Shin Sushi (Encino): A Pictorial Essay


CORRECTIONS = I looked it up. :slight_smile:

KASUGO = Baby Sea Bream / Young Sea Bream / Baby Snapper

KURODAI = Black Snapper / Black Sea Bream / Black Porgy

ISAKI = Grunt fish / Chicken Grunt

This does not include the sometimes mind boggling array of Japanese names.

Seriously not trying to belabor the issue, I just want to learn. The passage below from Shizuoka Gourmet is a good example of a novice’s dilemma:

“There are many varieties of Seabream/Snappers/Tai/鯛in Japan: Batodai, Hanadai, Ishidai, Kinmeidai, Mekkidai, etc., but the most popular variety is called Madai/真鯛, or True Seabream. Even Madai/True Seabream is called different names depending upon the region: Oodai or Hondai.” Oh boy…

:sushi: :thinking:


Or you can just be like me and enjoy sushi without thinking too hard. :sushi:


That comment made me miss @linus. So thought I’d share a few gems.

But I can’t help it. Sushi has kind of turned into a hobby for me. :relaxed:


Honestly, the “sit and the bar and eat what’s handed to you” system doesn’t work so great if you want something other than tuna, salmon, and maybe some sea eel. Unless I was dining with more knowledgeable friends, that’s what was handed to me by sushi chefs. Now that I’ve begun to memorize the Japanese words for sushi fish, my experiences have been much better. (Thanks @J_L and other FTCers for this brilliant suggestion. :wink: )


I don’t find that to be true as long as you tell them that you’ll eat anything up front. :yum:


It’s possible this is a gender issue. I usually find the omakase is the omakase if I’m just a dude coming in. That may very well not be the case were I a woman coming in to eat at the counter. So in that case I think @Bookwich has got it right. You may have to really know your stuff as a lady if you want to get the proper treatment.

If I’m ordering on my own, I try to think of what I experienced in an omakase, as far as progression, and alter it to what I like and what’s available. So I like olier fish with stronger flavors so I’ll make sure to add in more things like that. My proudest moment was Ken-San at Kiriko enthusiastically approved of my choices and progression!


Ohhh @Bookwich and @frommtron and…

Oh brother. This is a crack-up. You guys are projecting. Who said I was having trouble in sushi bars? Of course I have enough knowledge and know enough Japanese names to no longer get served just “tuna, salmon, and maybe some sea eel”.

I thought we were just having a little fun and I was willing to admit not knowing the answers to @Sgee’s quiz. To make it amusing I guessed instead of googling. It’s good to chance being wrong sometimes and not be scared to look silly. On another note - it also helps others who might be too shy to join in and admit what they don’t know… especially to this crowd! Can I get a badge for that? :slightly_smiling_face: You guys and @J_L are ready to send me back to the kid’s table, like I blew a spit ball at Mori-san in class or something.

P.S. I’m still waiting for this famously intolerant and easy to offend itamae. So far it’s been a mutual excercise in charm.


It’s true. And when you tell them you want to improve your knowledge and try new things, most will go out of their way to give you that experience.


I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about @linus’ stupid advice.


:flushed:… sorry.

I’ll just let my post stand anyway… because I worked on it for a good while. :grin:

Thanks for clarifying. I was thinking “What is wrong with these people? Haven’t they read any of my sushi reports?”

I do find @linus’ absurd humor funny, though.


Just let your itamae know you want one of everything, extra shirako. Problem solved.


Sorry for the confusion. I was replying to @Bookwich directly. I was speculating as to why she gets the “basic woman” treatment at sushi-yas. I do tend to drift from the main point in a conversation. :slight_smile:

I wasn’t implying anything about your sushi knowledge. You are more of a pro than I am!


Look, TheCookie. I’ve never met you in person, and I’ve never dined with you. If you’ve graduated from your (self-reported) Sushi 101 status, then great. But if you chide us for treating you like a newbie level eater with a comment like: “Can I get the American names?” then if I even assume you’re kidding, it would make me look like a patronizing snob. I’ve always positively encouraged everyone here to learn more (hell, I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me, too) when we dine out, regardless of the genre of cuisine. If I’ve made you feel any lesser than that, then I apologize.

