Strip mall stalwart
RESTAURANTS • FOUND Table
Echigo, perched atop a Prime Pizza in a plaza on the outskirts of Sawtelle, is the poster child of strip mall sushi.
Run by chef Toshi Kataoka, Echigo epitomizes this uniquely LA form of sushi experience. Behind an unassuming facade, its bare-bones interior houses a 12-seat sushi bar (exclusively for omakase) framing a smattering of tables (a la carte orders). Walk-ins get seated swiftly. The volume? Blissfully hushed. Exceptional, relatively affordable nigiri come in pairs.
Since opening in 2002, the restaurant has more than galvanized its status as a classic, while managing to stay relatively under the radar. Highlights from a recent dinner included pudgy scallops glistening over warm rice, and a blue crab hand roll, an Echigo signature (well before Sugarfish took it mainstream). Try to order only one.
After dinner, head to nearby The Bigg Chill, another institution, for a cup of LA’s best frozen yogurt. A timeless bang bang. –Emily Wilson