A little shoebox space off Lincoln & Manchester called Kanpai is my favorite sushi restaurant ever! It's far better than ANY place I've been in Little Tokyo. I've been to great sushi joints in Little Tokyo, but I still prefer Kanpai. No, it's not going to cost you the $700 Nobu wants, but it's not necessarily cheap. It's got a very laid-back atmosphere. Their sake and beer selection is superb, their chefs are friendly, and their fish is fresh.
If they have it, you must try the live scallop! They tap the shell of the scallop and you can see the muscle contract and then the chef cuts the skirt away from the scallop and slices the scallop into two pieces. It's placed atop a rice loaf and dressed with a dash of yuzu and Japanese sea salt. It's the cleanest tasting sushi item I've ever tasted. But, this is a two-part order. While you're enjoying this incredible taste sensation, they take the leftover trimmings and dice them up, mix in a little Japanese mayo, and cook the shell under the broiler. Just after you've enjoyed the crisp and refreshing first part, you're serve this decadent follow-up.
The way the chefs dress up their individual sashimi servings is killer! Skip the soy/wasabi combo and trust the chef's seasoning. They sometimes dabble in fusion, but stick to the strictly Japanese fare.
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