Had a great experience last night at Maru Sushi in Santa Clarita. It was really one of the best sushi dinners I've ever had, on a par with a heavenly Asanebo outing that still looms large in my memory.
Unfortunately, I wasn't taking notes, so this post will be inadequate as a 'houndly directive, but the quality and variety of fish was terrific. At one point, our chef (Mr. Kimura, I believe, who I think may be the owner) gave us four distinct types of yellowtail to compare...all different, all utterly fresh, all delicious.
After a while, I noticed that his suggestions were so good that we drifted, to his delight, into a kind of omakase. The plates kept getting better and better, so we didn't stop until we were very full. Cost was roughly $85 for two before tip, but including a large beer. Not Noshi prices, but IMHO an incredible value for the quality, and over an hour of Mr. Kimura's careful attention.
The restaurant is quite large and very attractive, with a more au courant look than I would have expected, and a crowd that was startlingly good-looking. (My guess is that if you're hip and cute in Santa Clarita, your choices are Maru Sushi or an hour on the 5 fwy.) At least on a Friday night, it was packed. There was a 20 minute wait for a table, a half-hour wait for the sushi bar. If you go as a single or couple, I would recommend the sushi bar, and suggest asking for Mr. Kimura's section (the narrow side against the far wall) specifically. He's a friendly, charming master. Apparently he's friends with his colleagues at Asanebo, Sasabune & Nozawa, and said that when they eat together, it's usually on a Monday at a place like Manpuku on Sawtelle, where they can cook their own food, and there isn't a fish in sight!