Sushi Tama (North Robertson) Take-out: A Pictorial Essay

Without much fanfare, Sushi Tama debuted two weeks ago in the toney and still-glam North Robertson area between WeHo and Beverly Hills Post Office. Situated just across the street from the perpetual celeb haunt that is The Ivy, it seems the outdoor patio section of Sushi Tama has already been discovered by fashionable locals who long for “escape” from the constant prying lenses of the paparazzo, yet all the while secretly harboring a desire for their presence to be acknowledged.

Sake case, for your perusal (@beefnoguy)…

Seating on the sidewalk is now permitted as well. BYODS (designer sunglasses).

Sushi Tama represents the latest opening for the Showa Hospitality group. Operating a growing empire of Mexican and Japanese eateries in Miami, San Diego and Mexico City, this consortium now sets its sights on Los Angeles. The menu appears to be more or less strictly sushi in the Edomae tradition, while offering quite an abundance of sashimi for the carb-fearing crowd. A few cooked dishes are offered as well, but they are not currently available for take-out. Suffering from a moderate case of mageirocophobia on this day, I decided to purchase their Omakase Nigiri and also an Omakase Don to try at home. With its chic location, and ‘here-to-be-seen’ clientele, I admit that I was initially concerned that the food at Sushi Tama would take a backseat. Well, I am pleased to report that I was pleasantly surprised. I also liked that the pick-up and check-out process was very cordial, professional and clean.

Omakase Don: Beautiful to behold, this large serving offered generous cuts of top-flight quality neta, on a bed of impressive rice! This ranks among the top kaisendon I’ve enjoyed so far during the pandemic. The inclusion of two of my favorite tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables) - takuan and narazuke - really helped diversify the flavor profiles from each bite to the next!

Omakase Nigiri: Like the kaisendon, the neta here was again faultless. Nice knifework, and relatively tight packing of the shari all hint at the employing of a more traditional style by the sushi chef. The uni I received was of the highest grade.

Obviously for me, the take-out format is substantially less enjoyable than the formal counter experience at a sushi-ya, BUT I have to say that Sushi Tama got my full attention with the details paid to the preparation of my to-go orders on this visit. I will certainly return to try their full omakase in person once it’s safe to do so.


Sushi Tama
116 N. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048


Thanks so much J_L!

In doing a little bit of sleuthing, showahospitality also owns/runs Torien in NY (which is an offshoot of the coveted Michelin star yakitori shop Torishiki). Coincidentally within the last week or so, one of the distributors of some of the sake in your picture, the president of the company actually traveled with the sake and wine somm of Torien (who formerly worked at L’Effervescence in Tokyo, 2 Michelin star Japanese French and a damn good place at that) and they went to a few places in LA. Sushi Tama was one of them, which explains the curated sake selection, and a very good one at that.

From your sake selection photo (thanks for that!)

L to R:

Top shelf: Three wines (one of them uses the same distributor as ~ two of the sake).
Nishide Shuzo 100 year yeast (occurs naturally within the brewery) Junmai Daiginjo in colorful porcelain (kutani yaki) - Ishikawa prefecture. Baller high end stuff
Enter Sake Sooku Junmai - Kyoto Fu (good stuff if you like it a touch funky, very aromatic)
Akishika Okarakuchi Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu - delicious super dry sake, it might be best with Howlin Ray’s and your top fried chicken joints in LA, and of course izakaya/otsumami/strong cheese
Nihonkai (never had it but it should be quite to super dry)
Kinpo Shizenshu (Fukushima) - Niida Honke. Very well respected small producer in Fukushima, though can’t speak to the quality of the exported version
Taka Tokubetsu Junmai Nama - strong stuff
Ine Mankai (Kyoto Fu) red rice sake (super acidic, almost vinegar with a touch of sweetness)
Kid Junmai (Okayama) - on the light and soft side but delicious
Suehiro Yamahai Junmai (Fukushima)
Isojiman Tokubetsu Junmai (Shizuoka) - very famous iconic producer

Mid shelf: Kurosawa (American label), not bad
Can’t make out the next bottle
Kid Nigori (Okayama) - it’s actually very good and full bodied.
Rihaku Nigori (Shimane)
Goriki (never had this one)
Toyo Bijin (Yamaguchi) Very Dry Junmai Ginjo - this is actually one of the recommended sake pairing offers from a new Tokyo sushi omakase place, whose Sergio used to work at Ishikawa Tokyo, then did some time a 2 Michelin star Amamoto, and is a good buddy of chef Brandon Go’s. I’m very curious to try.
Mimurosugi Junmai Ginjo (Nara) - NY only but is now available in LA but not in SF yet… getting very popular in Japan.
Shichiken (never had it)
Manzairaku Junmai Ginjo (some of you have had this at n/Naka)
Soto (new-ish producer and export, interesting label)
Yokoyama Goju Black Junmai Daiginjo - I think this is Nagasaki? Only tasted it once
Shichida Junmai Daiginjo
Hakurakusei Junmai Ginjo - super popular in famous Tokyo sushi omakase restaurants, it’s sooooo versatile and is also known/respected amongst sake geeks, although this label is a touch commercial

Bottom shelf:
Chiyomusubi (?) Shizuku Daigino
Tatsuriki Kome No Sasayaki Daiginjo (Hyogo)
I think…Mimurosugi Junmai Daiginjo (Nara)
Haneya Junmai Daiginjo 50 (never tasted, but it seems exclusive to LA and perhaps NY, SF does not have this)
Kid Junmai Daiginjo (for those who like strawberry notes in their sake)
Harada Junmai Daiginjo (Yamaguchi)
Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo (Shizuoka) - fairly baller stuff
Born Wings Of Japan
Enter Sake Gold
and the last 3 bottles were already mentioned

(Some of these should be refrigerated, hopefully they are just decorations)

My picks:

Nishide 100 year sake (save that for dine in, super baller occasion)
Taka Tokubetsu Junmai Nama (pretty full bodied, use a big glass and let it breathe more)
Kid Junmai
Hakurakusei Junmai Ginjo
Toyo Bijin Okarakuchi Junmai
Mimurosugi Junmai Ginjo
Enter Sake Sooku (it’s got a glass bottle cap, like beer or soda, very unusual, and it’s 500 mL).


