I had an outstanding meal here last night. Take-san holds his own with the best sushi chefs in Los Angeles IMO.
Yoshi-san, who helped Take open the restaurant, and who formerly was at Mori and is currently at Sushi Ginza Onodeira, will be opening his own place in Playa Vista in the not too distant future.
Take-san’s brother is moving to Hong Kong for 6 to 12 months to open a Sushi Zo there.
The standout bites of the night were:
Aji (horse mackerel) - If someone needs to be sold on hikarimono (shiny/silver fish), this would be the ticket. It had all the dense oily goodness of a mackerel with zero fishiness.
Shinko (baby kohada) - Another really flavorful oily delight
Kasugodai (baby red sea bream) - Sweet simplicity.
It’s not just a small world in LA for sushi chefs, but in Northern California as well where quite a number of Japanese restaurant business owners all know each other and some are best of buddies. The community is indeed tight and a small circle.
Same goes for in Tokyo: for example without looking too hard you can find for example, four of the top chefs in town (or more) from different restaurants who are all buddies, go somewhere on their off nights together to eat at some of the hottest places in town. As professional courtesy some chefs start off as visiting other industry people’s restaurants to scope them out (even if not serving the same food), and the courtesy is extended back, and sometimes friendship (and bromance) blooms. This always works nicely because they learn and leverage off of one another at times. A chef who is at the very least brilliant, opens his or her mind to other cuisines and preparations to develop a sense of taste, and broaden their horizons. There are some super talented sushi chefs in Tokyo who do not follow a particular school and learn from eating around, then formulate their own style, but you can tell who inspired them by eating their food (and if you are experienced enough).
Great meal here tonight. Was alone with Take-san and had lots of fun.
Scallop appetizer - Kasugodai - Shinko - Kurodai - Bluefin Tuna - Kanpachi - Amaebi - Kamasu - Aji - Seared Sake - Tai - Ikura - Hirame Kobujime - Aoyagi - Chu-toro - Uni - Anago - Tamago - Albacore - Engawa - Saba - Ebi - Tofu mousse
Roughly $125 after tax.
Thanks for the h/t @J_L
A job well done. You probably ate better than most other people in L.A. tonight (myself included).