Sushi Tsujita

Best Sushi Lunch Deal, August 2015

When a fish flies first-class overnight from Japan, a sliver of it over rice can cost a pretty penny. Yes, sushi—great sushi, anyway—is a splurge. But those with thinner wallets and an eye on the clock can indulge in the good stuff, too. An omakase dinner at Sushi Tsujita can run $180 a head (human, not fish), though the lunch menu offers the same quality seafood at affordable prices. The thrift-minded clamor for the $15 bara-chirashi special, only ten of which are served each day. Our favorite is the assorted bowl, which includes twice as much fish—luscious selections like fatty tuna and sea urchin as well as chawanmushi and miso soup—for $25.

Sawtelle doesn’t need another sushi bar or another Tsujita enterprise (the company has two ramen shops on the street), yet here we are with Sushi Tsujita. Not that we’re complaining. How could we when presented with Shigeru Kato’s fastidiously prepared edomae-style sushi, sashimi, and seasonal dishes like the aromatic dobin mushi—a teapot of scorching matsutaki broth that cooks morsels of eel and fresh gingko nuts. Wasabi is hand grated; those ginger cubes are house pickled. The price is on par with the strip’s other seafood shrines (omakase ranges from $120 to $180), but the vibe is a little looser—you may even coax a giggle out of the waitress.