The Hump is some of the best Sushi / Sashimi on LA and it's in a cool location to boot. It's actually at the Santa Monica Airport. Sounds strange but it's definitely cool. I've only been here once but it was most certainly an unforgettable pleasure for my mouth.
My friends Evan and Sakura have tried both the trendy Matsuhisa which is consistently rated at the top for LA. They were un−impressed. I haven't been to Matsuhisa but I have been to Takao which is listed in Zagat as "the place to go when you can't get into Matsuhisa" Takao absolutely sucked. It was actually the worst sushi I've ever had and on top of that it was $140 for 2 people and we didn't drink.
I almost wonder if Matsuhisa suffers from the "emperor's new clothes" syndrome where people rate it up because they feel people would think them un−cool otherwise or because they spent so much money that they'd feel embarrassed to say they didn't like it.
Anyway, skip Matsuhisa and Takao and go to The Hump. Warning: it's also fairly expensive.
Note: The Hump is above another restaurant called Typhoon which is a kind of Asian mix. One thing that sticks out about Typhoon is you can actually order bugs. From there menu.
- BAMBOO TERMITES STIR FRIED
Taiwanese stir fried style with raw garlic, chili peppers and asian basil
- SCORPIONS on SHRIMP TOAST*
- CHAMBAI ANTS
Manchurian Ants sprinkled on potato strings
- WHITE SEA WORMS*
Thai style crispy fried on spinach leaf with ginger, chili pepper, peanut, lime with Tamarind dipping sauce
To get there take Venice west from the 405 to Centinela. Turn Right then left a mile or 2 when you see the Santa Monica Airport (near the top of a hill)
Update: I can no longer recommend the Hump. The last time I went there it was simply awful. In fact it was the second worst sushi I've ever had, second only to Takao in Brentwood. If it was cheap like $20 that wouldn't be a problem but at $140 for two (and that's two people that don't drink) I was pretty pissed off and I wasn't the person paying.