Ventura Boulevard is the main artery of the San Fernando Valley and stretches from Studio City to Calabasas. A big chunk of it is also known as Sushi Row for the sheer amount of Japanese restaurants on the stretch. There are quite a handful of these restaurants, but we've rounded up our favorite places to get our fix of raw fish.
Asanebo was a recipient of a Michelin star back in 2009. The restaurant skews to the pricer end; it's hard to leave without spending a good $80 per person. The omakase starts at $60 and unlike most restaurants of their kind, they have quite a selection of hot, fusion dishes on their menu that are just as good than their sushi. The seared toro is a must.
Sushi Spot in Tarzana is known for their a la carte sushi selection. Dinner omakase prices start at $37 (a steal for the quality) and for lunch, there are combos that start at $10. If ordering a la carte, we recommend the raw octopus and uni selections. Don't be deterred by the location either. It may be nestled in a sketchy looking strip mall, but the food is delicious and for us, that's all that really matters. 11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604.
The Sushi House
The Sushi House is a newcomer to the Ventura Boulevard scene. We're a fan of their chirashi bowl; it's packed with a sizable amount of fish and the varieties are stellar. All in all, though, they're a roll specialist. Maki selections average out to $5 a pop, and house specialty selections are about $6. Tip: request fresh wasabi. 11388 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 91604.
There's almost always a wait in front of Sugarfish, but the hype is justified. The sushi is undeniably fresh and always touched with the right amount of flavoring. The menu is simple. It's omakase-style and you can choose from three options, depending on the amount of food you desire. It's nice to not have to think about what to order. Add-ons are, of course, readily available. 11288 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604.
Okumura has the best value for its price. Located in Encino, they're a top notch restaurant that costs about $50 per person. Owner Ryota Okumura is a graduate of the Hattori Culinary Academy in Tokyo and has also been under the toque at local sushi joints Koi, Katana, and Sushi Zo. Rolls are available, but it's the nigiri sushi that keeps people coming. 17302 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316.