If you’re heading down to Santa Monica Blvd. between La Cienega and Robertson, chances are you’re looking for vodka sodas, crowded dance floors, and a cheap slice of pizza you can throw into your mouth on your way home. You’ll spot a few chain salad spots, a yogurt shop, and a Guisados nobody goes to, but the reality is, this part of Weho has very little in the way of actual dining - making Jinpachi all the more essential.
Located a half block down from the totes masc/jock/bro Gym bar, the first thing to realize about Jinpachi is you probably don’t even realize it’s there. And if you have happened to notice it one night while crawling back to your apartment, you’re unclear what actually happens inside. So we’ll tell you - really fantastic, relatively affordable sushi happens inside.
Now, to be clear, you can drop some serious money if you want to at Jinpachi. Their omakase situation generally runs in the $150 range and no matter who you are, that’s a big chunk of change to drop on raw fish. Is that omakase worth it? You bet. But it’s not every day you’re looking to drop a monthly utilities bill at lunch either. The good news is Jinpachi’s prices drop off considerably beyond the omakase and at lunch, they become downright cheap. Their crispy rice with spicy tuna (yes, you need this here), all their simple rolls, and the fantastic yellowtail carpaccio will cost you a cool $4.99. If you’re looking to mix and match a bit, their premium sushi combo gets you eight cuts of whatever the chef chooses and a roll for $22. Considering how good this sushi is, you’re not going to find a better value than that.
The point of all this, however, is not to bargain hunt your way through Jinpachi’s menu. The point is that this small, subdued sushi joint is absolutely worth driving to - and having some affordable options is simply the bonus. Whether you’re using this place as a solo lunch spot you never invite your coworkers to, or for a second date when you want to show that you know more about LA sushi than Sugarfish, Jinpachi is the quiet power move. Let the rest of the neighborhood get rowdy tonight.
There are many versions of this dish around town, but we’ll tell you right now this is the best one. The spicy tuna on top is as fresh as it gets, but it’s that glorious block of perfectly crisp rice underneath that takes it to the next level.
Jinpachi has a few different carpaccios on the menu, but the yellowtail is our favorite. The slices are actually massive and that jalapeno off to the side is the added little kick we all need in life.
At $22 for lunch and $32 for dinner, this eight-piece sushi platter with a full roll (not to mention soup and salad) is one of the best sushi deals in LA. All the fish (chef’s choice) is fantastic but if you can, request the toro. It’s insane.
$150 for omakase is a lot of money. But we can assure you this is among the best in the city. Expect 25+ dishes, ranging from clam miso soup to uni-topped oysters to a cream cheese dessert pudding, and expect all of them to be tremendous.