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Epicuryan: Sushi Tsujita – 09/13/2014


2006 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 231-1177

I gotta say I had my doubts once I first heard about this place. Tsujita made his identify on the energy of his ramen. His preliminary restaurant Tsujita L.A Artisan Noodle was so well-liked he needed to open one other spot (Tsujita Annex) to deal with the overflow so I used to be a bit skeptical when he opted to open an Edomae-style sushi spot. Nonetheless I used to be relieved to listen to that Tsujita employed Shigeru Kato, a sushi chef with 35 years of expertise to guide the restaurant. That and the great preliminary critiques had been sufficient to pique my curiosity.

2006 Shafer Chardonnay Purple Shoulder Ranch, Napa, California
Quite than keep on with our ordinary routine of ake, we opted to carry a pair chards to pair with the meal. First up was a wealthy full bodied Chard, the aroma {couples} an obvious butteriness with a countervailing inexperienced fruit acidity; whereas the palate has extra unexpectedly heavy notes of caramel.

Awabi – Spinach, Yuba, Yuzu
The meal bought off to a robust begin with abalone cured in kelp then steamed to a sublimely delicate tenderness. The abalone’s inherent taste is deepened by the savor of kelp. The contact of citrus provides a cool aromatic levity whereas the greens spotlight the abalone’s earthy heft. A sliver of piquant pickled carrot conveys a streak of sharp discordant acidity that shakes up the standard taste profiles.

Hassun – Ginnan, Ayu Tempura, Ayu Ukura, Ayu Nitsuke
The second course was really a sequence of small tastes. First up was a quartet of salt grilled ginko. The crust is usually a bit over salted, however the candy nutty taste of the nuts offers approach to a pleasing earthy bitterness. The remaining appetizers had been an fascinating research of Ayu or Sweetfish. First up was a deep fried model of the fish that tasted like a cross between fish and a potato chip. Subsequent up was my favourite, uncooked strips of sweetfish are paired with punchy caviar and a refined citrus twang. The third model was a frivolously simmered preparation loaded with a posh melange of candy soy, ginger, and umami although the feel left one thing to be desired.

Kinmedai – Golden Eye Snapper
In contrast to different eating places Sushi Tsujita intersperses the kaiseki with single items of nigiri. Served on a mattress of softly packed heat rice, the fish has a smooth fleshy texture and even oily taste enlivened with a contact of spice

Kasago Ushiojiru – Matsutake, Mitsuba, Kabosu
Subsequent up was a traditional clam broth enriched with rockfish, mushrooms and citrus. The broth itself has a clear subdued salinity coupled with a woody autumnal heat from the mushrooms. The accompanying herbs add a streak of bitter aromatics whereas the slice of Kabosu imbues the combination with a mouth puckering twang.

Sashimi – Honmaguro Zuke & Uni, Hata
Subsequent up was an small however elegant sashimi course. I began with the marinated Bluefin drenched in aggressive soy savor and paired with a candy countervailing envelope of creamy uni. The Hata or grouper had a way more nuanced taste with oily flavors harking back to Amberjack or Yellowtail.

2006 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
Our second wine was a way more refined affair. The nostril is a bouquet of soppy white flowers with stonefruit and simply the slightest fringe of acidity. The palate is rather more structured and complex with a mixture of minerality, acid, and an undercurrent of oaky energy.

Honmaguro Chutoro – Medium Fatty Bluefin Tuna
Time for one more sushi interlude, this time a ruby sliver of tuna threaded with advantageous ivory threads of wealthy fats. Certainly the fish exemplifies each points of tuna, the clear steely twang of akami intermingled with the oily richness of toro.

Nogoduro – Myoga, Mustard, Truffle
Our closing composed plate centered round two immaculate flakes of grilled Blackthroat Sea Perch (Nogoduro/Akamutsu). The gentle whitefish has a spry spongy mouth really feel and acts as the right gentle platform for the earthy truffle and sharp zest of the myoga. A pile of grated mustard finishes the dish, imparting a darkly spicy savor.

Hobo – Sea Robin
Quite than start with the frequent Tai, our chef Kazu opted to start out with one other gentle fish. The smooth pinkish flesh had a contact of sinewy toughness that I discovered fairly distinctive.

Benizake – Sockeye Salmon
Texturally this was the polar reverse of the final piece, smooth and flabby, the fish had little taste moreover the traditional mixture of soy and wasabi.

Seki Saba – Mackerel
Subsequent up was an actual deal with, this prized mackerel takes the identify of the Saganoseki space from which it’s fished. In contrast to most mackerel, Seki Saba may be served uncured which means whereas the fish actually has some attribute oiliness there are different extra nuanced flavors and a extra succulent mouth really feel than the standard mackerel.

