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One thing that there is no shortage of in Los Angeles are sushi and ramen restaurants. While certain areas are more densely filled with sushi and ramen restaurants, they can be found in nearly every neighborhood. And on top of that, it is not a challenge to find good quality sushi and ramen. When I was invited to check out Totoyama Sushi & Ramen on Hollywood Blvd, I wasn't sure what to expect. After all, Hollywood Blvd is not typically a place to come to eat unless you are going to the Pantages or are looking for somewhere where the scene is more important than the food. But, I was in for a great surprise - Totoyama Sushi & Ramen is a gem in the center of Hollywood. This gem is a rather unassuming restaurant. It is tucked inside the complex that is home to Greenleaf Gourmet Shop, Pressed Juicery, Shake Shack, Dunkin Donuts and Soul Cycle. The space is simple and comfortable. There is a small dining area in the front, seating around the sushi bar which takes up the largest space in the restaurant, and a small dining area behind the sushi bar.
Fresh fish imported from Japan, a Master Sushi Chef and a sophisticated yet approachable wine program mixed with modern decor and a friendly ambiance make the new Sherman Oaks sushi bar Sushi Note hit all the notes. Sushi Note is a cozy 30-seat sushi restaurant located on Ventura Blvd, near Sunnyslope. It is across the street from Augustine Wine Bar and is owned by Augustine (and Mirabelle wine bar) co-owner Dave Gibbs, as well as Silvia Gallo. There is a seven-seat bar sushi bar and at the helm is Chef Kiminobu Saito. A small and quiet but personable man, Saito built a following at his former 4 on 6 sushi bar in Encino. In addition to the sushi bar, where an omakase menu is available, there are standalone tables and booths as well as a back bar with five seats, called the Wine Bar.
Located on the ground floor of a magnificently designed new building on Melrose Avenue, Umeda Restaurant opened its doors earlier this year. Across the street from Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and Chi Spacca, Umeda is on the north side of Melrose, on the corner of Citrus, just west of Highland. Omeda quietly opened with little fanfare but luckily some friends told me about it. Umeda Restaurant is named after its chef, Takuya Umeda. Takuya Umeda began his career in Sapporo, Japan and worked with chef Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu London between 1997 to 2003. Umeda then came to work at Nobu's Matsuhisa in Bevelry Hills until 2017, when he opened his own restaurant. In the front of the house is the friendly and charming Joseph Mansour who also worked at Matsuhisa for almost a decade.