There's a reason that after so many years Noshi still has lines out the door to get in- the sushi is great! And, you don't have to sacrifice a mortgage payment to eat there. Remember, Noshi is a cash only establishment. Go before 6:30 or after 8 for a reduction in wait time or, if you're lucky, no wait at all. Try any sushi roll and sake.
Tucked away in the far reaches of Koreatown, about 20 minutes from Hollywood and world's away from anything in Beverly Hills, Noshi Sushi is the quintessential no-frills, extremely affordable, sushi restaurant so popular there is usually a wait out the door to be seated, no matter what day of the week or time of dining. The outside of the building is nothing but square, unassuming, ugly even, one of those restaurants I would normally pass by without much thought and, quite frankly, the inside is really no better. White walls with shoji screens are made even whiter by bright lighting and nondescript red leather booths line the walls and fill the middle. Along the far right wall is the sushi bar in a long u shape with several busy sushi chefs behind it. The noise of diners is loud, and servers bustle around unceremoniously serving soup and drinks. Mediocre soft pop and rock plays in the background but is barely audible. And yet, for all its ugliness, there is an energy here that is exciting. A feeling like you are in a really fun place. Maybe it's all those people getting great sushi at such amazing prices, enjoying their meals in self-satisfying smugness. I don't know. All I know is I've been coming to this restaurant for 17 years and I still love it, ugly or not, it's my favorite sushi in all of LA, maybe of all time.
If you sit at the sushi counter there really isn't much service to notice. Warm hand towels and water are brought as soon as you sit. Then miso soup and any drinks you may order. The service is usually prompt and cordial, nothing more or less. Not a lot of English spoken, which is fine. The sushi chefs are always fun and funny. They will engage in conversation as much or as little as you like. If you go there often, you may acquire a favorite.
Although Noshi does not have an extensive menu or very many fancy sushi options what they do serve is delicious. I am a huge fan of the rolls, hand rolls or cut rolls, because they are ginormous and very reasonably priced. My favorite is the spicy tuna roll ($3), made here with finely minced tuna, a slightly spicy mayo mixture, and scallions, that is just divine. This is the roll that has ruined all other sushi restaurants for me. Seriously, I crave these things. Also great are the California ($4.50), yellowtail ($3.70), and BBQ eel ($3.80) rolls. The sushi is also wonderful but get here early or the specials of the evening will be gone. This night the special was Yellowtail belly, but we were too late. We had mackerel ($3) instead that was wonderful. Noshi also serves things like tempura, baked clams, and teriyaki. Particularly nice are the seaweed salad or edamame. They also have sake ($3) and American ($2.50) and Japanese ($3) beer.
Noshi Sushi has an 'A' rating, meaning it keeps up with the highest cleanliness standards in LA- good in a sushi restaurant. Of course, it is getting a little old and tired and may not look shiny and new. That's fine with me. I hope they never change a thing.
Great sushi at very reasonable prices. The biggest sushi rolls you have ever seen. A fun relaxed vibe.
Long waits to be seated, cash only, not a very cool or hip atmosphere.