I drive by Sushi Ryo all the time, and I have seen it from afar when eating at Club Del Taco across the street during the wee hours of the night/morning. My friends have suggested that we try out the place, but we never took the time out to make good on the suggestion. A recent post on this board renewed my interest, so I decided to try it out on my own last night for dinner.
Tucked away in a small strip mall on the corner of Highland and Santa Monica (behind the donut shop, next to the adult book boutique), I drove up to Sushi Ryo at 7PM, and lot parking was full (it's a rather small lot), so I opted for street parking on Highland (available starting at 7PM).
I walked to the bar where there were a couple and a mother-daughter duo already enjoying their dinners. A quick glance to the board showed that the list of specials included soft shell crabs, cooked octopus, miso flavored grilled sea bass, and Kanpachi (Amberjack). I sat at the bar and was greeted by the chef, who immediately asked what I would like.
I had the Kanpachi, which was very fresh and generously cut. Sushi Ryo had cuts of fish comparable to Nozawa, with relatively less rice, which to me was fine. I then elected for the sweet shrimp, which were pretty big, and served with the fried heads (something I find that Echigo does not do). I enjoyed the fried heads, as they have become a new favorite food of mine, and took a rest while watching the chef through the kinky mirrors above the sushi counter.
At this point, the restaurant was still relatively empty, and the two parties before me had cashed out and were on their way. Once alone, I worked up the nerve to start a conversation with the chef and ask him what was fresh. The chef, though his English was lacking, did a very good job of explaining what he would recommend and even had a performed a quick comedy routine with the abalone. I laughed as I guzzled my Asahi.
Next up was the albacore sashimi, which to me was extremely good. I am such a huge fan of albacore, and I enjoyed the ponzu/green onion dipping sauce that came with the fish. The chef noticed that I was curious about the Spanish Mackerel so he prepared that as well. I had a bad experience with saba a while back (long story), so I was hesitant to order it again. I became a convert last night. The Spanish Mackerel was very good and I know my limited vocabulary and lack of description does it no justice.
I then had Hamachi (great, actually better than the Kanpachi), medium Toro, and squid sashimi, which was prepared in sliced strips and placed in a bowl with ponzu sauce (I'm assuming) and seaweed flakes. I enjoyed the squid, though the texture took a while to get used to.
The entire meal, with two beers came to 47 before tax and tip. I enjoyed my first experience at Sushi Ryo, and I appreciated the fact that it was closer to me than Echigo. By the time I had left, I noticed that the bar had become full and the restaurant was beginning to get crowded. I recommend this place if you're ever in the area.
I apologize for my lack of descriptive language, and the repetitive "good-s" and "delicious-es". =)
6779 SANTA MONICA BLVD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90038
shoutouts to tissue for recommending this place