It’s impossible not to drive any stretch of Pico Blvd. without passing a bunch of restaurants that make you wonder out loud to your glove box “What goes on in there?” Shunji is one of those restaurants, in a strange round building and an old-timey sign, but what goes on in there is some extremely good Japanese food. On your first visit, go for the premium omakase (they’ll text you to ask your preference before you arrive). It’s around $160 and mixes some great vegetable dishes, an appetizer plate that might have monkfish liver, or firefly squid, or in-season bamboo shoots, and a decent amount of nigiri that goes beyond the usual yellowtail and snapper.
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Sawtelle’s Tsujita does the best tsukemen-style ramen this side of the Pacific and some of the best overall ramen in Los Angeles.
Mogu Mogu in West LA specializes in mazemen, a brothless ramen that has us feeling very full and happy.
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Santa Monica’s KazuNori is a hand roll-only sushi option from the people behind Sugarfish. Expect the same quality without the crazy wait.
Matsuhisa is the Beverly Hills restaurant that launched the Nobu empire, and there’s no sushi place that feels more LA.
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In a town that certainly knows its sushi, Sushi Park in West Hollywood is operating on a completely different level.
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