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I love sushi and try to eat it at least once a week. It is light, healthy and flavorful, and living in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of sushi restaurants. In fact, living in West Los Angeles, near Sawtelle Blvd, known as "Little Osaka", my neighborhood is filled with sushi restaurants. Some are very good but expensive. Some are not so good and worth avoiding. But the one I love and go back to over and over and over again is Hide on Sawtelle Blvd, and that is why it is the Please The Palate "pick of the week." Hide is not fancy; it does not have modern decor or any special touches. It is straight-forward with a sushi bar that seats approximately 13 and tables that can seat about 30. They do not take reservations. When you arrive, you put your name on a white board, the number in your party and if you want to sit at the sushi bar or a table. Then you wait your turn. Your entire party must be present when a table is available and they will not seat any incomplete parties. Hide also does not take credit cards. You can pay with cash only, and there is an ATM machine inside the restaurant if you need it. Luckily Hide is not expensive. The cost is very reasonable and you can very eat well for $30-$40 per person. The menu is very traditional. There are rolls, such as spicy tuna and salmon skin, but none of those Americanized rolls, such as Philadelphia rolls. The sushi is super-fresh and the rice is served room temperature. One of my absolute favorite pieces is the albacore tuna with ponzu sauce. It just melts in the mouth.
It may not be the easiest restaurant name to say. But, those in the know can easily pronounce Tsujita. After all, Tsujita LA and Tsujita Annex have been popular ramen destinations on Sawtelle Blvd. since 2011. And, last year Tsujita opened it's 3rd location on Sawtelle Blvd, Sushi Tsujita, in the space that used to house Orris. If you didn't know how to say it before, you will quickly want to learn it now. I had been to Tsujita for lunch and had the special lunch deal - Bara-Chirashi, a bowl of warm sushi rice with an assortment of sashimi and miso soup for $15. (Note that they only make 15 of these each day.) Bara-Chirashi But, I was really looking forward to coming back for dinner where they serve an edomae-inspired, omakase-focused menu. Edomae-inspired means is that the dishes are about simplicity. Because it about the fish, it is about serving the best quality. And omakase means that you are in the chef's hands. There are three price options, $120, $150 and $180, and once you make that decision, you sit back and leave the rest to the chef.
As an avid caffeine fiend I often find myself looking for my next coffee binge. And if there’s one thing Los Angeles is good for, it’s the coffee culture. In a city that never sleeps, fueled by entertainment, fashion and all things a little wacky, it’s no wonder why Angelenos can’t get enough of their daily drip. Unfortunately, with the daily hustle and bustle of never-ending traffic and busy schedules, it’s harder to get a good cup of joe than you might think. Because of this, most of us find ourselves stopping at the nearest Starbucks or Coffee Bean chain or average joe coffee joint to get our fix. If you’re as dependent on your daily dose as me, than you should agree - one size (or shot) does not fit all. May it be your favorite fall latte or a classic cappuccino, the fuel you put into your body matters. So, I've complied some of my favorite local off-the-beaten-path coffee shops that are sure to wake you up!