A Sushi Fix That Won’t Dent Your Wallet

Since National Sushi Day is June 18, I thought we’d honor the place I’ve eaten at practically every week for the past decade—Sushi Don Sasabune, located in a Valley Village strip mall.  If you need a quick sushi fix that won’t dent your wallet, this is the place to go.  It is an outpost of the […]

Since National Sushi Day is June 18, I thought we’d honor the place I’ve eaten at practically every week for the past decade—Sushi Don Sasabune, located in a Valley Village strip mall.  If you need a quick sushi fix that won’t dent your wallet, this is the place to go.  It is an outpost of the renowned, full-service Sasabune in West LA and Beverly Hills. 

Be warned: There is no sushi bar, and you can eat in less than 30 minutes. Just walk up to the counter and order. With less than a dozen tables, it’s a “to-go” or an “eat on the run” affair.

There's nothing fancy, but it is very clean. A slim menu is filled with only the highest quality, melt-in-your-mouth fish. No chicken teriyaki or fake crab here. A man name Jimmy runs the place, and he couldn’t be nicer.

Choose from yellowtail, tuna, blue crab, albacore, scallops, salmon, salmon skin, shrimp, blue shrimp, masago, negiama, eel and cooked spicy salmon in either sushi or rolls ($4 to $6). Also available are ikura ($5) and uni (M.P.), as well as some super rolls: caterpillar, rainbow and dragon ($10.50 to $12.50).  If you are a fan of blue crab, the handroll is a must.

Changing specials are listed daily on a small chalkboard. Recent offerings include: ice toro sushi, black cod, hotate scallop, yellowtail belly sashimi, raw shrimp with truffle salt and shrimp tempura roll. A special that is always available is spicy tuna on rice cakes ($6), which just happens to be one of the best in town.

The best deals are the combinations that include homemade miso soup or a small green salad. Combination B is my “go-to” pick: a sushi roll of your choice and five pieces of sushi ($11.95). I usually choose spicy tuna or spicy scallop for my roll.  

If you’re really hungry, go for the combination with Donburi (sushi over rice), a cut roll and five pieces of sushi ($15.50). Soy paper is available for $1 more. If you don’t want rice, try a sashimi salad with your choice of fish on a green salad topped with julienne cucumbers, avocado and radish, and laced with a homemade dressing ($10.50).

And the key to it all? Warm rice—and the fresh fish, of course. They even make their own soy sauce (retrieve it from the drinks fridge—it's the one with the red top). Party trays starting at $25 are available too.

4816 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (in a strip mall just north of Riverside), Valley Village, 818-762-8720, sushi-don.com

 Donburi

Sashimi Salad

Black Cod 

Spicy Tuna on Rice Cakes

Ice Toro

Choose soup or salad with any combination

Party trays start at $25

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