Kiriko – Los Angeles, CA

I sat down in front of Chef Shinji and watched as he finished plating a tiny mound of uni alongside rarely seen mantis shrimp. After giving his station a wipe and resetting his supplies, I requested omakase with no restrictions. I also made sure to order a round of beer for the chefs to show my appreciation for their serving me so late.
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Nozomi – Torrance, CA

My affinity for Japanese food has lead me to the Torrance quite a bit over the last several months. Sure, Los Angeles has both Little Tokyo and Little Osaka (Sawtelle), but Torrance is home to the country's second-largest Japanese population, and with that some truly great restaurants that cater to a much more "regular" crowd. One place that had been on my radar for some time was Nozomi.
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Yama Seafood – San Gabriel, CA

Based on outward appearances alone, I can only imagine the number of people who have overlooked (and missed out on) the gem that is Yama Seafood. Hidden in plain sight along Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel, the well-worn entrance doesn't exactly scream pristine fish.
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Sushi Gen – Los Angeles, CA

When talking sushi in regards to the "Little Tokyo" section of downtown Los Angeles, there are three big names when it comes to sushi: next-door neighbors Hama Sushi and Restaurant Komasa, and Sushi Gen (Sushi Go 55 is always worth shouting out, although the few times I've eaten there have been very hit-or-miss).
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Ino Sushi – San Francisco, CA

There's something very liberating about eating at a sushi bar and leaving everything up to the knife-wielding man behind the counter. I trust that he'll serve me the best of what he has available, and he trusts me to be open-minded about tastes and prices (eating sushi this way is not cheap). No menu, no ordering, no worrying.
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Maruhide Uni Club (Torrance, CA)

The gears in my head started turning the instant I heard about Maruhide Uni Club in Torrance. An entire restaurant specializing in all things uni, you say? Sign me up! Fortunately, it's not a real club, so there's no need to be a member or pay dues to eat there.
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Sushi Zo – Los Angeles, CA

I imagine that just about everyone who's been fortunate enough to experience Urasawa considers it Los Angeles' best sushi. However, the task of crowning a second-best is much more difficult, leading to much debate amongst the city's sushi snobs. Being that I've yet to make it to Urasawa, I figured I'd have an easier (and less expensive) time navigating through the "best of the rest", which is why I found myself...
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