1432 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA | Directions 9029133.990140 -118.464919
Mon - Thurs 4pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat 4pm - 12am
Neighborhoods: Venice, West LA
Worst Sushi, worst owner, worst treatment – WORST FOOD AND EXPERIENCE IN A RESTAURANT I'VE EVER HAD!
I order a hundred dollars worth of food and drink and mid roll I bite into either a rock or bone. I spit out into my napkin, tell the waitress /return the remainder of the roll. I'm absolutely disgusted but I feel I should give them another chance in good faith as accidents happen and ask for something that wouldn't have any chance of bone in it, I have a bite of that and it's just gross but I don't complain, I just don't eat it. In fact between the bone (or other particle in the tuna roll), the crappy 14 dollar vegetable roll, the taste and quality of the fish was below average and uninspired even when not contaminated with dangerous unknown contents. The owner/head chef Yoshi comes outside to our table and accuses me of lying and says this never happens;then says he's checked my napkin which I spit out into for bones, etc and when this usually happens he finds things. I say USUALLY! I thought this NEVER happens, I think he realizes he's been caught and we think this is solved, see the bill and he's decided to only credit half of the dish as it took us a few bites before the bone/rock whatever cracked on my teeth. We tell the waitress there must be some mistake, and she seems genuinely sorry, then Yoshi comes out again screaming and saying we're lying and that "YOU PAY! YOU PAY! (He fully understands english BTW) and that he will call the cops, ok so it just went from insulting to CRAZY. I tell him he's insane, and that it seems likes this happens a lot to him, and that I'm not telling him how to run his business or make his crappy sushi but that I AM telling him what absolutely was my experience eating sushi at his restaurant and that we are not asking for our meal to be comped but that we simply not pay for harmful sushi, (sadly we are ok with paying for their just reg crappy sushi) and he's just freaking out, red faced and seemingly intoxicated so we slap down our credit card and just leave. We regularly eat at everything from three michelin star restaurants to great inexpensive places and have NEVER been treated like this; Yoshi does not seem to understand hospitality or how to run a restaurant and that is just damn shameful. I've had better sushi at the the mall.
Shima is a treasure. The beautiful aesthetic, attention to detail and care for high quality ingredients is superb and unmatched by any restaurant I've been to in LA. The use of only wild-caught fish and organic brown rice (semi-polished, not as chewy as you think) is special and rare.
Sit at the high sushi bar and watch the chef-owner Yoshi prepare your meal with delicate precision or book a table upstairs and feel hidden away like a celebrity. The atmosphere is calm and soothing, the colors and objects in the room, the music, all in harmony.
The first time I came here I literally cried when I saw the spicy burdock roll because the burdock root was natural and brown, the way it should be. Every Japanese restaurant I'd ever been to (from NYC to LA) serves burdock that's been dyed bright orange, sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup and came from a jar.
My current favorite dish is the grilled king salmon belly roll with avocado and thinly sliced cucumbers. The tai (snapper) sashimi with warm truffle oil is incredible. They have the best miso soup I've ever had in any restaurant.
In addition to the wild-caught fish, oysters, soft shell crab and lobster they serve some unusual vegetarian dishes: veggie salmon roll (made with a delicious sprouted nut pate) and traditional Japanese vegetarian dishes; roasted ginko nuts, ohitashi (marinated greens), mountain yam with tonburi (a strange little vegetable seed that pops like caviar) and okra, perfectly seasoned lotus root, the most thinly sliced eggplant which unfolds on your tongue like a bird's wing.
They also serve vegan desserts sweetened subtly with agave nectar (in fact, aside from the fish, crustaceans and tamago everything is vegan), coconut tapioca with sweet beans, rice ice cream with green tea powder and some unidentified brown powder that was so compelling my companion could not resist licking the plate.
