Sushi rolled up with style


Los Angeles has no shortage of good neighborhood sushi spots. But sometimes you want a place with a little more sex appeal.

Katsu-Ya Encino

This new edition of Katsu-Ya (just a few miles west of the terrifically popular Studio City outpost) has walls of glass and bamboo, cool jazz on the sound system and beautiful fresh fish. Fans of the old Cafe Blanc take note: Chef Tomi Harase is in the house.

* Sushi and rolls, $3.80 to $10.80. 16542 Ventura Blvd., Encino; (818) 788-2396.


Sleek and sophisticated in black and gold, this celeb favorite defies any idea of a mini-mall eatery. Expect gorgeous presentations and creative offerings such as the Green Dragon: spicy tuna wrapped in crispy rice, topped with sliced avocado and sweet eel sauce.


* Sushi and rolls, $6 to $20. 11043 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; (310) 479-7636.


The centerpiece of this izakaya restaurant, where small plates rule, is a dramatic backlit bar showcasing dozens of sakes. Diners lounge on colorful silk pillows and listen to jazzanova grooves as they savor albacore tataki finished in escargot butter and more traditional offerings.

* Sushi and rolls $2.50 to $13. 1304 1/2 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach; (310) 316-9477.


This is sushi with a Venice vibe -- an arty room and outdoor seating. But the real draw is excellent sushi, a buck or two more across the board than average. But when you bite into the lobster roll, it seems well worth it.

* Sushi and rolls, $4 to $18. 1635 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 314-2229.


This New York loft-style den is distinguished by Frank Gehry’s corrugated cardboard chairs, large canvases depicting exotic women, and stunning sushi presentations served on handmade ceramic platters.

* Sushi and rolls, $3 to $12. 923 E. 2nd St., Downtown L.A.; (213) 687-7178.

The Hump

Hovering above the Santa Monica Airport runways is this looker of a restaurant -- a cozy, grown-up place to savor well-marbled salmon and uni sashed in crisp nori. Between courses, you can watch the little planes pass by.

* Sushi and rolls, $4 to $12. 3221 Donald Douglas Loop S., Santa Monica; (310) 313-0977.