My family likes Usui for its mom and pop qualities and because the place is usually full of regulars shooting the breeze with the elderly sushi chef. We like the food much better than the more popular Suehiro -- which gets more reviews on Yelp and probably here on CH.
We stick to basics like the various donburi (my son and I really like the katsudon) and the Tobun Yaki. The sushi is fine, though nothing outstanding.
I think we like the vibe more than anything else, it reminds us of places we ate in in Tokyo, as much for the atmosphere as the food.
Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that Usui is closing down at the end of the month. We've always thought that the sushi chef and the lone waitress were a couple or family of some sort and they told us that he was looking forward to retiring.
Usui doesn't get much play here and that's okay, so maybe there won't be much mourning. But if you do like Usui or always wanted to try it, you have until the end of the month. Someone bought the place -- I don't know who. If you do go, stick to simple items and expect a simple pleasure, nothing more.
We're going to go one last time -- after the Usagi Yojimbo exhibit opens at the Japanese American National Museum. Then we'll have to find another spot.
337 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
343 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012