Raw fish and rice is expensive. In fact, Japanese sushi restaurants are among the most expensive eateries in Los Angeles. A single omakase can ring up in the thousands.
Los Angeles is definitely not lacking in fantastic raw fish, but it's admittedly tough to find sushi bites that are both cheap and tasty. Rest assured, they do exist and luckily for you, we've done all the work already. Here are some low-key joints that won't break the bank:
Located in Manhattan Beach, Pisces Sushi mostly runs on take-out orders. There's a table outside and booth seating inside, but the establishment can really only accommodate a handful of people at once. The Japanese couple running the place serve up incredible fresh pieces of fish for a bargain. While there are fanciful rolls and teriyaki bowls on tap, we recommend going straight for the freshly cut raw slices of fish. The chirashi bowl, typically adorned with shrimp roe and thin slices of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, rings up to only $13.95. Picky eaters can opt for bowls with exclusively eel, tuna, yellowtail, or salmon.
Everything about Nabeeya screams hole-in-the-wall. It's a nondescript lunch-only place on a dead-end street in the Fashion District. And although it is a small operation, the restaurant is never lacking in regulars. After all, it's been around for a solid seven years. The chirashi bowl, a fantastic assortment of raw fish, is $11. Rolls and teriyaki combos are also available. Give the special nigiri ($12) a try. It's four pieces tuna, four pieces salmon, and four pieces fresh water eel.
Yama Seafood is a take-out-only grocery store that offers fresh cuts of sashimi by the pound. You can pick up pre-made rolls or bento boxes in their refrigerated section, but the main attraction is at the counter. Pick your fish and Mr. Yama will slice it up for you in minutes and hand it over, beautifully arranged. The main takeaway here? Things are dirt cheap. A tray of salmon sashimi will probably cost less than $15. Just come early.
Morizo Sushi Kaisen
Another take-out-only place -- only this is located inside the Marukai Supermarket in Torrance. Sushi bowls average out to $10 a person, and rolls are around $6 a piece. You can make your own plate, and the cuts of sashimi are thick. Go for the toro/salmon don for buttery cuts of salmon over perfectly seasoned sushi rice. Cash only.
$4.99 for specialty sushi rolls and not a dollar more. We recommend the red dragon roll. It's crab meat and shrimp tempura on the inside blanketed by spicy salmon on the exterior. Haru is a fantastic to-go option if you're located in the Torrance area. The store is inside S Mart and combinations are 15 selections deep. Simple rolls ring up to roughly $3. Cash only and party platters are available.