Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sushi Zo

Amazing sushi at a decent price is hard to find in Southern California. When I was in Taiwan, we would often order sashimi, and they would kill the fish minutes before bringing it to the table. Sushi and sashimi is abundant in SoCal, but often times price or quality puts me off. One day, I would love to go to Urasawa, but at about $300 per person, I think I have to save up! Sasabune or Sushi Ike are my general go-to places but when Boyfriend had a friend in from Ohio/Fiji/Boston (he travels a lot) that wanted "good sushi," we took the opportunity to try Sushi Zo.

Located in an unassuming strip mall, Sushi Zo is Michilin-starred and supposedly a good second choice to Urasawa. Priced a bit higher than Sasabune or Sushi Ike, the restaurant had many choices that were new and exotic.

miso soup starter

kumamoto oyster

tuna sashmi

uni with squid noodles

halibut (salt & lemon)

albacore (ponzu sauce)

Spanish mackrel



medium toro (chutoro?)


amberjack (chili pepper & lemon)

golden-eyed snapper

Seattle black cod (vinegar miso)


black snapper (truffle salt)

sea perch

yellow striped jack

giant clam (salt & lemon)

baby tuna

monkfish liver

red snapper

uni and salmon roe

salmon with kelp

sea eel

toro handroll


halibut fin

blue crab handroll

ponzu juice

I'm glad I got to experience Sushi Zo but I think my heart is still with Sasabune, although I'm pretty sure that one day it will be replaced with Urasawa. The kumamoto oyster, uni and squid noodles, albacore, Spanish mackrel, scallop, golden-eyed snapper, black cod, giant clam, uni and salmon roe, amaebi and halibut fin were stand-out dishes. At the end of the meal, Boyfriend was feeling pretty full so I happily ate his amaebi for him and the fresh crunch was fabulous.

However, the cuts of fish were also about 2/3 the size of other restaurants, making for a higher bill at the end since we had to eat more! Also, interacting with the sushi chef is one of the best parts of omakase, and that was lacking here. The sushi chef only served us a handful of dishes; the waiter and waitress served us the rest. I like interactions with the chef, so this was a bit of a turn-off, and was part of the reason why I was not a fan of Sushi Nozawa (that and the fact that he makes you eat two pieces of everything, this limiting the opportunities to try a larger variety of items).

Sushi Zo
9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034


  1. Nice post, seeing all those delicious pieces of fish made me really hungry. I too really enjoyed the mackerel, scallop, and albacore. My only complaint would be that they seemed to use the same marinade for every single dish...I like a little flavor variety! More interaction with the sushi chef would of also been cool, too.

    We are definitely going to have to try Urasawa next time I come out...a little expensive, but I am sure it will be well worth the price. Hope all is well in LA, miss you guys, take care and thanks again for the top-notch meal recommendation!

  2. You totally do need to try Urasawa...one day. Just for sushi, Zo is probably my second favorite but I admit it's lacking in that interaction department.

    The black snapper looks very...truffle-y.

  3. John - I'm glad you enjoyed it! Perfect opportunity to go out and eat more expensive sushi ... come back and we will go eat out again.

    Darin - Trust me ... Urasawa, French Laundry, and Alinea are at the top of my list! My Asian stinginess is the only thing keeping me back. And I ate that piece of sushi before I could take a picture of it =(

  4. I love your photo-essay & commentary on Sushi Zo... especially the more eclectic pieces such as the monkfish liver and blue crab handroll!! :)