Sushi Gen, one of the most crowded sushi bars in Little Tokyo is a good case in point.
I've read many a blog post on this place, mostly talking about their $15 sashimi plate lunch special. For me, sushi isn't necessarily a place I look for value (I prefer quality foremost), but Sushi Gen seemed to have both flavor and value.
It's a beautiful plate. The sashimi is on the safe side of things, but adding in a fair amount of toro on a $21 plate ($26 for the combo and there is a deluxe option for 2 to share), more than makes up for it.
The lunch specials are only on weekdays so heading out there and waiting in line would not have worked out. But I found out they take reservations, at least for dinner, so it seemed like a viable way to try the place at last.
I took the train and walked over, which was a good thing, because their parking lot was full. The requisite crowd both outside the door and inside the entryway looked foreboding.
Knowing how crowded it is, I expected their attitude to be like Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi" so I came in half hour early determined not to make any waves. Upon making the reservation they explained there is no grace period and all parties must be present to be seated. There are signs inside explaining these rules, and thankfully, their no cell phone rule.
Their courteous and positive attitudes pleasantly surprised me. Service was good.
|chirashi bowl - my friend's order|
Some of the Yelp reviews I browsed through complained that at lunch they pre-plate the sashimi plates. You know for the tastiness at that price, I wouldn't mind that too much.
The menu can be a bit complicated, but your server explains it for you. The main thing to know is that you cannot order the lunch special at the sushi bar. I would enjoy going back to try the sushi bar to sample their more unusual offerings.