat, ranging from $30 to $59—an absolute deal by sushi standards. Though the exact fish selection hardly ever changes, the perfectly warm rice and some of the city’s best housemade ponzu sauce ensure that, in the realm of everyday(ish) sushi, Sugarfish always stays top of mind for hungry Angelenos. Just be sure to steel yourself for the wait: Unless you’re dining alone or at an off hour, there’s almost always one.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 2 of 4

It’s all in the name of this Sugarfish offshoot—Kazunori is the original hand roll bar, at least here in Los Angeles. Though I’ve tried the other high-profile temaki options in the city (including Sogo and Uoichiba), none outrank this fast-casual sushi bar concept in terms of portion size, quality and widespread availability. With outposts in Westwood, Santa Monica, Downtown, Koreatown, Marina del Rey and Mid-Wilshire, much of the city is within a short drive of a Kazunori location—and whether you end your meal with lobster or blue crab, these speedily made hand rolls hit the spot whenever you’re in need of a quick sushi fix. Just beware: This spot is no-reservations, and fills up fast, though solo diners will usually be able to quickly squeeze in.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Brentwood
  • price 3 of 4

Sugarfish might have made loosely packed warm rice accessible to the masses, but this classic L.A.-style omakase spot with locations in West L.A., Beverly Hills and Glendale first popularized warm rice sushi back in the ’90s—and still delivers the same quality and no-frills ambience today. Starting around $125, with plenty of variety and wiggle room for those willing to spend a bit more, Sasabune offers a pricey, but immaculate build-your-own sushi adventure that might include amaebi (sweet shrimp), anago (seawater eel), unagi (freshwater eel) and not one, but two kinds of mackerel of the Japanese and Spanish variety. Like most other omakase restaurants, there’s no need to pour your own soy sauce—each glistening slice of fish is already lightly brushed by the chef.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Encino
  • price 2 of 4

As with most outstanding sushi restaurants in the Valley, Okumura can be found in a sizable strip mall, tucked into a back corner. Chef Ryota Okumura previously worked at Sushi Zo before opening his namesake restaurant, where affordable sushi, sashimi and rolls are composed with the utmost care. Amberjack sushi is treated to a beautiful lime and salt crust, while creamy, custardy chawanmushi lies under tenderly placed uni and ikura. Hand rolls include a black-cod option, as well as a negitoro version where a mixture of fatty tuna and spring onion get wrapped in a crisp seaweed sheath. For a more personalized experience, take a seat at the bar and order the excellent L.A.-style omakase ($165), which makes fried shallots and ponzu sauce feel brand new again.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sherman Oaks
  • price 3 of 4

Running $140 per head, the Whole Note at Kiminobu Saito’s Valley sushi bar is an above-average sushi experience on its own, but it’s the superb wine pairings, date night ambience and attentive service that make it stand out in the city’s crowded omakase landscape. A slightly more elevated menu can also be found at the restaurant’s second location, which exclusively offers omakase from a little bleached wood hutch inside a Beverly Hills parking garage. This more minimalist offering includes miso soup, edamame, goma tofu, sashimi, a palate-cleansing sorbet, 12 pieces of nigiri and a yuzu gelato. If you’d rather order the usual spicy tuna crispy rice and a few hand rolls, the Valley location also prepares crowd-pleasing appetizers, sashimi, temaki and nigiri à la carte, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not trying the Whole (or much lighter Half) Note at least once.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sawtelle
  • price 3 of 4

