The #4 restaurant on Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles list, Shuji was surprisingly empty for (a late) lunch on a Monday holiday.
Pearl and I quickly found why Shunji is so highly rated-- the fish is superb, and the price, while not cheap, isn't bad for that level of quality.
The original plan was to take advantage of Shunji's relatively affordable lunch specials, but we looked at the menu and decided to hell with it, time for omakase. Turned out to be a wise choice. Starting off with the Japanese sea bass and baby red snapper, things only got better from there. Even squid, which normally is so-so to both of our tastebuds, was delicious. Good bluefin tuna is uncommon in the USA, but they had it here; that as well as both the Japanese barracuda and amberjack were excellent.
Giant clam was another choice that I normally find meh, but like the king squid, was delicious. Ocean trout was a new one, but a tasty choice as well. Japanese sea urchin was creamy smooth awesome. The local Santa Barbara stuff wasn't even close (!), which surprised me, given I'd always been told the local stuff was pretty solid.
I forget what the next fish was, but the seared toro shiso leaf was brilliant. The searing liquifed just a bit of the fat into a smooth, liquid-on-your-tastebuds enhancement of the flavor, while the unagi seemed like a perfect piece of barbeque. Normally BBQ'ed eel has a distinct flavor, but this was quite different-- much more meaty, less eel-y. Very good, as was the finishing course of salmon eggs, aka little boosts of flavor explosions in your mouth.
Is it better than Hiko, Sushi Sushi, or Urasawa? I have no idea, having not been to Hiko for a long time, and never to the other places... but it was very good.