Keep sushi weird
RESTAURANTS • First Word
The Skinny: Tyson Cole has racked up accolades for his 20-year-old Austin-based sushi bar Uchi, which took Texas by storm and birthed a restaurant empire. Now, his flagship’s first west coast location has arrived in Los Angeles (with a 14-seat omakase-only follow-up, Oheya, coming in 2024).
The Vibe: There’s nothing particularly Texan about the moody sushi den, situated in a prime spot on Santa Monica Blvd. between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Slabs of blonde wood function as makeshift walls to separate different sections of the restaurant, and an expansive outdoor space makes conspicuous celebrity tables easy to spot.
The Food: Technically brilliant. The massive menu is split into many sections: omakase, hot and cool tastings, nigiri and sashimi, agemono (tempura), makimono (cut rolls), and toyosu (fish market), among others. The best way forward is the omakase. If you prefer to go your own way, you can’t possibly over-index on the superb hot and cool tastings, specifically yellowtail with orange and thai chili and ora king salmon with brown butter hollandaise and ikura.
The Verdict: Itamae precision meets Southern hospitality — it shouldn’t work, but it does. –Caitlin White