Brief Sushi History in Los Angeles (post-1970)

Sushi has been integral to the dissemination of exceptional food in Los Angeles. Ventura Blvd likely houses more sushi parlors per block than any piece of real estate worldwide. The San Fernando Valley, where Ventura Blvd covers a wide stretch from East to West, does not have an immense Japanese population living there. But it does have the highest concentration of sushi bars anywhere. There is the sushi restaurant where the waiters tap dance as they serve you newfangled rolls. All you can eat sushi bars make their presence known. Even the purported creator of the California roll (a concoction of snow crab, avocado, and rice wrapped into nori and cut into bite-size pieces) makes its home on the Blvd. Sushi, namely fresh fish, can be a health food pointing towards our collective fascination with the once exotic though now more commonplace association with raw fish. One need only go back to the 1970s and Little Tokyo’s Tokyo Kaikan to notice the humble beginnings of sushi restaurants in LA.

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