11513 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian, Sushi
Alcohol: Full Bar, Wine
Price Range : Average
04/03/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Having gone only twice, this is objectively the best sushi place in LA, and this is not an exaggeration.
The restaurant serves all types of Japanese American cuisine -- teriyaki, yakitori, udon, tempura, etc. That's if you sit at the booths in the front of the house.
However, what makes this a hidden ""sushi"" place is the bar at the back. Not beholden to the menu, the sushi chef (Dean) offers extremely choice selections of fresh fish -- changing daily. If you sit here you'll be in for an amazing experience. Albacore -- served with a light sauce was spectacular. Uni -- incredible. Ask for the mussels -- the most amazing tasting experience. We had Copper River Salmon sushi and it was like butter (never had that before). People were ordering normal salmon with Jalapeno? Weird but it works.
Probably the most pleasurable part of the experience outside of Dean were with his regulars, who really take ownership of the bar, yet are very welcoming to the newcomers. And from what I could tell there was code of dining that only the regulars understood -- i.e. no cell phone usage at the bar; don't pressure Dean -- he'll eventually get to you. And the regulars are REAL regulars dining their daily and knowing everyone that walked in.
As far as the decor, it's kitsch -- but very comfortable. Not flashy at all. Really authentic Japanese American that gives the place special ambiance. Truly Japanese old-school.
I don't think this restaurant has caught on yet, although we did catch Thom Yorke and David Lynch sitting at the bar on separate occasions. The regulars could have cared less who they were -- I don't think they even recognized them. Really funny.
Next to the Royal Theatre/Parking in BofA parking lot.
05/19/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I have been going to Aki for years and years, the food is great, the people are great- unpretentious and friendly. I love eating Sushi on the West Side and not dealing with the trendoids or the inflated prices. The decor doesn't impress, if there was ever a Japanese hole in the wall- this would be it. It has its charm though!
03/18/2006Provided by Citysearch -
This place is fantastic! Recently went there for the first time and I was very impressed. Food was excellent, the sushi was so fresh! The staff was very friendly and nice (its a family run place). It looks like they haven't decorated the place since the 70s or 80s but instead they've been concentrating on the food and it shows! The Miso soup was also excellent and the green tea ice cream was the best i've ever had. The prices are good too :)
11/12/2005Provided by Citysearch -
Literally, the best sushi I've had in L.A. and the country.
Forget about the trendy sushi combos in those glitzy, noise blaring bars. This restaurant offers amazingly fresh and flavorful sushi that is, from I can, very authentic. Coupled with a warm and friendly environment (Dean Hada is a master ham), one walks away with a refreshing dining experience. This place is kept alive with its astonishingly loyal regulars (whom. unfortunately, I am not one of). So please show some respect when you're there -- it's locals only!