So… Now, for future reference - I’m assuming mission accomplished? You’ve now graduated onto more advanced studies in Sushology?


Hey @Sgee, are you sorry you even initiated this? :smile:

Who is “us” @J_L? You’ve had this issue with me labeling things American before. I corrected it and apologize. I was coming off a bad migraine, but thought @Sgee’s shout out to me was sweet and I wanted to play along. So I asked for a hint. Sorry if you think learning all the Japanese names for the different nigiri, sashimi, skewers, yakitori, etc. is easy and therefore I’m somehow offensive to an itamae, and you apparently. It is hard for me to communicate in higher-end (or traditional) Japanese restaurants, because I don’t know Japanese and the server knows little English. I hate to make them, myself or my dinner companion uncomfortable by constantly asking to repeat themselves. So yes, I do eat a lot of foods I don’t understand. I don’t have time or the cash to completely immerse myself in my fictitious sushi school studies. But I keep it up because Japanese food is my favorite food. So I come to this board for help. This has been so helpful btw. :roll_eyes: I don’t think I’ve graduated from anything. It’s not a real school btw… it’s fun! In fact you made the comment on my last Shiki report that I had graduated to my 301s. I was flattered and took the compliment even though I knew it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I try to be respectful of people on this board and their cultures. I love it actually. It’s why I’m here. But tolerance goes both ways. It’s not fun to read comments about ugly Americans, Westerners or how U.S. citizens are oblivious and subversive… not a peep from you on that btw. But my calling things American is an outrage.

Just a little background. About a third of my extended family are Japanese-Americans and Chinese-Americans. We are all very close and us females barely go a day without talking, texting or emailing. Our male family and friends call us the JLC. I myself am mixed with a plethora of ethnicities. Nobody has accused me of being a bigot or insensitive. I am American born and my parents are American born. I cannot help if my perspectives come from that place, and I do occasionally put my foot in my mouth. Shhh… I also end my sentences with a preposition sometimes. Oh the horror!

FYI, some seem to think everyone is like us on this board - food geeks. Most of my family who actually have parents born in Japan don’t have half the sushi knowledge that even I do, which we have now confirmed is limited. They can pronounce things better than me when reading a menu though :relaxed:, but they barely know any of pieces outside of the basics. It’s just not something they’re passionate about.

I apologize for interrupting this thread and blighting your lovely report. I like you and have taken your corrections well for the most part and am usually relieved someone has spoken up to correct me. But occasionally there is the snark factor which can be bruising.

I will definitely make sure to stay out your lane from now on.


It’s okay @frommtron. I got it all wrong.

In answer to your question, yes, there could be a little unconscious sexism at play. Who knows? :slight_smile:


What I do is ask them for their nigiri menu, which usually has both the Japanese and English name of the fish, and I put a # next to the fish I was served so I can remember what I had and also learn some Japanese at the same time.


I drove over the hill to try out Shin Sushi. I forget how pretty the drive along Mulholland and through the canyons can be.

Chef Take is so fun! He saw me furrowing my brow at the “tuna, tuna, salmon” lunch menu and asked, grinning, “You want omakase?” Me, relief in my voice, “Yes, please!”

So very good. I really liked the rice. It’s slightly sweet and loose, yet sticky enough to hold together even when you’re sure it’s going to fall apart. (I have to eat sushi in two bites, so it’s always fun to see if the rice holds together.)

The albacore from Oregon is one of the best bites of sushi I’ve had in ages. The yukimasu (snow trout) too, it was delicate and tasted undeniably like trout.

@J_L did a very good report on the various special fish, so I’ll post just a few photos.

Fun fact: Take is good friends with Shunji! They play golf all the time. Plus, he know Keizo, of K-Zo in Culver City, my local sushi place. He also had a friend sitting at the bar that flew in from Portland to see the new place. They used to work together at Roku, and are funny joking around with each other and with me. :slight_smile:

My lunch was $47 + tip for 9 pieces of sushi and tekka maki.

Great food and great vibe. This place is definitely worth a visit to the Valley. Thank you @J_L, another great recommendation.


That looks and sounds great! And thanks for sharing the price. I’d pay that :slight_smile:


LA Sushi Chefs is a small world they all pretty much know each other and are friends.