After opening in fits and starts since the pandemic, this Edomae-style sushi counter along Sawtelle Boulevard has reopened for dinner service with three excellent, budget-friendly set meals deserving of your attention regardless of whether you live on the Westside. Owned by the same group behind some of L.A.’s best ramen bowls, the restaurant was famous for its pre-pandemic lunch specials. While those are long gone, quality and reasonable pricing are mainstays of the current dinner service, where the most expensive offering—the $89 Tokyo set—includes three seasonal appetizers, nine pieces of nigiri, two handrolls and a delectable sake kasu ice cream, which uses the fermented byproduct from rice wine brewing as a base for a creamy non-alcoholic palate cleanser. The less expensive sets ($49 and $69 respectively) swap out premium ingredients like Wagyu and toro out for less pricey cuts, but you’ll still leave here feeling satisfied regardless of which set you order.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Woodland Hills
  • price 3 of 4

Two out of three locations of Asanebo vet Mark Okuda’s sushi mini-chain with locations in Woodland Hills, Santa Monica and Culver City offer a pricey fusion-forward omakase ($250), but I’d rather steer diners towards Brothers Sushi for an à la carte experience that might include luxurious sashimi plates, buttery, flavorful dry-aged nigiri and a few hot starters. A more affordable sushi-only omakase ($140) comes with three seasonal appetizers, 10 pieces of nigiri, a hand roll and dessert. The toro here is some of the best I’ve ever tasted, but the appetizers and rotating specials, such as dry-aged salmon flown in from New Zealand, are worth consideration as well. By contrast, the omakase offers a mostly cooked, Asanebo-like omakase experience without the time-tested flavors and hot dishes of the Studio City original.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 2 of 4

Every time someone has convinced me to visit a hand roll bar that isn’t Kazunori, I usually leave wishing I’d ignored their advice and just visited the latter instead. This punnily named option from a Katsuya veteran is the one place I’d recommend actually patronizing, at least if you find yourself in the Arts District or Culver City, where you'll find a brand-new location at the Culver Steps. Substantial portions of fried soft-shell crab, negitoro and other premium cuts form the base of each delightfully crispy seaweed hand roll. Of course, Yunomi offers the standard varieties as well, plus a hearty menu of appetizers, including a knockout spicy albacore crispy rice with truffle soy sauce. High-quality loose leaf teas served in tetsubin add an element of elegance to your otherwise quick meal, and there’s takeout if you’re really in a rush.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Redondo Beach
  • price 2 of 4
This beloved destination-worthy sushi bar in the South Bay offers one of L.A.’s most affordable omakase experiences—unless, of course, you count Sugarfish. With somewhere around 15 courses, including miso soup and dessert, this $75 set meal in Redondo Beach lets you indulge in a market-driven array of Edomae-leaning sushi without completely breaking the bank. Chitose’s nigiri do run on the smaller side, but most diners leave here satisfied—and if you’re not, feel free to add a few à la carte pieces or an extra hand roll at the end. Note: Call ahead for a reservation—given the reasonable prices and old-school Japanese ambience, Sushi Chitose books up quickly.
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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Little Tokyo
  • price 2 of 4

Get here early, or at least be prepared for a wait, because this tiny restaurant is a Little Tokyo mainstay and only has around 20 seats—and they fill up fast. Once you’re seated, dive in and start ordering: Eel and Santa Barbara uni are two excellent choices, while the blue crab hand roll avoids some common pitfalls (too much mayonnaise, soggy seaweed) and is instead light, crisp and filling. It can be slightly intimidating for newbies here—the service isn’t exactly warm—but order with confidence, always keep an eye on the specials board, take your time and enjoy the chefs’ handiwork.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Koreatown
  • price 2 of 4
Trips to Koreatown for dinner may be mostly reserved for KBBQ, but consider Noshi Sushi the next time you find yourself hungry in the neighborhood. Chef Shogo Noshi opened a small, 30-seat restaurant in 1983, gained a considerable following and moved to his current location to accommodate a growing clientele. While traditional sushi is offered here, the occasional spider roll or California roll is also available. Don’t let that turn you off, though—buttery pieces of salmon, rich eel, plump scallop and more are just as good as the more expensive spots around town. If the thought of parking in K-town makes you panic, remember there’s free parking out back, and free, comforting miso soup inside.
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