Glamorous, hip setting. Great sushi. Makoto, Sashi's executive chef learned under Morimoto, who apparently is the greatest iron chef of all time (I'm not sure what this means, but people who watch Iron Chef are extremely impressed with this fact). This place is such a scene that they have a sake sommelier, for chrissakes. If you want to look at beautiful people, eat some delicious sushi, and/or have a cocktail, this is a great spot. On to the specifics: Food
Sashi is an extremely inventive restaurant. Chef Makoto is constantly adding and removing things from the menu, which is exciting and a blessing, but can also be somewhat of a curse - Its a blessing in that you'll always find new, exciting items to try, but its a curse because an item you loved may disappear unexpectedly (see my "what I miss about Sashi" section below). Overall though, the desire (and ability) to experiment and innovate make Makoto and Sashi great.
While Sashi is a "sushi" restaurant, I rarely go there for what I think of as traditional sushi (nigiri and sashimi). There isn't anything in particular that separates its traditional sushi offerings from other high-end sushi restaurants and I think other spots may be better for straight raw fish items. Where Sashi really shines are its innovative fusion-type items, in particular, some of its appetizers and entree items. Here are some of my favorites (follow these recomendations and you can't go wrong):
Japanese taco trio (three asian tacos, inspired by the Kogi bbq trucks in LA... beef, ginger pork and chicken. My personal favorite is the pork and would be happy ordering an all pork trio).
Seaweed salad roll (the name escapes me... maybe the Kairotsu or something like that... light and delicious... seaweed, avacado and other good stuff).
Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna - this is absolutely delicious (and spicy). The one item that I order every time I'm there.
Albacore with crispy onion - cold albacore in a soy/ponzu - type sauce, covered with crispy onion.
Sesame salmon sandwich - one of the best values in town. For $12, you get a delicious piece of sesame crusted salmon, that comes served on a grilled piece of nan with a delicious curry sauce to dip, a choice of two sides (i always go with the salad and fruit). Very high quality lunch for a very reasonable price.
Black Tiger Prawn Tempura - mildly spicy. Great for sharing.
Hamachi Ishiyaki - This is a very unique item. Your server brings out a stone bowl that is extremely hot. they proceed to dump in rice, spinach, pickled dikon, carrots and some other stuff, crack an egg in the middle, then proceed to cook the hamachi on the outside of the super hot stone bowl. Excellent presentation and delicious. Great for sharing! NOTE: in addition to the yellowtail, they also offer this item with Wagyu beef. I was very disappointed with the wagyu version and prefer the yellowtail (although, our server may have simply mis-cooked the beef).
Kobe Steak Filet Mignon - served with a teriyaki truffle butter sauce. Can be ordered as a non-sharing entree. Delicious.
Soups (lunch or dinner)
Taiwan Ramen Soup - super spicy noodle soup with beef, pork and chives. Warning, this baby is spicy and a little on the salty side, however, if you like spice, this soup is very tasty. Unbelievable on a cold and rainy day or if you have a sinus cold... it will clear you up.
Kid's Bento Box - yYou wouldn't think that a hip, high-end sushi restaurant with a club-like atmosphere is a great place for kids, but you would be wrong. The kids menu is one of the pleasant surprises. My little guy absolutely loves the kids bento box that comes with a main choice of teriyaki meatballs or tempura, with mac and cheese, fruit, etc. The presentation is great and would be a good option for a discerning adult (I can't tell you how often adults comment that they're jealous of my 2 year old's dinnere).
Sashi Hour (Happy Hour)
Sashi has recently added this concept to their menu... several inventive "trio" food options for $9 each (trio of sashimo, trio of kobe sliders, trio of tempura, etc), available in the bar area only, from 5-10, Sunday through Thursday. I think its a great concept and a nice option for an after work meal/drink combo. I liked the trio of sliders and the taco trio is excellent (see my lunchappetizers above). But my favorite?
Steam Bun Trio - I'm a big fan of steam buns/bau, but Sashi has an interesting twist in offering some different flavors (beef curry, ginger pork, chicken marinara). My personal favorite of the trio: the chicken marinara steam bun... it tastes like I was eating an asian chicken parmigian sandwich or something. It was totally unexpected and totally delicious.
The service is an area where I believe Sashi needs to find more consistency. Overall, I find the service to be good, however, there have been too many occasions where I've been disappointed and have felt it lacked professionalism.
