Welcome to the Michelin star-studded city of Los Angeles, home of the culinary geniuses that have won the city 12 Michelin stars, and 26 Bib Gourmands. With its high-income population, world-famous reputation, and cultural diversity – Los Angeles is one of the best cities in the world to find remarkable food, especially sushi.
The Michelin Star sushi restaurants of Los Angeles cater to a fussy crowd, so they have undoubtedly mastered the art of sushi preparation. What makes the sushi restaurants of Los Angeles unique is their adaptation to the glamour and trend-setting scene of the city, so not only will these restaurants serve incredible food, but they’ll also be decorated and provide an atmosphere unlike anywhere in the world.
Michelin Star Sushi Los Angeles Restaurants With Two Stars
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If you’re looking for something exclusive, then Hayato is the spot to be. Hayato only takes one seat a night, providing the most intimate and interactive dining experience on the market. You’ll be face to face with chef Brandon Hayato Go, watching closely as he turns your dining experience into a performance. Closely observing a sushi master’s preparation is incomparable to any other food experience. The intricate work behind every delicate detail is awe-inspiring, and the VIP treatment will certainly have you feeling like one of the elite.
Upon entering the bamboo gate pines, through the ink-marked linen drapes – a beautifully curated experience awaits. Hayato doesn’t miss any opportunity to provide the diner with a life-changing experience. The soft-toned oak counter is where you’ll be seated, a front-row seat to the magic of Chef Hayato’s creations. The menu is customized to every diner’s preference, so no two experiences are the same.
You can expect to be treated with traditional Japanese sakizuke (or “small bite”) style cuisine. Dungeness Crab with Tosa Zu Jelly, preserved uni in soy sauce and sugar, and steamed abalone with abalone liver sauce are dishes to be expected when dining at Hayato. Their bento box was on the cover of Time Out LA and was packed with traditional Japanese treats like tamago (rolled egg omelette), crab claw, egg fried rice and other glazed and seared delicious-looking goodies. This is available on Saturdays only. Prices for Hayato start at around $295 per person.
The Japanese fusion cuisine of N/naka by chef and pioneer Niki Nakayama is anything but traditional. With obvious Japanese influence, Chef Nakayama has taken everything predictable about Japanese cuisine and reinvented it, allowing every meal to be filled with morsels of pleasant surprise.
The feminine flair brings a homely elegance to all of the dishes. The tasting menu changes seasonally, but you can expect dishes like crispy skin branzino with shitake mushroom and dressed with Japanese citrus named “sudachi”, grown in the chef’s home garden. Working with local ceramic artisans, the meal will always be served with an ocean-inspired decadence and decorated with florals– adding colour and whimsy. The diner tasting menu ranges from $245- $285 per person.
Los Angeles Sushi Restaurants With One Michelin Star
Rated as one of the top 14 essential omakase restaurants of LA by Eater, Morihiro is a proud establishment proving to be a smashing success since its recent opening in 2021. It’s hard to get a table at this local favourite, as everyone is trying to get a seat in this fun-loving and unique space. Morihiro has taken all the ceremonial beauty of a traditional Omakase style sushi restaurant and livened it up with a modern presentation and an energetic atmosphere.
Head Chef Mori has been described as “everyone’s favourite uncle”, as he welcomes in every patron with a smile and upbeat attitude – eager to share his passion for the art of omakase. The variety of dishes may include steamed abalone with a 3 year aged yuzu dressing, or incredible nigiri – using the freshest rice.
At any good sushi restaurant, the freshness of the rice is of the utmost importance – and Chef Mori takes this seriously. He mils the rice himself daily to achieve an individual bite and sweetness in every grain of rice. With all the effort the omakase experience will cost a pretty penny, ranging from $100 – $400 per person, and extra for a sake pairing.
Simple and delicious, Mori sushi welcomes you to a gorgeous and relaxing space, bathed in soft light and decorated with artworks by local LA artists. Mori sushi has put the fun and creativity back into omakase-style sushi while keeping things light and approachable. The ingredients are flown in directly from Japan and they follow the “Edo” style preparation for the majority of their dishes, meaning they treat their ingredients with cures and flash cooking.
Their Omakase menu is the most reasonable on the list, ranging from $125 to $160 per person. The small bites might progress to something like torched baby barracuda, and then nigiri topped with sweet shrimp or the shimmery silver-skinned kohada with a rich and tart flavour. Their buckwheat ice cream is the perfect end to the light meal, rounding off the flavours in perfect harmony.
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Shibumi’s kappo-style cuisine is an intimate way to experience the expertise of the chef at hand. Directly translated it means “cut and cook” – emphasising the freshness of the preparation. Shibumi only has a few seats available, so you’d have to book way in advance to be privy to the chef’s sushi mastery. The setting is intended to be casual and informal, to welcome conversation and a relaxed dining experience.
The small plates are stunningly curated, served in traditional and dainty ceramic with hues of white and royal blue – contrasting with the neutrality of colour in the food and resulting in an eye-catching creation that draws you in to taste the morsels of ocean flavours.
Their menu is currently in celebration of century-old Japanese cuisine – where you’ll find dishes dating back to the 1700s. A chrysanthemum tofu soup with plum was featured on their winter menu. The silken tofu was cut with precision and flared outward to take on the shape of a blooming flower. Their spring menu is currently featuring a rare mochi called “Kuzu Sakura Mochi”, made in house daily. Its translucent flesh reveals a stuffing of smooth white bean paste and salted cherry blossom, an absolute must-try for attendees. This tasting menu usually ranges in price from $95-$195.
If you’re lucky enough to be experiencing the wondrous joys of Los Angeles restaurants, Japanese cuisine should be at the top of your list of essential places to try. As long as you book weeks (or months) in advance, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.