99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Sushi Gen

photo by Garrett Snyder

There’s a lot of world-class sushi in Los Angeles, much of it exceedingly expensive and therefore basically out of reach for most of us. Who can afford to throw down $200 or more per person for an evening of rarefied raw fish? Not many. But what we can afford, and where we’re therefore most likely to get our fill of super-fresh sashimi, is Sushi Gen. The perpetually packed Little Tokyo standby has some insanely affordable options, such as a sashimi dinner for $26, which comes with a side of tempura and offers a huge platter of buttery yellowtail, melting toro, firm snappy squid and more. You can get a full tray of uni for dinner, with a side of sashimi, for $39. There’s always a wait but it’s never too insanely long, as the service is quick and you know your role when you’re here: Get in, get fed and get out so the next guy can take advantage of the sushi soul of Little Tokyo.

-- Besha Rodell