Best Nigiri in Town!
Until recently, I had known about Sushi Bar LA but never had the chance to try it. I’ve always been a fan of Chef Phillip Frankleed Lee so when I finally got the opportunity you bet I optimized it. I have now been to Sushi Bar LA twice, having two different and amazing experiences.
My first experience, I walked around and around the mall trying to find the restaurant.
Where is it?
Then, I saw a food rating on a window with a doorbell next to it..No sign.
Is this it?
I walked in to see a bar and was offered a complimentary drink upon checking in. Masks are required. Shortly after they led us through the kitchen to a giant wooden door that slides open to reveal a beautiful Japanese Sushi Bar. The process really felt like we were going to an underground club in New York (but I'm in Encino at a strip mall). Entering you realize that each party of people are separated by plastic shields, the utmost Covid precautions are taken allowing me to feel free to enjoy myself. You will find a plate with your name on it in front of your seat. Just sit down and enjoy the ride.
The Sushi Bar Omakase menu is $145 a person, seating parties of 1 to 10 people.
In front of us are four amazing sushi chefs with the best quality fish in LA. They explain that the journey we are about to partake in is a 17 Course Sushi Omakase, each piece listed on a board behind them foreshadowing the night ahead. Before we dive in we also have the choice of having a drink pairing with our meal. There are two options, the first is three sake’s and two cocktails. The second option is a full five course sake pairing. I have tried both now and they pair perfectly with the Omakase. The cocktails are fantastic, I highly recommend you order one!
Piece by piece the meal went by and I honestly couldn’t have had a better experience. Every single piece I tried was the next best piece of the night. The quality of the fish is one thing, but the complexity of each sauce that was paired with it was astounding, and how much synergy there was between them made it the perfect compliment. I have never liked eel before, but Sushi Bar changed that for me. It might have been my favorite bite of the night, absolutely incredible.
This type of sushi experience is the type you dream about having your entire life. 10/10 across all fronts. The staff were incredible, you have your own sushi chef preparing and explaining each piece as you eat it, and a sake expert pouring each of your glasses to the very brim. It is a dream restaurant, and oh wait… I went again!
On my second time eating at Sushi Bar LA we booked the private chefs room. It can seat up to 8 people and during the pandemic was quite the relief. While this room is more expensive, the add ons are worth it. Each piece receives an added complement of Foie Gras, White Truffle, Black Truffle, Caviar, Ikura, or Uni, that pairs perfectly with the fish. The Omakase is very similar, a 17 Course Sushi Extravaganza with a dessert at the end (provided by 2 private Sushi Bar Chefs). Of course you can order more pieces after… You already know I did just that!
There were so many delicious bites, my favorites being the Tessin, Madai, King Salmon, Akami, Wagyu, Marrow, and Eel. Did I mention I don’t usually like eel!!! I couldn’t choose a “best bite” because they were all so mind blowing that it was impossible to choose.
By the end of the night I ate a total of 40 pieces of Nigiri Sushi. We got there early and stayed past their closing time.
To top it off I had Chef Tony and Chef Ronan make two pieces each of what they thought would be the best bite. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint. All four pieces were painted as a work of art across my palate. This place blew my expectations out of the water and I would dare to say it offers the best Nigiri Sushi experience in LA. It is traditional Japanese sushi brought to the modern age flourishing new flavors through new sauces and new compliments that further emphasize the flavor of each fish. It has expanded on what we know as Nigiri. Don’t miss out!
I would be proud to take anyone here.