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[LA] Sushi


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#1 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 07:14 AM

I had another sushi dinner tongight at Echigo on Santa Monica & Amherst, 1 block west of Bundy. This is my favorite midpriced sushi place in Los Angeles. The sushi bar is omakase only, and he tends to have a set rotation, changing things up based on availability. As I am a non-shellfish person the range is more limited so I usually know most of what I will get, which is fine by me.

Echigo serves no cooked dishes or miso soup. We began with albacore sashimi in a dark sauce. I am not sure what it was but it wasnt ponzu. I will ask next time. Then we were each brought a single piece of tuna sushi. I beleieve then we had bonito sushi, followed by salmon sushi, followed by flying fish sushi, followed by hamachi sushi. I may have missed one. Then we ended with a roll - my friend had a crab hand roll as she eats shellfish and I had a tuna hand roll. The seaweed used is thinner and tastier than I am used to at other places - his tuna roll is just sensational. It seems strange that something that sounds so basic could be so delicious but it is true. :D

We just ahd hot tea and ice water with our meals and it was about $35pp all in. I think it is an excellent value. The only warm dish I had known him to serve is ankimo (monkish liver) which was very good when sampled on previous visits. The place is usually quiet at dinner, which I would normally take to be a bad sign but at Echigo I enjoy the fact that I never have to call ahead or eat in a noisy restaurant.

#2 hollywood

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 03:05 PM

Sounds good and a bargain as well. Surprised the place is slow at night. It gets constant mentions on Chowhound.

Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#3 beachfan

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 04:18 AM

Was there tonight with a friend. I took 50 minutes (friend ate much less). All sushi was two pieces each.


My friend and I had:
Tuna Sashimi - very good to excellent (different cuts of the same fish). Large portion.
Toro - very good, not excellent
Yellowtail- outstanding (better than excellent)
Albacore - outstanding
Blue Crab Roll - very good
Snapper - one piece excellent, one piece good (some toughness)
Toro roll - excellent (not sure why I liked it better than the sushi)

My friend stopped here, I continued with
Shrimp (Santa Barbara) - double outstanding
Uni - double outstanding
Eel - outstandng
Halibut - excellent
Scallop roll - very good
Scallops - excellent
Salmon roe - excellent
Salmon skin roll - very good

The Uni and Shrimp stood out as the best of the best, truly amazing. I'm not a big toro fan, so I might not have been the best judge.

Nozawa was cordial for Nozawa, which means once he sees you enjoying it, and showing an active interest, he warms up. The only unusual moment was when I asked for more Uni, and he said no (very rare was the reason, only one order per customer). So I didn't ask for more of the shrimp.

Washed down with one large Sapporo each. Total food and beer cost for both of us ................................................................................................................

...................................................................................................................

...................................................................................................................

...................................................$146. :D

This was top quality stuff, excellent. Maybe a notch and a half below Yasuda. Easily on par with Nobu. The food cost at Yasuda would be 2x maybe?


PS Yes the food really comes quick. But if you have an untouched plate in front of you, they won't back it up. At most one plate beyond what you are eating. Easy to control it. I experienced very rapid serving in Japan as well.

#4 hollywood

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 05:34 AM

After so many posts (on Chowhound) focusing on the "controversy," this was actually informative. thanks.

Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#5 beachfan

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 06:33 AM

Haven't seen the CH posts; I suppose it was re: the LA times review.

#6 bonitobroth

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 02:10 PM

PS Yes the food really comes quick. But if you have an untouched plate in front of you, they won't back it up. At most one plate beyond what you are eating. Easy to control it. I experienced very rapid serving in Japan as well.

Yasuda is like that too. The three times I've been there, it's been in and out in under an hour. With a lot more cash burned through than that.
"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

#7 hollywood

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 03:35 PM

Haven't seen the CH posts; I suppose it was re: the LA times review.

No, they've been going on about the sushi nazi for years. Russkar always supports Nozawa.

Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#8 dekay

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 12:08 AM

I will be dining at Urasawa at the beginning of November and was curious if anyone had been yet.
I have heard wonderful reports...

#9 Vanessa

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 12:46 AM

Welcome, dekay, and congratulations on being member no. 200.

v

p.s. sorry to be of no help on your question, being on the other side of the planet.
...it actually comes down to what thrills you - Hugh Johnson

authenticity is a fog that recedes just when you think you may be getting near it - R Schonfeld

The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat - Prof J Pretty

this city without boundaries we all share - zigzackly


#10 dekay

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 01:33 AM

Thanks for the welcome, Vanessa. A nice round number to stand out, no?
Looking forward to posting and participating...