Thanks, as always, for imparting the sake wisdom! I knew I could count on you to go over each and every bottle.:smiley:

The shari at Tama is on the gentler side when it comes to vinegar notes, so I’m not sure if this changes your recommendations.


In that case (and for value)

Kid Junmai
Hakurakusei Junmai Ginjo (this retails around $50 at a wine shop up here so restaurant markup might be higher, still a great sake though), it’s single pasteurized and kanji does say keep refrigerated.

Toyo Bijin Okarakuchi Junmai Ginjo I’ll be picking up a bottle in the near future, so curious about this one)

Mimurosugi Junmai Ginjo

Save the baller stuff for dine in, or for super extravagant takeout.


Thanks @J_L I think I’m gonna try it this weekend however I might do take out as well since the heatwave might be too unbearable, but we shall see when I get there.

From your pictures, the attention to detail is impressive. The plating looks so thoughtful. That tekka maki is looking very nice. Are they adding toro/chutoro?


The pieces in the Omakase Nigiri box include chutoro and otoro. There is chutoro and otoro in the Omakase Don as well. #meltinyourmouth


The different shades / cuts of bluefin in the tekka maki look good too! I like variety in my tekka too…

The anago sushi looks quite divine and fatty too (assuming that’s what it is next to the tekka?)


Good eye, beef-san.

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@J_L how did you place your order for the omakase don? It’s not listed on their take out menu on the website and when I called, they said only what’s on the menu is available?

Good ol’ fashioned telephone call. I asked if there was anything like a chirashi or kaisendon available, and they said omakase don was an option.



he called

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I know. But ask open-ended questions. They are just open and are eager to please new clients. Be nice, but don’t take ‘No’ for an answer at first. #negotiatingforyouromakase


Is there any background info/bio on Sergio here (chef Hideyuki Yoshimoto)?

I appreciate your help - I tried again but unfortunately still got denied. I’ll try the omakase nigiri though, still looks great.

You should have said that “J_L sent you”. :slight_smile:


Bummer, that sucks. I’ll inquire with the FOH on my next visit there.

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After seeing @J_L pictorial essay and initial interest, I made a reservation for dine in on their patio. Reservations are quite easy, simply reserve via Resy a time slot and you are all set.

To note: this was not omakase, hopefully it will be safe enough as they have a beautiful sushi bar buildout.

Each table has their own hand sanitizer. Not sure if you can take these with you, but they do have contact information on the bottle.


Akishika Brewery “Okarakuchi” Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu - true to their description, this was super dry, nothing crazy into terms of flavor notes but paired well with pretty much everything ordered.

Temaki Baby - an assortment of hamachi, salmon, honmaguro akami, ikura, uni and negi is served with 4 pieces of nori sheets to make your own personal hand rolls. This was really great, nori was excellent, crunchy yet delicate to bite and the combination of all the ingredients just worked. They provide a side of fresh grated wasabi to add. So many different flavors in one bite, the pops of sea from the ikura provided a nice finish. The flavor of the nori was really top notch.

Did I make it right, shiny side in the outside right?

Kanpyomaki - next came the kanpyomaki, a first glimpse at Yoshi-san’s sushimeshi. This was very well executed, the rice was served slightly warm, perfect texture and subtle seasoning. The kanpyo provided a nice crunch. The sushimeshi was a little lighter than what I am used to.

Toromaki - well executed, nice flavor, perfect ratio of fish to rice.

Uni - definitely Santa Barbara, super sweet, doesn’t get any better than this. Pairing nice piece with the Okarakuchi in the 90 degree heat was fantastic! And again, I really enjoyed the nori here.

Anago - This piece was excellent in texture, buttery smooth and excellent flavor. The eel sauce was a tad too sweet or perhaps just a bit too much sauce, however still excellent. The lovely searing was perfection in flavor and texture.

Aji, Honmaguro-Akami, Nodoguro, Saba - the saba stood out among the four, super smooth in texture and flavor. The nodoguro had a toothy bite, however for the price, hard to compare with top notch sushiyas in town.

Menegi - Seeing this more and more in Los Angeles, a nice interlude in between other nigiri.

Saba Temaki - because of how wonderful the nigiri was, I asked the chef to see if he would make a saba handroll. They told us they prefer not to make anything off the menu, but in this case they obliged. Saba and negi with their excellent nori.

Overall, I enjoyed my meal quite a bit, the quality is insane given the price point and the location. I believe they are trying to attract a more “The Ivy” type of clientele, especially with a small patio pretty much right across from The Ivy. Not sure it will dethrone the heavy hitters quite yet, but definitely interested in a full omakase once it is safe to do so. The sushimeshi was damn near perfection in texture and temperature, the flavor is very subtle which does not detract from the ingredients. They did rapid fire our meal, I requested a slower pacing but the staff had already prepared our meal by then. If you do decide to eat on their patio, I would order in spurts. The staff is very cordial and very willing to help out, pretty impressed by the training of the staff given only a couple weeks in.


Really nice report back - Thanks much! This was an excellent tip. Do it dim sum style.


Excellent report @A5KOBE.