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
uni with squid noodles
halibut (salt & lemon)
albacore (ponzu sauce)
medium toro (chutoro?)
amberjack (chili pepper & lemon)
Seattle black cod (vinegar miso)
black snapper (truffle salt)
yellow striped jack
giant clam (salt & lemon)
uni and salmon roe
salmon with kelp
blue crab handroll
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).
9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034