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Los Angeles’ Sushi Row

Los Angeles’ Sushi Row

This stretch of road in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley is a must for sushi-lovers

For many foodies traveling to Los Angeles, sushi is as essential an eating experience as taco trucks and In-N-Out. Luckily, those seeking expertly cut raw fish need look no further than Sushi Row, a collection of restaurants in the San Fernando Valley, an area in Los Angeles that is home to some of the biggest movie studios in the world. Boasting the highest concentration of sushi restaurants in the United States (and anywhere in the world outside of Japan), this strip of Ventura Boulevard is home to more than 100 eateries. The highest concentration occupies a one-mile stretch between Laurel Canyon and Coldwater Canyon in Studio City.

A Brief History of Sushi Row

In the late 1970s and 1980s, the San Fernando Valley’s proximity to CBS Studio Center, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, and Warner Brothers endowed the row’s then-few restaurants with a guest list of entertainment power players. The unmistakably Japanese cuisine fused with a California sensibility was a huge hit, particularly among Hollywood’s elites. Of the six master sushi chefs in America at the time, four were located in Los Angeles, with three occupying Sushi Row.

More restaurants opened, and with the sushi craze in full swing by the late 1980s, Ventura Boulevard quickly became a cultural and culinary hub where Japanese chefs could showcase their skills. This small stretch in Studio City would go on to produce master sushi chefs such as Katsuya Uechi, founder of sushi empire Katsu-ya Group Inc., and Kazunori Nozawa, owner of KazuNori, Nozawa Bar, and Sugarfish, which currently has 15 locations across the U.S.

Where to Eat on Sushi Row

Today, Sushi Row remains an epicenter for Los Angeles’ itamae (sushi chefs), offering everything from fast-casual shops to high-end sushi bars. Start with this list of seven great Los Angeles sushi restaurants as you prepare to explore the famed Ventura Boulevard stretch.