There’s a new hot sushi place in town – and it’s right on Melrose Ave. Owned by the crew behind Jinpachi, Fish Eight offers high-end sushi at exceedingly reasonable prices by keeping the menu simple and the fish melt-in-your-mouth fresh. Sushi starts at just $5 for two pieces, so there’s plenty of reason to try just about everything on the meticulously well-curated menu.
Since the restaurant’s recent opening, owner and chef Hirotaka Fujita has been rocking the former Kawaba Rice Ball space—now a sleek, modern room that seats 24. The restaurant, open for lunch and dinner daily except Monday, serves traditional sushi and sashimi as well as handcrafted rolls, and even a sushi taco, a fusion of style that fits LA and the Melrose scene to a ‘T.’
Among the restaurant’s more popular dishes are shrimp tempura, sushi tacos, and the chirashi bowl, packed with premium, ultra-fresh fish. Chirashi bowls are extremely popular here, and there are both a basic and premium variety. Either way, sushi lovers will find plenty to enjoy. Chirashi means “scattered” and what’s scattered in these bowls is a fresh mix of vegetables such as seaweed salad, sliced avocado, and sliced cucumber with cooked fish like tempura shrimp, and generous portions of beautifully-prepared sashimi.
The entire menu is generous both in terms of options and cost. Starting at the top, appetizers keep things simple, with oh-so-fresh edamame, and a seaweed cucumber salad dressed in a light and fragrant sauce.
Sashimi specials include a spicy tuna with crispy rice and jalapeno that includes a sweet sauce that perfectly balances spicy with sweet. The albacore crispy onion roll comes with seared fresh albacore and delicate fried onion on top.
The beautifully-presented tempura lobster roll includes a curl of the lobster shell for style, with tender lobster. No diner can eat just one of these rolls. The sushi combo offers eight pieces of nigiri sushi and a hand roll, with the choice of blue crab or spicy tuna: a substantial option that just may be difficult to top.
Fresh, fresh, fresh is the order of the day here, with buttery yellowtail, addictive sweet shrimp, and tender salmon among the other standouts.
Definitely among the most unique items on the menu are the taco sushi offerings. The Spicy Tuna Taco has plenty of zing to the tuna, refreshing cucumber, and a thick, sweet sauce. The Blue Crab Taco presents plentiful crab along with cucumber and avocado.
Beautiful presentation is a key element of the dishes at Fish Eight, such as the thin slices of lemon adorning the lemon salmon rolls, or the Omit Roll, a mouth-watering presentation of blue fin tuna, albacore, imitation crab, and crispy onion topping it all. The salmon skin hand roll features lightly crisped skin combined with cucumbers and gobo, all precisely rolled.
Despite the restaurant’s diminutive size, there are plenty of terrific options to choose from: tofu salad, yellowtail sashimi, blue fin tuna, salmon, albacore and more. The ginger and wasabi are as meticulously fresh as the fish. The menu is BYOB for now.
While the dark wood tables are a comfortable place to dine, sitting at the sushi bar gives diners a first-hand look at an amazing sushi chef in action. Watch him work while reveling in the fact that at Fish Eight, there’s no need to watch your wallet.
Fish Eight by Jinpachi
7368 Melrose Ave. L.A., CA