Tsujita is the gift that just keeps on giving. After opening two highly-regarded ramen restaurants located a few steps away from one another, the Tokyo-based restaurant group decided to open a high-end sushi restaurant just one block north along Sawtelle Boulevard, Sushi Tsujita.
At the helm is veteran itamae (sushi chef) Shigeru Kato, who was transplanted from Tokyo to L.A. and now serves traditional edomae-style sushi inside a sleek sushi bar space decorated with geosidic patterns and glowing chandeliers. This is fantastic news for the city’s sushi obsessives, provided they have the financial means. As with many other upper-echolon sushi establishments, the emphasis here is on omakase meals, which range in price from $120 to $180 per person at dinner. And while you can order a la carté as well, prices for fish of this caliber do add up fast.
Luckily, there is an easy way to enjoy the bounty of Sushi Tsujita without breaking the bank: visit during lunch. Tuesday through Sunday, lunch service runs from noon until 2:30 p.m., offering several tiers of sushi sets, culminating in a $80 lunch omakase. It’s the cheapest option, however, that’s most worth getting excited about.
Order the Bara-Chirashi ($15), a bowl of warm sushi rice scattered with an assortment of sashimi which rotates daily, but can include anything from salmon, toro, yellowtail, uni, tamago, marinated gizzard shad, grilled eel, sweet shrimp, and more. A few bits of pickled lotus root, braised greens, and a dollop of fresh wasabi cap off the gorgeous assemblage. You even get an outstanding bowl of miso soup too. The catch? The kitchen only offers 15 servings of the Bara-Chirashi per day—perhaps because it seems like it must be a loss leader at this price (Sushi Gen, the popular Little Tokyo sushi bar which offers a $15 lunch special as well, is the only deal of this quality that comes close).
If you miss out on the Bara-Chirashi, the next cheapest tier is the Sashimi Bowl lunch ($25), which consists of larger bowl stocked with even greater variety of sashimi as well as a delicate, seafood-stocked chawanmushi appetizer. If you’re willing to spend the extra $10, this option doesn’t disappoint either. As with Q in Downtown, Tsujita emphasizes cured and aged fish, which lends a deeper (and often brinier) flavor—providing a totally different glimpse of traditional sushi when compared to places like Sugarfish and Hiko Sushi.
So how does Tsujita offer such a bargains? The chirashi slices are essentially trimmings from more pristine cuts used for omakase. Think of it as Nordstrom Rack for sushi—you’re getting the same quality and variety, but at a much cheaper price. What’s not to love?
Sushi Tsujita, 2006 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A., 310-231-1177