#11 hollywood

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 05:08 PM

This may be of interest. http://forums.egulle...showtopic=52518

Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#12 hollywood

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:33 PM

Sushi Gen: What a great place. Why hadn't I gone there before? Went to lunch today and had toro (2), Japanese Snapper (2), albacore (2), ankimo (1 "cake" with great sauce and some seaweed to soak up the leftover sauce), oysters on the half shell (3). Pretty super for $33 plus tip. In Honda Plaza at 422 East 2nd Street, Little Tokyo.

Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#13 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 03:04 PM

Was this some sort of special or did you order a la carte?

#14 hollywood

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Posted 13 November 2004 - 06:12 AM

Was this some sort of special or did you order a la carte?

No, I just went crazy looking at all the stuff they had and what a Japanese couple on some special occasion next to me were having. Well, actually, their sole inspiration was the Japanese Snapper as opposed to your basic California Snapper.

Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#15 dekay

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 09:36 AM

A tremendously enjoyable meal with wonderful friends at Urasawa on November 10, 2004


An absolute delight and an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

What we had…

Hairy Hokkiado Spider Crab Salad, The succulent meat shredded and mixed with its roe. A simple marinade of soy, sake and rice vinegar and a quick grating of yuzu.

Fugu or Japanese Blowfish. A room temperature broth with small pieces of blowfish flesh, its liver, intestines and skin. The broth had chyrstathamum petals and shiso flower infused into it. Topped with 24 carat gold leaf.

Goma tofu, Kyoto-style. A delicate pressed ball of tofu made entirely with sesame seed in a chilled liquid of mostly dashi seasoned with soy and mirin. Topped with Iranian Beluga Caviar and 24 carat gold leaf. This had an almost soufflé quality to it.

Sashimi Sampling Served in a Hand-Carved Ice Bowl. Kama Toro from the cheek with shiso bud and micro purple basil, Sea urchin placed in a manila clam shell and "Nana-to-madai", a firmer version of Japanese Sea Bream. It was explained that this fish was over 10 years and came from waters with a very strong current thus a stronger fish with firmer musculature.

An ornately carved single Japanese turnip stuffed with cod fish cake and sweet shrimp. It was steamed, then chilled. It was served in a delicate bonito dashi thickened with starch and flavored with more chrystanthumum. Topped with 24-carat gold leaf.

Three Toro cubes marinated briefly in soy and sake and grilled on a hot stone that had first been "oiled with a piece of toro fat. A sauce of soy, bonito, vinegar and mirin was presented for dipping.

On the brazier again. An inverted Hokkiado crab body filled with its crabmeat, "brain", and roe. Generous sea urchin tongues were laid on top and then it was moistened with some bonito dashi. We were instructed to allow it to all come to a simmer and then eat the contents with a spoon. Ridiculous good.

Deep-fried piece of fugu on the bone with fresh grated yuzu.

Slice of dried mullet roe is given to chase a small glass of artisanal sake whose distillery had just been destroyed in the recent earthquake.

A nabe, almost shabu-shabu like, with fugu, its liver, skin, Japanese turnips and matsutake mushroom.

Sashimi and Sushi now starts. Homemade ginger pickle, fresh wasabi and housemade soy are presented.

O-toro sashimi, from the belly.
Maguro, for contrast.
Shima aji.
Steelhead roe brined and then cured in sake presented with the finest toasted nori and rice. A separate sauce is presented of mostly dashi perfumed with soy, sake and mirin.

San ma, or pike mackeral. A log of rice is mixed with a large amount of chopped shiso and kinome leaf making it appear to be green rice. A whole filet is placed on top and then some red hot skewers are placed on the fatty fish to release its fatty aroma. Finely grated yuzu and some juice go on top along with shiso buds. Sliced on the diagonal. Mind blowing.

Nana-to-madai, the muscular sea bream on sushi with more yuzu and sansho leaf.

Thin slice of Kobe Beef warmed quickly over the brazier with homemade seaweed sea salt and fresh grated yuzu.

Japanese squid with yuzu juice and zest, house-made salt, presented as nigiri.
Aji, or horse mackeral, cured in salt for 5 minutes presented as nigiriwith more yuzu.
Geoduck clam Nigiri.
Akagai or clam presented as sashimi.
Akagai again, rolled around rice, like a maki.
Kuruma ebi, or shrimp, cooked nigiri.
Shiro ebi, or tiny white sweet shrimp nigiri with yuzu.

A fat chunk of Kobe Beef nigiri with yuzu.

Anago, boiled fresh japanese sea eel nigiri. Great sauce.

A fat piece of Kobe beef again, quickly on the brazier with more yuzu

Sea urchin nigiri.

Big chunk of toro marinated in soy this time and then grilled. A souce of equal parts soy and mirin.

Toro hand roll with scallion.

Shitake mushroom nigiri served slightly warm.

Japanese cucumber jelly with plum paste norimaki. Seasoned with shiso leaf and sesame seed.

Tamago (egg) with shrimp and grated mountain yam with soy and mirin.

Fuji apple injected with Honey on a skewer.

Green Tea.

WOW.