Interior: sashi's interior is extremely stylish, with dark wood throughout. The lounge area has low seating and a bright pink-lighted back drop to the door, neither of which I am a fan of, however, I must be in the minority, as the lounge is normally filled with a large number of beautiful people.
Exterior: sashi has two outdoor seating areas, the main section of which fronts the courtyard of the Metlox development in Manhattan Beach, which provides good people watching and a nice ambience during lunch or dinner (directly across the courtyard is Petros, another excelleng dining option, and diagonally across is Le Pain Quotidienne, and Shade Hotel).
Overall Ambience: in the evening, Sashi is definitely a place too see and be seen and has a hip, club-like atmosphere. A definite nightlife hotspot in addition to being a great place for food.
Best Value Propostion(s)
Lunch - as I stated above, the lunch menu is outstanding and very reasonablly priced for the quality and quantity of food you get. NOTE: during the summer, there was a different lunch menu on the weekend and my brother and were extremely disappointed with the difference. I haven't been back on a weekend because of this, so the menus may now be the same, but be warned. My recomendation of the Lunch menu applies to the weeday lunch menu that has the salmon sandwich.
Sashi's 1/2 price wine night - all wines are half off on Mondays (this pairs excellently with Sashi hour)
What I Miss at Sashi
Ten Hour Pork "Kakuni" - a braised pork belly served over japanese congee, drizzled with a sweet teriyaki sauce. This, in my opinion, was the best entree on the menu. It was recomended to me by the owner and it was spectacularly delicious. Unfortunately, it wasn't as popoular as other menu items and it was removed from the menu. That, my friends, is a travesty. Makoto, if you're listening, bring back the Ten Hour Pork "Kakuni"!!!!!
The disappearnce of great items, like the aforementioned Ten Hour Pork Kakuni. While this is a negative, there is a fine line here, becasue the willingness to experiment and innovate is one of the greatest postivies of Sashi.
Consistency of items across the menu - while many of Sashi's menu items fall into the "exceptional" category, far too many fall into the average category. As a result, ordering choices can result in two people having hugely different dining experiences. This is a shame, because I feel some people come away with a totally wrong impression of Sashi by ordering the wrong items. The good news is, that if you follow my advice, you can't go wrong.
Consistency of service (see above).
In conclusion, I would like to say that Sashi is one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan and has become my most frequent choices when I want a special meal or a great night out. I think it continues to evolve and improve and I'm always interested to see what I'll find on the menu next. Overall, this is a great restaurant.
Being more a fan of traditionally made sushi, I tend not to dig Japanese fusion joints too much, especially since most are really just gimmicky and overpriced. However, for Sashi, I'm going to have to make an exception, because behind the fancy schmancy decor and the somewhat hefty prices, there's actually substance. From the quality of the ingredients to the creativity of each dish and the way it is executed, almost everything is perfection. Decor … more
Sashi is more than just amazing sushi restaurant with alluring atmosphere. My love for Sashi comes from its unique ability to be more than just a restaurant, to offer more to Manhattan Beach than just a culinary destination. When Sashi first opened its doors to Manhattan Beach it quickly became known to us locals as a great place for an entertaining date night or to grab a drink with friends to kick off the weekend. However, I quickly realized, along with many others, that this upscale … more
Hip local sushi restaurant that is always busy and always sensational. The menu offers boutique sushi rolls, sushi, sashimi, robata, soups, entrees (Chilean sea bass is to die for) and specials. The happy hour is also killer-week nights and Sundays!
Sushi is excellent - though ideally you just want to go on chef's menu / recommendations - I never do as well ordering on my own. Great for a group or celebration. Very clubby vibe, so fun for a night on the town if you're into that.
This place is beautiful inside and they're presentation is spectacular. Nice place to go to impress an out of South Bay date. The non-sushi menu is decent but the sushi leaves a bit to be desired and the prices are very high. Looks nice though.
Hearing a warm friendly voice when you call for a reservation. Feeling a sense of energy as you enter a space. Taking your first bite of a dish that is as delicious as it is beautiful.
Like traveling to a faraway yet favorite place, we believe eating out should satisfy both your curiosity and your comfort.
Here, Chef Makoto takes you on a flavorful adventure with every visit. Committed to organic and locally grown ingredients whenever possible, Makoto’s new-Japanese style combines fresh ingredients and influences from many cultures into new dishes that will delight your palate and your eyes.
In the end, the most memorable meals are those that inspire good conversation and a yearning to return. We want this to be your Sashi experience.