This is another collaboration between @PorkyBelly and me in the name of research.
Mori-san’s role at Inn Ann: There will be no rotation and Mori will be the executive chef at inn ann for the foreseeable future.
Mori-san’s Philosophy: “Nothing farmed!” He only wants wild fish but that comes with its own set of issues in regards to the tuna pieces below.
Service: Friendly but undertrained. Throughout the night, the servers were seemingly confused about the type of fish sitting on sashimi platters or which table they should go to.
Rice: It’s very much in the mold of Mori Sushi (Duh!) and a touch less vinegar-y. Its fragrance and satisfying toothsome texture, however, is unmistakable. As expected of Mori-san’s skills, packing of the shari is also excellent with plenty of air and I can easily discern individual grains of rice. On the other hand, Mori-san did note that he’s no longer using rice from Uruguay since its been bought out by a big company. He’s now using rice from Japan and plans to start his own rice farm, managed by his friend, near his birth place.
Thoughts on meal:
mb: It’s good but somewhat of a letdown given Mori-san’s pristine reputation and FTC cult-status. Since he has to handle all nigiri and sashimi at the restaurant (6 counter seats plus ~35 dining room seats), he’s essentially in the weeds all the time! What happens when Mori-san’s in the weeds? His standards drop…3 of our pieces were served too cold and the sashimi platters that went out to the tables came straight out of the fridge (not a good sign?)… $180 pp later…I have to say that my experience at Shin Sushi, aside from the rice, was better than at Inn Ann.
pb: i agree mori-san was spread too thin on this particular evening (prime-time saturday), i believe the dining room was completely booked for the first time. i would still recommend inn ann, but go on a weeknight if you can.
mb: rice, buri, kohada, mirugai, akagai, santa barbara uni, hokkaido uni, kanpyo maki, hojicha ice cream
pb: sayori, buri, shima-aji, kohada, mirugai, akagai, santa barbara uni, hokkaido uni, kanpyo
mb: akami, chu-toro, saba, tako, ikura, tekka maki
The Man, the Myth, the Legend
The vase is of Mori-san’s creation.
homemade tofu with cherry blossom, dash-ponzu, cherry blossom salt
Light and refreshing. The tofu is a bit more firm and savory than the ones served at Mori Sushi.
pb: agree with @onelabneh, this was good, but i prefer eating this with mori’s delicious shoyu and wasabi instead.
More of Mori-san’s creations
1. karei (spot flounder)
2. tai kobujime (japanese sea bream cured in kombu)
3. sayori (japanese halfbeak)
4. buri (winter yellowtail)
5. shima-aji (striped jack)
6. akami (lean big eye tuna)
mb: Since wild bluefin is so hard to find, Mori-san went with wild big eye and herein lies the problem…it has very little flavor
pb: this is a tough one, source wild big eye or farmed bluefin? i would have preferred farmed bluefin given those options.
7. chu-toro (big eye tuna)
mb: Same thing. It’s got everything from texture to fattiness except flavor.
8. saba (mackerel)
mb: It’s served too cold.
pb: unfortuantely this was cut and served straight out the fridge.
9. kohada (gizzard shad)
10. tako (octopus)
mb: Very little flavor and chewy
11. mirugai (geoduck)
mb: sweet with great crunch
12. akagai (ark shell)
mb: more great sweet/crunch combination
pb: higlight alert, so rare to find this in the states.
13. engawa (flounder fin)
mb: Anyone dig this texture? I do! Rich, oily, crunchy, chewy in a good way.
pb: i didn’t, a bit too chewy for me, like the tako.
14. kamasu (barracuda)
15. ikura (salmon roe)
mb: Too salty. Too soft. They lack the popping sensation that I crave in ikura.
16. santa barbara uni
mb: Pristine. Sugar sweet.
pb: flawless uni, great flavor and crunch from the japanese nori
17. hokkaido uni
mb: Creamy AF
pb: usually i prefer santa barbara uni but this was just as good.
19. himokyu maki (ark shell mantle, cucumber)
mb: A very fine and juicy specimen that was served straight out of the fridge. TOO COLD!
21. kanpyo maki (dried gourd)
mb: Kanpyo is soft, chewy, mildy sweet yet flavorful.
pb: great version, not too sweet or overly seasoned with a nice chew.
22. tekka maki (big eye)
mb: Same old flavorless big eye. @PorkyBelly slipped up ordering this one.
pb: should have asked for some saba bozushi
23. santa barbara uni - Bonus Round
mb: Ended on a high note…but even then, I feel that this piece can be served a touch warmer to unleash the full flavor of the uni
pb: i didn’t mind that this was cold, it was a great contrast with the warm rice.
orange custard, supreme orange, candied orange peel
mb: Imminently smooth custard with varying notes of sweetness from the fresh orange segments and candied peel.
pb: like an orange flan, very good.
hojicha ice cream
mb: It’s the best green tea related ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s got deep nutty notes from the roasting and just the right amount of sweetness.
yuzu sorbet, pepper
mb: Blindingly bright flavor. Super refreshing.