Honmaguro Toro – Fatty Bluefin Tuna
Having already tried the lean and medium tunas it was time for the O-toro to make an look. In comparison with the Chu-toro, the colour is a number of shades lighter, with bigger extra pronounced marbling. The fish got here topped with an amber dashi jelly which highlighted the savory notes of the fish. A sprinkling of yuzu zest helps maintain the weightiest notes of the fish at bay.

Tengumai, Junmai, Ishikawa
Our second wine all however distributed with, we determined to choose up some sake to pair with the latter half of our meal. The sake is a bit blunter than I used to be anticipating, do not go searching for flowers or fruit right here, as a substitute the booze exhibits off a singularly rice-y character.

Sanma – Matsutake, Kabosu
Pike Mackerel is all the time a deal with with its distinctive oily taste that was made to be matched with the earthy majesty of the Matsutake. A fast squeeze of the Kabosu add a vibrant aromatic citrus counterpoint to the chew.

Miyazaki Wagyu – Wasabi, Garlic Chips, Radish
Subsequent up was a decadent Wagyu beef from the Miyazaki Prefecture. As may be seen from the image the veins of marbling are nearly as thick because the precise meat. Certainly the uncommon beef was each bit pretty much as good because it regarded, pairing a contact of meaty char with the buttery fats and a velvety smooth texture that feels sensual on the palate. It goes with out saying that the meat wanted no adornment, however I loved the tempering results of the radish in addition to the cleaning warmth of the wasabi.

Ikura-Uni Don
Subsequent up was a traditional pairing of salmon and sea urchin roes on a mattress of sushi rice and topped with toasted seaweed. After a number of the extra intricate dishes this appears nearly laughably easy, however the totally pristine high quality of the seafood made each final chew a delight to be savored.

Bachiko – Sea Cucumber Roe
This was a relative rarity that I’ve solely had as soon as earlier than. The ocean cucumber roe is unabashedly salty with a tinge of fishiness and a chewy nearly meat like texture harking back to beef jerky.

Otoro Tataki – Seared Fatty Tuna
Shifting again to nigiri we had been offered with a seared toro that was virtually dripping with smoky rendered fats. The explosive taste leaves one craving one other chew however the sheer unctuousness would get overwhelming quick.

Suzuki – Sea Bass

Subsequent up was a sea bass marinated in kelp. The method dries the fish out abandoning a denser nearly cheesy texture whereas imbuing the fish with a wholesome dose of salt and glutamate.

Amaebi – Candy Shrimp
Traditional Amaebi, candy, dense and crunchy with a clear steely taste tempered by the soy. The top was no slouch both with the outside shell fried to a chip like crispness whereas the remaining had a pleasant saline meatiness wrapped in a scrumptious fried sapor.


Tai – Sea Bream
Not formally a part of the menu we thought this was a should order. The gentle white fish was a bit on the drier aspect, with a sticky denser texture and extra obvious taste. Nonetheless the ocean salt and yuzu positively dominate on the palate.

Yari Ika – Spear Squid
The Yari Ika begins off a bit leaner than the everyday squid, however mastication nonetheless extracts the identical creamy texture and refined briny sweetness.

Kohada – Gizzard Shad
Subsequent up was a fantastically flecked minimize of Gizzard Shad. The fish had a pointy oiliness on the assault however the taste appeared to fade away comparatively rapidly making this one of many extra balanced Kohada I’ve had.

Kisu – Japanese Whiting
Whereas the flavour on the Kisu was sometimes gentle, the fish positively had some of the memorable textures because of its nearly muscular snappy crunch.

Myoga – Japanese Ginger
The Myoga was an unconventional however welcome chew, with the succulence and peppery chew serving to to cleanse the palate of any lingering fish oil. I want extra locations would serve one thing like this to complete an extended omakase.

Kasutera Tamago – Egg Cake
I used to be happy to seek out Tsujita serves the Tamago in cake kind somewhat than the traditional preparation. Dense and eggy upfront there’s a little bit of caramelized sweetness and salinity on the again finish.

Anago – Sea Eel
The ultimate piece of the evening was a young Anago brushed with a beneficiant coating of candy sauce to go with the eel’s smoky char.

Honeydew
This jogged my memory of the dessert at Kyubei in Tokyo. The stunningly juicy honeydew, dripping with sweetness, served as a becoming near among the finest meals I’ve had all 12 months.

We got here right here to rejoice Kevin’s a lot belated birthday so the restaurant was form sufficient to whip up an impromptu birthday “cake” of mochi, jelly, and fruit.

I’ve bought to say the restaurant greater than exceeded my expectations. The standard seafood, thoughtfully ready cooked dishes, and pristine nigiri make Sushi Tsujita an absolute should strive.

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