My mom likes to go to Nobu Malibu when she visits SoCal--she loves how it feels like a neighborhood kind of place and loves their food (there is nothing like it where she lives). It's a combination of the food, the location, the ambiance as she highly prefers the PCH location over going to La Cienega because that way we she gets to look at the ocean on the way there/back.
I would like to come up with some other options that she might like that has similar food options (if not the ocean). An additional challenge is that my mom is having some gluten issues and needs to be able to use her own special soy sauce alternative that she will bring with her--I would need a restaurant that would be accommodating.
Urasawa is totally out of the question due to price. (Drats! I really want to go!) Ditto for The Hump.
I tried Asanebo for first time today thinking it might be a good place for her--I loved their cooked appetizers and while the nigiri was good, I wasn't wowed by it. (Silly me--probably should have had more of the fusion dishes and not so much nigiri, duh!)
Go's Mart is my personal favorite, but I am have not yet decided if this is the place to take her. One good thing about Go is that he makes a lot of dishes that require no soy sauce at all since he's so into the truffle oil. But most of the dishes are uncooked...
Takao in Brentwood also comes to mind (and it's in my neighborhood) and so does Katsuya down the street (though the latter strikes me as more style than substance).
Don't really want to go downtown. Don't think Zo would be good due to soy sauce issue and Zo's lack of fusion dishes and his general attitude. I am not sure about Mori (I like their cooked dishes but am not in love with their sushi--it's too plain for me).
I live on the Westside. We will spend some time in Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara so options in these areas are possible but I'd really like to take her to a place that I can return to myself that is closer to home, or even better--try myself in advance of her arrival to give it a test run!
218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
22330 Sherman Way, Los Angeles, CA 91303
3835 Cross Creek Rd Ste 18, Malibu, CA 90265
11656 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049