In sushi, the best ingredients are key, and not just the fish. Fresh wasabi makes a world of difference, but not a lot of places offer it–and even then, sometimes only to customers having omakase meals.
You can get freshly grated wasabi at Mori, Asanebo, Urasawa, and Tama. Azami uses both the paste and fresh stuff. Yabu uses fresh with sashimi and paste with nigiri sushi. KaGaYa, an upscale shabu shabu place, grates fresh wasabi. So does Hirozen, but it’ll cost you about $15 extra.
And then there’s rice. Mori’s rice is grown specially for the restaurant in Sacramento, and polished in-house daily.
In the school of warm rice, Nozawa and Sasabune have fans, but alexfood says Hiko has better rice than either. HPLsauce likes Sasabune’s rice but says the fish isn’t as good since the move. Nozawa’s rice isn’t always consistent, says zack, but it’s usually spot-on. His nori, an equally important ingredient in rolls, is excellent.
Also good: Echigo, Sushi Tenn, Kiriko, and, of course, Urasawa.
Torafuku isn’t a sushi joint, but it specializes in rice dishes. Zuke-don (marinated tuna bowl) with sushi rice is fantastic, says alexfood.
Urasawa [Beverly Hills]
218 N. Rodeo Dr., at Wilshire, Beverly Hills
Tama Sushi [East San Fernando Valley]
11920 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
Kagaya [Little Tokyo]
418 E Second St., at Central Ave., Los Angeles
Hirozen [Beverly Hills]
8385 Beverly Blvd., at N. Orlando Avenue, Los Angeles
Sushi Nozawa [East San Fernando Valley]
11288 Ventura Blvd. # C, Studio City
Sushi Sasabune [West LA]
formerly Todai Sushi
12400 Wilshire Blvd, # 150, Los Angeles
Hiko Sushi [Sawtelle Strip]
11275 National Blvd., Los Angeles
Echigo [West LA]
12217 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Sushi Tenn [Sawtelle Strip]
2004 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles
Torafuku [West LA]
10914 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles