Sushi Ike

The setting of Sushi Ike is classic Los Angeles. Directions to this Hollywood standby require saying: “It’s across from the Pep Boys on Gower” and “Don’t park in the convenience store’s spots—they tow.” See from the lot, the city looks captivating—a skyline that undulates from the Capital Records tower to the Pantages Theater, all bathed in a musky pink light. Hiroshi Ikeda has been at this location for close to 20 years, and his restaurant has developed the same relationship with its clientele as Tito’s Tacos on Washington Place. Trust, affection, memories—these, too, are part of the food. Ike exudes a quiet authority, keeping an eye on the door throughout the evening. Calm amid the nightly bustle, he approaches fish with respect, not imposing on it with seasonings or squeeze-bottle artistry but content to present it simply and let little more than lemon, nori,and subtle rice draw out its flavors. Grilled octopus, with its just-charred tentacles, is an indispensable dish.