Bill Addison reviews treasured sushi chef Mori Onodera’s Morihiro in Atwater Village

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“When I was the national critic for Eater for five years, every time I came to Los Angeles, I was asking myself what sushi restaurant might be appropriate to put on this short, always very stressful list of the 38 Essential Restaurants in America that I was tasked to write. And I could never come up with the answer,” says LA Times restaurant critic Bill Addison. 

He continues, “At that time, Onodera did not have a restaurant. But when I finished my meals for this review, the last night I walked out after being at his sushi bar, I thought, ‘This is it, this is the one that had it been opened at the time, I would have put it on the list.’”

Mori Onodera is the avuncular, treasured sushi chef in Los Angeles who most recently opened Morihiro in Atwater Village. With seven tables and six seats at the sushi bar, he serves his Angeleno acolytes at different price points and is never shy with the freshly grated wasabi.

“If you put your hand on the top of your chest, it’s that kind of warmth,” says Bill Addison, describing the perfect temperature of sushi rice. Photo courtesy of Morihiro.