Photo courtesy of Sushi Nakazawa

The ClassicsLos Angeles

The History of Omakase in Los Angeles, As Told Through 10 Restaurants


Los Angeles is ground zero for some of the most important moments in America’s sushi history, including the first U.S. sushi restaurant, the invention of the now-ubiquitous California roll, and the popularization of a traditional style of sushi service known as omakase. 

This style of sushi service, which roughly translates to “I’ll leave it up to you,” has its roots in the Edo period in Japan. But sushi omakase as we know it today really took shape in the late 1980s and 1990s, and Los Angeles-based chefs played a pivotal role in the evolution of what is now considered to be one of the most popular (and often most expensive) meals out there. Here’s a look at 10 key L.A. restaurants that all played a starring role in making sushi omakase as popular as it is today.