Azai Hand Roll Is Premium Sushi in Los Angeles

Azai Hand Roll Sushi, Los Angeles
Founders (L-R) Lionel Azoulay, Fabrice Sapoglian, Mehdi Maamri

Los Angeles is a big city with a lot to offer, especially when it comes to food. We heard about the new Hand Roll Bar, Azai Hand Roll Sushi which recently opened on Third Street and was getting a nice buzz. Although I am not a fan of bar sitting, Pamela, Emily and I love sushi and sashimi, therefore we decided to make it a point to go check it out.

It all started during Covid which paralyzed the entire world. After a few months of inactivity, Fabrice Sopoglian was contacted by his friend, Lionel Azoulay, businessman and a food expert, who successfully imported the renowned ‘La Tropézienne Bakery’ to the US and played a major role in Ghost Hospitality. With an undeniable passion for Japanese culture and its cuisine, Lionel became experienced in hand roll bars. He opened The HRB Experience (Handroll Bar) on the ground level of the Pacific Mutual building in downtown Los Angeles.  He then received acclaimed reviews when he opened Paris Tokyo in Beverly Hills. “I love its simplicity, and its fresh ingredients.”

Co-founder Lionel Azoulay behind the Azai Hand Roll sushi bar

However, it was clear that Lionel, who everyone calls Lio, needed a little help from his friends. He called upon his friend for backup, LA based French producer Fabrice Sopoglian, a veteran of reality shows and docuseries. Fabrice’s 12- year run spanning over 600 episodes, as the face of the French reality TV show ‘Les anges,’ remains unchallenged. With the likes of A-list celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Mike Tyson, to Britney Spears showcases his remarkable ability to connect with influential figures across various industries.

Sopoglian’s documentary “The VIF,” which narrates the story of fashion designer Christian Audigier has garnered 16 awards globally. Adding to his resume is his partnership in “American Badass,” a documentary chronicling the life of actor Michael Madsen, directed by Dominique Milano, earning Best Documentary at the Mammoth Film Festival. His passion for boxing brought Sopoglian to once again collaborate with Milano on a documentary about Chuck Zito, American actor, boxer, and former president of the New-York chapter of the Hells Angels, featuring a cast from Sylvester Stallone to Mickey Rourke.

Chef Tom, azai hand roll sushi, los angeles
Chef Tom working his magic at Azai Hand Roll Sushi bar.

As life was getting back to normal, Lionel Azoulay opened a cafe shop for his girlfriend.  Considering how sushi delivery was booming during the COVID-19 pandemic, they decided to open a few locations where they totally believed it could work. He was intrigued by an idea to develop some ghost kitchens and how well it worked in LA during the Pandemic. Their partnership in the ghost kitchen was successful. He decided to call upon his friend real estate agent Mehdi Maamri, a Parisian native who moved to Los Angeles in 2015, where he founded his company SKA LUXURY which included real estate and various luxury services, including concierge services, private driver services, luxury car rentals, boat rentals, and private jet services.

In 2023, the trio opened Azai Handroll on 3rd street in West Hollywood. It was not long before their celebrity friends such as Dolph Lungren or Emma Kenney (Shameless TV series Netflix) flocked to Azai Hand Roll.

Under the leadership of Chef Tom, Azai Hand Roll is an intimate sushi bar. A perfect lunch spot in the heart of the 3rd street bustle, it’s perfectly situated in between The Grove and The Beverly Center.

Start off with their Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna topped with avocado, which comes as four or eight pieces depending on your choice. The presentation of each sushi dish is complimented with fresh flowers.

Hand Rolls:

Naturally, their hand rolls are Azai’s specialty. They recommend eating them as soon as they are served to fully enjoy the warm NORI “crispy” rice.

From Blue Crab to Lobster, Bay Scallop and Shiitake, they offer over a dozen varieties of hand rolls.

yellowtail sashimi, azai hand roll los aneles


Their Yellowtail (Hamachi) is some of the best quality sushi we’ve tried in Los Angeles. Other options include Bluefin Tuna, Salmon and Albacore.

azai hand roll sushi, los angeles, nigiri


Served with two pieces per order, their Yellowtail Belly is incredible. Try a selection, including the Salmon and Albacore.

Azai Hand Roll is serving up premium quality fresh sushi!

Follow Azai Hand Roll Sushi on Instagram

Visit Azai Hand Roll website 

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