Tonight my man and I ate a satisfying meal there for two, here's what we had: homemade tofu, vegetarian appetizer (3 kinds), seaweed shooter, cucumber salad, grilled shishito peppers, grilled king salmon belly roll, kampachi roll, one kurumamecha (black soy bean tea) and cold 'Fair Maiden' sake, the bill came to 88$,
I don't usually write reviews about restaurants, especially my favorites, but Shima has hid it's light long enough. I'm shocked by the number of locals I talk to who have never eaten there. With no signage and a high wall a lot of people don't even realize it's a restaurant. Only recently did they start putting out a lantern near the entrance, hopefully Shima will soon be as appreciated as much it deserves.
I'm saddened to see so many negative reviews here for my favorite restaurant in LA. I've eaten there since they opened in 2005 and I've never had bad service or waited too long for food. The chef can be spicy sometimes but I challenge anyone to show me a restaurant owner who is not.
Perhaps Shima is a little too subtly sophisticated for people who are used to cramming their faces on fast and cheap food.
RUDEST CHEF EVER! – Usually takes forever to be served. The waitresses try to be nice, but the head sushi chef is so unprofessional and rude. I have since heard about this guy from several locals. I will never go back and never recommend this place. They charge too much money to be treated like SH*T.
Minimum order and rude service – My friends and I were wandering Abbot Kinney on Friday night and spotted Shima. We were looking for a nice, quiet place to have a drink and chat - it looked like it fit the bill. We went in, told the hostess that we wanted to have drinks and were seated at the sushi bar until a table became available. Everything was fine until we were moved to the table. It was THEN that we were informed that we needed to order food and that there was a minimum purchase. Even after speaking to the manager and explaining that we told the hostess that we only wanted drinks, they insisted that we order food and pay the minimum. We paid the minimum but will NEVER go back. The manager and staff were extremely rude about the whole situation.
Don't Bother – This restaurant is overpriced and waaay overhyped....I was expecting premium sushi (on par with Blue Ribbon) but was served meager meager portions of very mediocre food in a cheap looking restaurant with no air conditioning.....Not horrible, but absolutely a rip-off...the table next to us was frustrated also...I was suspicious because of the microsoft word printed menus, but gave it a shot anyways....$75 later I was still hungry and left food on the plate because it was bland and unappetizing....Don't believe the hype!
Shima knows great sushi! ANKIMO!!! MMMM! – This place KNOWS GREAT SUSHI! The recipes were unique and devine. I had the best ankimo I have ever encountered on this earth from Shima. It was on special and yes, at $20 for two small, thin slices, it was so AMAZING, my BF and I ordered two plates! The baby halibut sashimi with heirloom tomato salsa, urchin risotto, sauteed mushrooms, nigori, and the snapper, spanish makeral and hamachi sushi's were heavenly! Truthfully, I didn't notice that it was brown rice, but it was very complimentary to the cuisine.
In summary, this is not one of those sushi places for stingy Americans who are looking for an all-you-can-eat sushi joint. Its fine cuisine, worth the trouble of locating! Upstairs would be perfect for a first date as it has soft lighting and urban decor. Additionally, one sip of their nigori and she'll need help walking down the stairs. ;)
I highly recommend this place to anyone who knows and seeks exquisite sushi.
crazy price, bad mood chief, ordinary food – 1. crazy price - 5 slice shashimi $36,
2. bad mood chief - yell with anger front of customer
3. ordinary food - you can have same quality of food with less price, anywhere
Not all that great. Yellowtail sashimi was good, but it's yellow tail. It better be good. It costs a lot.
i thought the fish would be pretty fresh. but it was so-so. there's better ones at the same price range. . .
This place gets one star, because I can not give it negative stars.
Great food & good ambiance. However, the portions were very small for the price. – Great food & good ambiance. Beware, the portions are very small for the price. Don't come here if you're hungry unless you're willing to spend $80 per person (come more for the atmosphere).
Shima restaurant in Venice is delicious! – Yes, I agree. Everything, all the time is delicious! Thanks Yoshi for bringing such a great restaurant to Venice!
Really? – Despite being warned by our sushi-aficionado friends, we decided to give Shima a try. This was a HUGE mistake. The sushi did not taste fresh and all the dishes seemed uninspired and heavy. The pieces of sashimi lacked the delicacy and quality one would expect from a $200 meal. I would not recommend this place.
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