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[LA] Sushi Gen


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#1 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 05:14 PM


Fortune has taken me to Los Angeles a few times this year and undoubtedly one of the best trips has been to stay with jeweler friend Rose. Being compatriots in a great love of sushi, she and her boyfriend, Andrew, insisted on sharing her personal favorite, Sushi Gen at 422 East Second Street in downtown. I think Rose has a personal "in" with head-chef Masa, but I'm not complaining. We had to wait a long time to get in and apparently that is not unusual for the following this place has. We waited a good 45 minutes for the coveted seats in front of Masa's station and it was well worth it.

We started with a bottle of Kubota Senjyu which worked well for the entire evening's offerings. To sort of "cleanse our palate," our first offering was halibut sashimi in ponzu, with just a touch of yuzu and the fresh green onions, this awakened our mouths with an immediate demonstration of a respect for the fish and how it is best showcased. Not wanting to get too full on rice, I requested more sashimi than nigiri and fatty tuna was the next presentation; so rich and satisfying. There were presentations of both Japanese and Spanish mackeral (I think I liked the Spanish a bit better), sweet shrimp with fried heads (yeah!), and red snapper.

Rose knows of my willingness to try anything new or different and we asked Mas for the most unusual ingredient of the evening. In this, Sea Cucumber to which his sous chef (sorry, didn't get his name) gave us a little dance on what sea cucumbers look like in the water. I'm just thankful I got pictures documenting that hilarious demonstration! The salmon had perfect marbling and the dressing on the albacore was just enticing enough to bring out its delicacy. Another juxtaposition which was offered was the Ankimo; Rose likes it with miso while Andrew prefers it with ponzu. I got to taste both and I'm still not sure which is my favorite, both worked so very well and it was thrilling to have great ankimo as lately, so much of the livers I've been eating have been grainy and not fresh.

We should have been full, but we couldn't stop ourselves, continuing with some shared nigiri; scallops, unagi, squid with uni, and yellowtail. Rose and I also shared some oysters and then we culminated on a roll that Masa makes for Rose specially: a toro maki that is topped with more chopped toro and green onion. That was about my breaking point - we were too full for words and quite ecstatic. I don't get this quality of sushi in San Francisco, that I have been able to find. The freshness of fish and its presentation was very reminiscent of Urasawa at a fraction of the price.So glad to have a new destination restaurant in Los Angeles and great friends to share it with!
Pics on the blog.

#2 hollywood

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 05:38 PM

The wait at lunch time for the $15 special can be forever, but it's the best quality sushi/sashimi deal in town.

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#3 Aaron T

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 06:23 PM

QUOTE(hollywood @ Nov 14 2009, 09:38 AM) View Post
The wait at lunch time for the $15 special can be forever, but it's the best quality sushi/sashimi deal in town.


Here is a link to some photos and description of the famed sashimi lunch special.
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#4 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE(Aaron T @ Nov 14 2009, 10:23 AM) View Post
QUOTE(hollywood @ Nov 14 2009, 09:38 AM) View Post
The wait at lunch time for the $15 special can be forever, but it's the best quality sushi/sashimi deal in town.


Here is a link to some photos and description of the famed sashimi lunch special.


Ohmygosh - now I have ANOTHER reason to come back to L.A. Dinner was spectacular enough.

#5 mongo_jones

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 06:38 AM

a pretty good dinner here tonight. particularly good: the ika, ankimo (in a bowl with ponzu), the scallops with yuzu. the uni was a little dull. ended up being a little more expensive for what it was than i'd expected: about $90 per head including 2 large sapporos each.

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#6 hollywood

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:38 AM

Sushi Gen can get expensive, especially when you begin ordering things like ankimo. But I think it compares favorably with Sushi Ike in Hollywood.

I got that gin in my system
Somebody's gon' be my victim.

 

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#7 mongo_jones

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 11:39 PM

we were in l.a again for a bit in december and ate lunch at sushi gen. i'd made a reservation (which can only be made for 11.15 for lunch), but it's a good thing we got there early anyway (10.45, i think) as they let people in as they were queued up. yet they do still hold tables--because when we got in we were told we'd have to wait, but my noting that we had a reservation got us seated right away. no sashimi combo at the sushi bar, so we opted for the table. big mistake.

the sashimi combo is a very good deal but it's not very good fish. and given the gigantic crowd waiting to get in (the line was as long when we left) it's quite clearly prepared ahead of time (and not with a tremendous amount of care). we regretted not sitting at the bar, though i'm not convinced the bar would have been very good at lunch either--everything seemed to be moving very quickly. it wasn't bad but it wasn't very good. we paid about the same ($50ish per head--we'd also ordered nigiri) as we had for a MUCH better lunch at an unheralded neighbourhood spot in robertson/pico the previous week (minori), and left generally disgruntled. i think if you work in the area it makes sense to go to sushi gen for the sashimi combo lunch, but otherwise, avoid.

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#8 hollywood

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:47 AM

Sushi Ike in Hollywood was sold. Ike has now opened in Pasadena. Good stuff.

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#9 hollywood

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 03:44 PM

Good sushi in Little Tokyo is found at Mako in Weller Court, but only at dinner.

I got that gin in my system
Somebody's gon' be my victim.

 

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