En Sushi serves authentic, fresh Japanese sushi at an affordable price.
Sushi in L.A. can be a hit or miss. You either have the really high-end places that take several weeks to get a reservation at or the lower-end places where the quality of the fish is just not to par. Well, I have found an under-the-radar spot where the fish is fresh and the price is right. En Sushi is located on Santa Monica Boulevard, just a few streets down from Sawtelle. Although the parking is a bit tricky, there is a lot across the street that sometimes, if you are lucky, has open spots for you to secure a spot. En Sushi has a happy hour from 3-7 p.m. every day, and they do not take reservations during that time. Upon walking in, there is a host to seat customers, and we were seated in a booth right away.
The happy hour menus discounted the regular prices by several dollars, so we were excited to take advantage of this and try several dishes. We started with the seaweed salad and shishito peppers. The seaweed salad was average, but the shishito peppers were excellent! The presentation was phenomenal, and the flavoring was very unique with the perfect amount of spice in both the seasoning and the sauce.
We then ordered the spicy tuna on crispy rice. The freshness of the avocado and jalapeño peppers were exceptional, as well as the quality of the tuna, but the crispy rice could have been better. We then got the albacore sashimi, which was extremely fresh and the quality matched that of a high-end sushi restaurant.
The highlight of the meal was the James Bond roll, which consisted of shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, and masago. It was also rolled with spicy albacore and topped with onion. This roll was so unique and one of their specialty ones. I definitely recommend trying this when dining in because it is not something typically found across sushi restaurants, but is unique to En Sushi’s menu.
Lastly, we ended with some eel avocado hand rolls. The ingredients were delicious, but I do wish the seaweed was more crispy. Kazunori does a really good job of balancing the warm rice with the crispy seaweed due to the quality of the ingredients they use. However, for the price we paid at En Sushi, my expectations for perfection in quality are unrealistic.
The staff here was truly attentive and the service was great. We were checked on frequently and the table was cleaned after we finished each dish. The ambiance of the place is very modern Japanese. I think it makes eating sushi such a fun experience when you can sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs create each roll, which is something En Sushi offers.
I absolutely plan on going back to En Sushi and sitting at the sushi bar to fully engage in the experience. The quality of their fish and ingredients had me feeling happy with a full stomach when I left the restaurant. Next time, I’d like to try more of their specialty rolls since that was what really stood out to me during our visit. Their happy hour has some awesome deals, so I recommend checking out this spot between 3 and 7 p.m.