Oomasa...a Little Tokyo Gem
100 Japanese Village Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
If you'll notice, there aren't many sushi places on What's To Eat LA. Why do you ask? Well, to put it simply, I don't really know how to rate sushi. I mean I can tell what pleases me and obviously what makes me sick, but for the most part the true finesses and little touches that make sushi extraordinary are allusive to me. It's like drinking wine. I can drink and know it tastes good, but why it tastes better than others is something that seems barely tangible. I guess you have to have extremely fresh fish to examine first and then see how ones that aren't so fresh rate to it. When I've read other people articles and posts, the only thing people talk about is how well it's cut and freshness for the most part as if they're coneissures of those fine details of freshness. They must be better people than me and I commend them for it.
I, on the other hand, enjoy sushi quite a bit and have had my fair share of what I would consider very good sushi, so-so sushi and downright scary call the health department sushi. I would also say that I could try any piece of raw fish you throw at me as long as I know it hasn't been sitting out. In LA, there are a plethora of decent sushi places. I use the word "decent" loosely, and please understand that I state that word in a postive light and not a negative. To put it plainly, I would eat at them. Oomasa in Little Tokyo I would rate as higher than decent and a joy to visit when I'm in the Little Tokyo Village. I understand that most people might instantly respond with other places that far exceed Oomasa in the immediate vicinity, but I have yet to be let down here and that's why I'm writing about it.
The inside has a classic sushi bar feel to it except with the addition of booths that harken to a diner in the mid-west. The hustle and bustle is pretty non stop especially considering the constant clientele and the late hours they offer.
Here is their Pork Cutlet dinner combination plate. For $14.95 Celeste got more than she bargained for; a medium sized pork cutlet over salad, 7 pieces of sashimi, 1 tuna sushi, 1 sweet shrimp sushi, 2 big pieces of REAL california roll (ie-real crabmeat), pickled cucumbers, macaroni salad, orange slices, miso soup, a bowl of rice and one scoop of green tea ice cream. The pork was tender (most certainly brined by her opionion) but crispy on the outside with a great flavor of it's own and a sauce that was more savory than sweet, the sashimi was quite to her taste and generously given, and she essentially had to make herself to stop eating at a certain point because it was all so good and there was so much of it.
Here's a plate of their Chirashi Sushi (Chirashi means scattered and that's exactly what this is; a bowl of raw fish fish scattered over rice). All the fish tasted fresh and I must admit that this was the first time I had sushi like this as I'm usually just a sushi-by-the-bite kind of guy. I could do this almost every week. Though the food was a hefty amount (10 slices of fish), I found myself just stuffing it into my face bite after bite. It was really solid this time around and a pleasure to eat. 10 slices of fishes could run you modestly around $18 minimum (if you're lucky) but this plate will run you $16 which is a pretty decent deal.
Parking is available (and validated) at the adjacent lot to Little Tokyo as well as the surrounding streets for parking which, believe it or not, you can find pretty easily. Of course Little Tokyo is aimed at tourists, but don't let that stop many of you from coming on down and exploring. Many of the establishments there have been there for quite a while and with good reason. This place and a few others are quite the gems and cult favorites of downtown LA.
Free Refills: Yes
Entree Price Range: Lunch specials are $10 to $12 and sushi and sashimi plates will run you $15 to $20