Masakazu (Westwood): A Pictorial Essay

Hi @TheCookie,

I don’t think it’s a bad season. Our most recent visit to Mori Sushi was great with more than just Saba. :wink:

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Definitely not a bad year for hikarimono. The kohada I had at Yoshizumi last week was some of the best I’ve ever had, and the saba recently has been superb too. And last year’s sanma (October/November shun) was great as well. Hopefully the chef will be offering hikarimono soon. Some chefs believe American customers don’t enjoy hikarimono though (Tsunoda-san from Noda in NYC, for example), and stay away from serving it. :frowning:

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I find this to be true, especially in the non-high temple, neighborhood sushi joints in the U.S. (such as the space Masakazu occupies).

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Thanks for responding. Yah, I get that when it comes to me. :slight_smile: What made me think something was up is @PorkyBelly having the same experience. He definitely knows his way around a sushi-ya. Good to know hikarimono is here and tasting good. I’ll just ask for it next time.

Question for all. The term “hikarimono,” as defined by @Bookwich’s link, seems to refer to a method of prepping the fish.

However, the way @od_sf and @J_L are using the term, it seems to refer to a specific fish species?

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Hikarimono is not a term to describe a style of preparation. It is about certain species of fish sushi chefs call “silver-skinned”… The taste of this family or grouping of fish are generally oilier and “fishier” than others.


Like this?

I always think this is aji, is that right? This must be prime time. I’d had this before, and it was always good. Last week’s was extraordinary. The tail was still quivering at the table. The flavor was super bright and mouth feel just about snapped.

Lousy picture, sorry.


Yum. Ike-jime style, too. Yes, aji is considered hikarimono. (But the fish in that holding tank look like shima aji…)


I think the confusion comes because most hikarimono (oily, silver-skinned) spoils fast so traditionally it was cured in salt and vinegar and still is today.


Thanks for the response.

Is there a unifying taste/texture to hikarimono?

I had a great time tonight and will definitely be back.
(upload://2kNT7FqGwPoIPctflFHaRHdZBPj.jpeg) ![image|375x500]
Med Fatty Bluefin from Spain -Incredible

Torched toro with miso - Tasted so much like steak fatty and savory another winner

I won’t go over everything but the butterfish in the style of Unagi was also a winner and for a Tamago fan like me his was excellent or at least very much to my taste. Wonderful hospitality.


Oh goodness, bless your heart for finding this place! We can’t be everywhere all the time…and I personally have a pretty limited dining budget. I’ll definitely check this out though


At 80 for the sushi only and 120 for the everything its a great deal at least until everyone finds out about it, lol, but he should be busier. Id like him to succeed & I’m glad I got in early.


Went tonight right at opening at 5:30p to try out a few pieces before a movie, thinking about bringing a friend here for his birthday in a few weeks.

The buildout is beautiful, this place is outstanding. The albacore was excellent. Chef Shin was very personable, we talked about him checking out Uovo and going to try Felix in a few weeks…He also wants to check out KASS haha.

Thank you @J_L for finding this, I mentioned FTC and Shin and the hostess gave @J_L a shout out.


For those looking to live it a little with sake

Go for their Ryusei Junmai Daiginjo (it’s likely the top of the line Bekkakuhin given the description and specs), really top notch stuff, dry and slightly higher acidity like a nice dry white wine. $110 is actually a fantastic price too for a bottle… One of the great sake from Hiroshima prefecture. Not famous at all in the US but very solid for those in the know or want to explore.

I’m quite surprised they put Kikuhime Yamahai Junmai on there, I guess it would work with the heavily marinated/seasoned fish but beginner drinkers would find it too strong and funky. Would be excellent as a warm sake.

Kudos to the restaurant for having a few eclectic selections, and not going the way of Dassai, Born, Kubota, Kokuryu, Hakkaisan…the typical yawners.


Had this at Shunji this week. Was awesome. Dry and flavorful.
Any comments?


From Nagano Prefecture. Soft, with a lingering finish. Perfect with Hikarimono.

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This sake which is exported should be about 55% rice polish, supposed to be using Miyamanishiki rice (according to Mutual Trading) but I suspect it’s more local Nagano prefecture sake rice (the brewery’s Japanese website tech specs doesn’t say exactly but doesn’t mention Miyamanishiki), and brewed with two types of proprietary yeast (the brewery came up with it themselves). The brewing water source (called Kokuyosui) has excellent minerality/composition (supposedly from the geographic region and the source nearing some volcanoes along with the natural filtering done by particular rock/stone formations before it trickles underground) and is super soft (hence JL’s comment of soft lingering finish). The brewery was already making sake during the Edo period and use low temperature for fermentation process.

Having had a few Nagano sake in Japan that are not exported, they can be a real treat on the senses especially with washoku. Perfect with richer flavored dishes, and of course grilled hikarimono. Don’t miss the chance to try any Nagano sake in Japan during the fall when they have hiyaroshi release (single pasteurized in the spring, then aged six months and released in the fall) with far more intensity and structure. One of the more famous breweries over there (Daishinshu) builds some really high class Daiginjo; lots of wonderful aroma, astringency and complex cascading finish… amazing stuff and drinking experiences.

Good to see FTCers explore regional jizake from places that offer it. I shudder every time some people bring Dassai and Kubota to a high end place (and pay corkage for them).


Been eating a ton of kaisekis/omakases over the course of just the last few weeks (n/naka, Hayato, Inn Ann, Shiki, Sushi Tsujita, Nozawa bar) and finally made it over to Masakazu. Thanks to @J_L for calling this place out. I used to frequently come here for lunch when it was Masu. Turns out Chef Shin cooked at Masu for 3 years before he went to Mammoth Lakes. When the owner of Masu called him a year ago, and told him he was retiring, he bought up the place. Said it cost a lot to redo the interior, but he said it was necessary, since it was just so dirty before.

We called ahead and told them we wanted the full omakase. There was a walk in table but they were offered sushi-only, without some of the pre-prepared dishes. Sushi was flavorful and delicious. Here are some pics of the non-sushi dishes since the others on this thread have done a good job highlighting the sushi already.

Fish head in some type of sweet miso-like vinaigrette:

Abalone + abalone liver, strained ankimo, oyster:

Salad, Halibut, lotus root

Hard to beat the QPR for $120 on the West Side.

He said he’s looking at getting another chef in June because it’s just him right now, so he doesn’t actually want it to get busy because otherwise its too slow for the customers. I may have misunderstood him, but it sounds like Eater LA came and wanted to write an article, but he said not to because he didn’t want more customers right now. His focus was on making sure that everyone had a great experience.


this is awesome. Masu was a great dude.

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