Neighborhood Gems: Murakami Sushi

Three cheers for the chirashi bowl at Murakami Sushi

It's not uncommon to peer down the lacquered wooden bar at Murakami Sushi and see a flurry of chopsticks.

For those looking to get their raw fish fix without overspending, this popular chirashi bowl specialist in the Fairfax District is a godsend.

Regulars dive into the menu's shining star: colorful bowls of sushi rice decorated with slices of sashimi, fish roe, seaweed and sweet, spongy squares of tamago-yaki ($11 to $18). Other toppings include avocado, jalapeños, bits of fresh crab and tongues of ocean-y uni. Small dishes of garlic-blasted soy sauce are served alongside, acting as the ideal dipping condiment.

Ankimo with ponzu (Photo: Murakami Sushi)

During dinner hours, you can supplement those bowls with humble dishes of crispy vegetable tempura ($6), grilled hamachi collar ($9) or hefty hand rolls filled with ume and shiso ($3) or bay scallops ($6).

Owner Todd Murakami, whose sushi career spans decades (back to the iconic Iroha in Studio City), runs the shop with his wife, who confirms every sushi order with a polite and emphatic "Hai!" Even before Murakami moved to its current, larger location, a stark white-walled sushi bar on Melrose, it was renowned among Hollywood diners for achieving the ideal price-to-quality ratio.

Because if there's one thing Angelenos love more than good sushi, it's good sushi that is affordable enough to eat every day.

Other Fairfax District Neighborhood Gems: Petty Cash TaqueriaTerroni, BLD and Blu Jam Café