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Epicuryan: Sushi Zo – 08/02/2014

334 S Essential St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 935-8409

Once I first met Chef Keizo Seki, he was an unheralded chef struggling to fill his restaurant even on a Saturday night time a nondescript restaurant in West LA referred to as Sushi Zo. Since then he has cemented his repute as one in all LA’s premiere sushi cooks and opened a second restaurant in Downtown LA. Each eating places supply related nigiri targeted omakase with a pair appetizers to start out.

Kumamoto Oyster – Ponzu, Daikon, Chives
This oyster displayed all of the charms of a traditional Kumamoto, the candy creamy core and tender foot muscle are brightened with the tangy zip of the ponzu.

Meibachi Sashimi – Large Eye Tuna
Most high-end sushi eating places serve Bluefin however in a slight concession to sustainability, Keizo has opted to serve Meibachi as a substitute of Hon Maguro. Lighter coloured then its extra prized cousin, the fish had an surprising butteriness reasonably than the clear purity of lean Bluefin.

Awabi – Abalone
A leaner firmer instance of abalone, the mollusk had a gentle however ever-present salinity tinged with earth. The facet of yuzu kocho lends the shellfish a darkish citrus spice, although the abalone was fulfilling au pure as nicely.

Uni & Ika Somen Spaghetti – with Truffle Salt
The final of the appetizers consisted of thinly sliced uncooked squid that vaguely resembles somen noodles. The Hokkaido specialty comes drenched in a candy sauce of sea urchin cream topped with a musky dusting of truffle salt.

Hirame – Halibut
The primary sashimi was a lean lower of snappy halibut, the pale translucent flesh did not have a lot taste however mirrored the lemon and salt it got here seasoned with.

Bincho Magruo – Albacore
The uncooked Albacore proved to be one of many night’s standouts. The delicately segmented fish got here drenched in tangy ponzu, the right counterpoint to the candy buttery alabaster flesh.

Hotate – Dwell Scallop
Quintessential contemporary scallop, the thick slab of shellfish exudes sweetness tempered by the applying of acid and soy.

Aji – Spanish Mackerel
Subsequent up was a pristine piece of Aji, the fish has a jelled fleshy texture and unabashed oiliness tempered by the spicy chew of the grated ginger.

Meibachi Chutoro – Medium-fatty Large Eye Tuna
Although I am not complaining, Zo at all times serves two items of toro as a substitute of 1 like all the opposite nigiri. Although solely the center grade of toro, the meat nonetheless felt immensely mushy and buttery with a heady oily twang to it.

Kanpachi – Amberjack
The fantastically pristine piece of uniformly coloured amberjack had a beautiful nuanced fishiness on the assault that pale as soon as the yuzu kocho got here into play.

Amaebi – Candy Shrimp
This was a softer creamier presentation of candy shrimp. Personally I favor Amaebi with a lean crunchy texture over the mushy cheesy mouthfeel of this instance, however the sweetness was a pleasant change from the metallic taste that usually accompanies leaner shrimp.

Akamutsu – Sea Perch
Virtually exceptional after I was first moving into sushi, Akamutsu has grow to be extra standard the previous yar or so. The fish’s excessive fats content material lends itself nicely to searing and the next delicate smoky interaction.

Kurodai – Black Sea Bream
My first expertise with Kurodai was at Zo I’ve had a mushy spot for the fish ever since. This was a comparatively lean expression of the fish with extra subdued flavors which labored fairly properly with the flourish of truffle salt.

Mirugai Tataki – Seared Geoduck
The cooks at Zo put a little bit twist on the normal Mirugai. A fast kiss of the torch provides a contact of woody depth and softens the feel giving it a slight chew versus the everyday crisp snappiness.

Tai – Pink Snapper
This was a traditional expression of snapper, the fish has a brisk crispness whereas the combo of salt and citrus is especially obvious in opposition to the fish’s intrinsic mildness.

Gindara Tataki – Seared Black Cod
My first expertise with Black Cod was on the unique Zo and its been a constant companion. The cooked fish has a buttery heft and delicate supple flakiness. The white miso provides a honey mustard like twang that rounds out the smoky heft of the fish.

Uni – Sea Urchin
Textbook San Diego Uni, the plush roe was completely chilled and exuded a wealthy chilled creamy sweetness.

Ikura – Salmon Roe
As at all times the uni is adopted by a gunkan roll topped with salmon roe. The gorgeous orange orbs are stuffed with a umami and smoke laced brine that takes on a barely candy solid with the rice and seaweed.

Kamasu Tataki – Seared Barracuda
Kamasu is constantly a spotlight of any sushi meal. This was a bit leaner than most with plenty of bitter char upfront and a bitter astringency from the ginger.

Shima Aji – Striped Jack
One other favourite of mine, Shima Aji has gone from a relative rarity to a staple of each excessive finish sushi spot. The fish has a sensual jellied texture and complicated oiliness. The grilled shishito topping was an creative praise, vegetal smoky and a contact of pickled tang.

Kinmedai – Golden Eye Snapper
The Kinmedai is essentially the most full flavored of the snapper varieties with a pronounced marbling threaded by the pinkish translucent flesh. The jellied texture and decadent oiliness goes fantastically with wealthy savor of the soy.

Sake – Salmon
The Alaskan Salmon was some of the lackluster items of the night time. Definitely higher than the everyday run of the mill salmon nevertheless it felt boring in comparison with the remainder of the meal.

Tako – Octopus
The formal omakase disbursed with, we determined so as to add a number of dietary supplements. First up was an immensely tender meaty octopus laced with a darkly candy syrup. I hoped for a uncooked octopus, however the delicately steamed preparation actually had its charms.

Anago – Sea Eel
I at all times have blended emotions when the anago arrives because it sometimes heralds the tip of the meal. Zo echews the everyday candy eel preparation in favor of an earthy dusting of truffle salt.

Toro Temaki – Fatty Tuna Handroll
Zo is not identified for its rolls however like most excessive finish sushi spots, the restaurant does supply hand rolls to fill within the cracks. This was little greater than fish rice and seaweed. Personally I might have favored to see some scallion or radish, some wrinkle so as to add character to the roll.

Tamago – Egg
The meal ended with a prototypically hammy tamago saturated with candy syrup.

Yuzu Juice
As at all times the meal ended with a shot yuzu juice to shut out the meal. The sharp candy & bitter tang cleans the palate fantastically.

As at all times the meals at Zo was spectacular and I think about the eating places my favourite in LA for pure sushi. If I needed to discover one fault with Zo its the shortage of change within the omakase menu. Whereas I may perceive how individuals would hesitate to pay the $150+ tariff greater than as soon as, I’ve discovered each meal right here nicely definitely worth the worth.

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