Los Angeles is home to some of the country’s best sushi restaurants. The city plays a critical role in America’s sushi history, with the first sushi shop in the U.S. opening its doors in LA’s Little Tokyo neighborhood over 50 years ago. Since then, the craving for sushi has proliferated and you’d be hard pressed to stumble upon a strip mall in LA that doesn’t feature a sushi restaurant.
The meal tends to go one of two ways: ordering nigiri and maybe a hand roll or two a la carte or opting for an omakase dinner where you “trust the chef.” The latter is usually reserved for special occasions since it typically commands a higher price tag, especially if a renowned sushi chef is preparing the meal. An omakase dinner can easily go for more than $300 per person in a large city like LA, but it doesn’t have to be.
While there’s no shortage of high-end sushi restaurants, affordable omakase options do exist if you know where to look. Try these high-quality omakases for under $100 in one of the sushi capitals of the world.
11060 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
People tend to be skeptical of inexpensive raw fish, but Uzumaki shatters stereotypes sparked by the words “affordable sushi.” There are three omakase price points: you can opt for an $18 lunch called the “Uzu,” a $23 medium sized omakase called the Uzumaki, and a $34 dinner called the “Uzumaki Plus,” which features ceviche, edamame, 8 pieces of nigiri, and a cut roll. Every bite looks and tastes expertly prepared. The rice is at the temperature and acidity (not too warm or sweet). The fish is sliced generously and seasoned with just the right amount of garnish and a brush of soy sauce. Lastly, the space is gorgeously designed in the quintessential minimalist Japanese aesthetic with incredibly attentive service, which further elevates the dining experience beyond what the price point might suggest. You can’t go wrong with a meal here.
402 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
If you’re ever in the South Bay of Los Angeles, you’ll need to find a way to reserve a sushi bar seat at Sushi Chitose. The basic omakase will run you $45 but if you’re feeling indulgent, opt for the premium meal at $60. You’ll be served roughly 20 courses of extremely fresh, melt-in-your-mouth nigiri, hand rolls and dessert. The plain exterior is easily missable and the interior is just as simple. This is good news, because nothing will distract you from the excellent omakase you will be experiencing there. Depending on the season, the stars are the oyster, toro, king salmon, and eel. Everything is incredible. This is an omakase that won’t disappoint.
220 S Raymond Ave Ste 102
Pasadena, CA 91105
Tucked away in a mall plaza in Pasadena, you’ll find an old-school sushi restaurant helmed by Chef Ike and his team who truly love their craft. The move at Sushi Kimagure is the Hana Omakase option for $72 if you’d like to focus on nigiri. The top bites here are the seared salmon and scallop, but you can taste the freshness and craft in each and every piece served. Book seats in advance so you can have Chef Ike prepare your meal at the sushi bar and walk you through each course. The chawanmushi (savory steamed egg) and the mochi dessert round out the omakase. If you can somehow manage to fit more into your stomach after it ends, items are available a la carte, too.
11043 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Another strip-mall legend. Hamasaku clocks in at $80 for the seasonal sushi omakase. Although it’s priced a little higher than the rest of the omakase options on this list, you get a high-end experience where the value of the meal is incredible. The price includes an appetizer, 6 pieces of sashimi, 14 different pieces of seasonal sushi, chawanmushi, miso soup, and dessert. Depending on when you go, the toro and sea bass are standouts. All of the fish is fresh and the restaurant decor is beautiful. Make a reservation beforehand to secure a seat at the bar.