Los Angeles is home to some of the best sushi in the world – from high end omakase (where the menu is entrusted to the chef) to experimental sushi bars, traditional izakayas and sushi wine bars. It’s where the California roll and crispy rice slathered with spicy tuna were born, where Nobu made his name, and where Angelenos mull over whether the uni hails from Japan or Santa Barbara. Eating LA’s best sushi can be a creative and pricey endeavor but here is one of the best west side options, so you won’t have to fly to Japan.
Kappo Osen in Santa Monica
Pose in front of the artificial cherry blossoms outside the restaurant that give the effect you are in Japan surrounded by the cascading pink petals, before walking over the wooden “bridge” to Kappo Osen.
This new grand mega-venue in Santa Monica with a ryokan-like setting is the second location after Silver Lake’s more intimate Osen Izakaya.
Guests can select seating based on their mood. Watch the chefs in action at one of two sushi bars or for more privacy, dine in a booth with curtains or a private room – complete with slippers.
At this kappo-style restaurant, begin your meal with sake from their massive selection, generously sized and kept warm in a beautiful container.
To start, share (or maybe order one for yourself) the Blue Crab Uni Bowl and Black Sesame Softshell Crab.
Other standouts include the Pork Belly, Charcoal Grilled Whole Octopus, and assorted thick-sliced Sashimi Omakase artistically presented in a bucket with a sprinkle of edible gold.
For winter comfort food, select one of the many Chanko Nabes (hot pot) and sip broth brimming with ginger and sesame oil filled with tofu, vegetables, seafood, bacon, and egg.
Find room for the chewy Mochi Cake with Black Sesame Ice Cream.