Toshi Sushi opens tonight in Little Tokyo

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Last night I stumbled across the friends-and-family opening of a new Little Tokyo restaurant named Toshi Sushi, which occupies a prime location on 1st Street across from the entrance to Japanese Village Plaza (in what was formerly Sharin). Owner and chef Toshihiko Seki is a 30-year sushi vet (and former chef at Azuma in New York) and he promises simple, well-executed classics such as maguro zuke, amaebi, hamachi sashimi and more.

Don’t expect exotic creations that push the envelope here; Seki’s take on sushi seems to be more reverential than anything else. But the 60 or so Japanese natives at last night’s preview seemed more than impressed with the offerings. Seki also heads up his own small catering company, so it’s likely that many people in the area are already familiar with his work (the restaurant is actually a spinoff of his catering company).

Toshi is small, well-lighted and will likely fill up quickly on weekend evenings, since its strict empahsis on sushi distinguishes it from other 1st Street restaurant row places that serve a wide variety of Japanese food.

Toshi opens to the public tonight at 5:30 p.m. and will close around 10 p.m. Look for the new restaurant to be open seven days a week with the same hours (from now until the end of the year, anyway, managers say).


Toshi Sushi, 359 E. 1st Street., (213) 680-4166

--Charlie Amter