In Los Angeles, the name Tsujita conjures up images of steaming bowls of noodles, thinly sliced char siu (barbecued pork), and rich boiled eggs; in a word: ramen. With two massively successful restaurants already under their belt, it came as no surprise when it was announced that the Tsujita team would be opening a third location on the West Side. What was a surprise, however, was that the latest location would not be serving ramen. Instead, the recently opened Sushi Tsujita serves up stark, unadorned edomae-style omakase (chef’s choice) sushi, along with a few traditional dishes such as miso soup and chawanmushi (egg custard).
In line with other top-tier joints around town, Sushi Tsujita can be breathtakingly expensive, with dinners ranging from $120 to $180. That said, the quality of the fish is undeniably high, so diners shouldn’t feel too guilty about diving in for the full experience.
As expensive as dinner can get, Sushi Tsujita isn’t trying to scare away the more casual sushi lovers. At lunch, the restaurant dishes up much more affordable sashimi, nigiri, and hand roll specials from around $25. The best deal, however, is the extremely limited (only 15 per day) bara-chirashi for a trim $15. Depending on the day, an assortment of sashimi such as tuna, salmon, ikura, uni, and more all sit atop slightly acidic rice. The dish is served with a rich miso soup and a side of house-pickled ginger. Far from the industrial variety, the ginger has a pleasing, hand-cut thickness to it that provides the perfect respite between pieces of fish.
Up until now, the only comparable meal (in both quality and price) in town has been the oft-lauded sashimi lunch special at Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo, so it’s nice to see someone else provide great sushi at a price that doesn’t shock.
With so many incredible sushi bars in Los Angeles, one fears that Sushi Tsujita will get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, unique dishes and residual clout from the existing noodle bars seem to be drawing diners in. Next time you’re on the West Side, give Sushi Tsujita a try.