best real sushi, fresh everything, amazing lunch specials, great service, favorite restaurant, likes chef, great food
Go here or go to Japan BEST in LA. Exceptional sashimi and sushi with many unusual seasonal items. Heavenly lace-like tempura, great cooked dishes, and an amazing sake list. Charming, friendly, helpful and professional people dedicated to ensuring you a special time. There is no hype, no flashing lights, no blaring music and no attitude, no screaming, - just relaxed, understated decor and very authentic, delicious, and creative cuisine. One place you should try the omakase as it will be exceptional and great value. I have spent a lot of time in Japan and this is the real deal! My favorite for an exceptional meal where it is all about the food and the people!
Best Japanese food in LA. I have traveled to Japan extensively and have been a fan of Japanese cuisine for over 40 years. This is quite simply my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. The food is made from exquisite ingredients, prepared with great love and expertise. I could eat the Chef's Omakase nearly every night of the week -- if I could afford it.
Amazing sashimi, deceptively upscale, helpful and friendly staff!.
I'll preface by saying I've lived in Tokyo and consider myself very knowledgeable about sushi/sashimi/etc.
My father and I visited Takao early last week on a whim as he was passing through LA on a trip. I'm afraid we dressed too informally for the restaurant because from seeing the humble exterior and simple interior, I had no inkling that it was as classy as it turned out to be. Before even opening the menu, I realized this place was the real deal by the fact that everyone from the server (who I later found out calls himself "Rocky") to the chefs are actually Japanese. Opening the menu and seeing what seemed to be very high prices confirmed it: We were underdressed.
This didn't phase our server, who was very polite and helpful. I ordered the yellowtail dish, the toro spring rolls, and the aoika, which they had run out of two days prior. Rocky was very apologetic and we resorted to the tako (octopus) with lemon/cilantro sauce.
To be honest, I was momentarily afraid I had brought my father to a typical overpriced, pretentious LA restaurant. No sooner did I see the gorgeous platings of these sashimi did I find out how wrong I was. This restaurant has it all--the care taken to ensure a pleasing, artistic looking dish was only outdone by how delicious the sashimi was. The tako was shockingly fresh, and the tangy sauce really accented the distinct octopus texture. It was all amazing. I would rate these simple dishes even above the omakase from Sushi Roku, and that's saying a lot.
Our server asked if we wouldn't like to try a very traditional style hamachi nigiri, which of course we did. That was probably the most delicious sushi I've ever had, including some great sushi-eating experiences in Japan.
A couple of suggestions: Do not go to Takao expecting run-of-the-mill sushi or rolls. They have them, yes, but that's clearly not what they specialize in, and you'll be doing yourself a disservice. It's pricy, but worth it!
Best REAL sushi in town (a roll is not real sushi!). I had to laugh reading the review below- anyone who thinks a California Roll is sushi should not be doing a review on a real sushi restaurant!! For those who like raw fish and appreciate a sushi chef's ability to pair fresh raw fish and sauces in a masterful way that will delight your taste buds, this is the place to go! I think it's the best sushi place in LA. It's expensive but worth it. However, if you are looking for rolls this is not the place to go. It's only for the hardcore sushi and sashimi fans!
I can't believe a sushi bar that looks like it could be a McDonalds from the inside gets this high of a rating on this website. If you're looking to satisfy your hunger, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! This place has only 7 rolls to select from (and i mean basic)..a california roll for $9.50?? Who does that? I've had better sushi from the supermarket! Don't waste your money on overpriced food/drinks and detestable service. Anyone who rants or raves about this place has a lot to learn about quality sushi!
0/10 rating (not even worthy of a number).
Best Sushi in LA.
This place may look like a little hole in the wall on San Vicente, but the sushi is remarkable! I highly suggest trusting the chef and getting the omakase, chef's special. It's a little pricey, but the meal was large and it featured some of the best and most interesting sushi I've ever had. Frankly, you can spend just as much or more money at all of these trendy sushi places around LA that don't serve food anywhere near as good.
The service was attentive and friendly, though not overly warm, but the chef was great. We sat at the sushi bar, and as he served us each dish he took pleasure in telling us everything that was in each one. The chef likes it when you order his special, so you can tell he's proud of what he's giving you! The chef's special, which comes with dessert, was $80, and though certainly not cheap, really seemed like a good deal for everything you got- all of the best items they have to offer.
A small slice of sushi heaven amid Brentwood's liveliest row of restaurants..
The purely functional decor lies somewhere between sandwich shop and neighborhood diner. A smattering of tables surrounds the central counter where sushi hounds chatter casually, giddy from the food. The supremely knowledgeable waitstaff will happily guide novice diners to raw fish nirvana.
Whether it's flown from Japan or plucked from the sea locally, the morsels that end up on the plate are simply sublime. The beautifully colored, melt-in-your-mouth nigiri is so fresh it seems almost shameful to cloak it with wasabi. Standout selections include Japanese kampachi yellowtail and meaty, flavorful bonito. Or trust blindly in the master chef and opt for omakase, which can include the unconventional (sesame tofu with wasabi soy) or the exotic (sardine sashimi salad with ginger dressing).
Very good sushi. While I still prefer some of the bars in Santa Monica, Takao holds its own for the area. We came here for lunch and enjoyed their nigiri. Their bonito was very good. I'd like to come back for the chefs special and will update my review after I do so.
Very Good Fish. Overall very good sushi. They have fresh wasabi thats worth the trip alone. I walked in with two ladies on Friday night without a reservation and we were seated right away. Much better than Koi or Sushi Roku. For the three of us it was $250 including a 20% tip. But let me tell you we ate and drank a lot. I suggest the spicy tuna, shrimp, crab, and black cod.
Really nice dining. We actually skipped the sushi here as there are so many great and different chef's specials. Everyone shared and the food is great. The service which I've heard can be difficult was gracious the night we ate there. As far as the ambience goes, it's kind of downtrodden but that was part of the fun. Expect to spend a lot of money. As interesting as Matsuhisa but less pretentious and fussy.
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