Mori Sushi (Summer Omakase): A Pictorial Essay

Visit after visit, Mori Sushi consistently delivers some of the best sushi experiences in the United States. Maru-san’s recent omakase is no exception.

A little bubbly to celebrate the summer…

Chilled housemade tofu and shoyu, with freshly grated wasabi…

Otsumami presentation…

Marinated aori ika “udon” (reef squid fin slices resembling thick noodle)…

Tako no shiro miso sunomono (octopus tentacle in white miso sauce and thinly-sliced cucumber)…

Pickled baby ginger and radish…

Maguro no yamakake (tuna with grated mountain yam)… This was made with a premium yam from China called yamatoimo.

Slow-grilled ayu (river trout) with baby ginger… This takes over 10 hours to prepare!

Sakura ebi (cherry shrimp) tempura…

Broiled sawara (Spanish mackerel)…

Wakamomo (baby peach) & candied kumquat… Such an intense, peachy taste in so small a bite! Remarkable.

Steamed sazae (conch), in its own shell…


Tai no konbujime (kelp-marinated red snapper)…

Hotategai (scallops)… From Hokkaido.

Sayori (Japanese halfbeak)…

Isaki (gruntfish)…

Nodoguro (blackthroat perch)… Gaining in popularity these days.

Tennen shima aji (wild striped jack)… Hard to find.

Sockeye salmon… This was glorious.

Aji (horse mackerel)…

Honmaguro akami (lean bluefin tuna)… Knifework, experience, subtle aging and pristine rice make this such a gorgeously complex bite.

Honmaguro o-toro (fatty belly of bluefin tuna)…

Konoshiro (gizzard shad)…

Seared kamasu (baby barracuda)…

Kasugodai (baby snapper)… Very narrow season for this one.

Zuwaigani (snow crab)…

Kita-murasaki uni (north purple sea urchin roe)…

Bafun uni…

Shiro ebi (baby white shrimp)… Sweet, gentle goodness. From Toyama Bay.

Ikura (salmon roe)…

Seared kinmedai (golden eye snapper)… From Chiba Prefecture.

Awabi kimo (cooked baby abalone with its liver)…

Kasutera-style tamagoyaki (Castella cake-style egg omelette)… Paging @kevin.

Dessert time!!!

Zenzai (sweet red bean porridge), with mochi…

Housemade kinu (silken) creamy tofu, with ginger syrup… Definitely a highlight of the meal. This was incredibly light yet flavorful, the ginger playfully accompanying the melting tofu. One of the most sublime desserts in L.A.

Makuwauri (muskmelon)…

Another unforgettable seasonal meal, impeccably prepared and presented. Gochisosama deshita, Maru-san!


Mori Sushi
11500 W. Pico Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90064


How lovely and enticing all at the same time! How much damage did this delightful meal do to the bank?

Great question. I was the guest of another generous soul, so I couldn’t say the exact amount of this meal.

But gauging from my prior visits to Mori Sushi with Maru-san at the helm, I’d estimate this to be in the $175pp range (food only).

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Damn that tamago looks exactly like a Castella cake.

Great pics and report as usual @J_L. :slight_smile:

What were your favorites on this visit?

The 2 Uni presentations looked wonderful; I’m hoping they were better than the mixed bag we’ve had this season locally? :wink:

We can’t wait to go back to Mori Sushi soon.

here’s a dopey question:

while i’m not one for food/drink pairings, and i see you did
have sake, i was wondering how the champagne went
with the sushi?
seems like a fun choice for those of us not sake-inclined.

many thanks.

In my experience, most Champagne, particularly ones with zero dosage (low sugar) will pair very well with sushi.
I believe many whites with good acidity and little to no oak pair very well with sushi. I often will bring Champagne and/or Sancerre or Pouilly Fume and have never been disappointed.
Maru-san has very nice Albarino on his wine list that he thinks pairs well with his food.

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Based on my several visits within the last year or so, it is closer to $200/pp for food alone.

I clearly am friends with the wrong type of people. So glad you got to partake!

Yes, perhaps.

Can I ask what sake you had?

The aori ika udon, it looks like shiokara (house made), is the marinade its own innards? If not what is it?

A chef recently told me how it made his hands itchy grinding yamatoimo (and took a while). The prep I had was served in dashi and a few other condiments. Great stuff.

That ayu is beautiful, and I bet it was insanely delicious. Was it sauced sometime during the grilling stage (it doesn’t look like a solely salt grilled specimen)?

(Third and fourth nigiri pic label names were interchanged, 3rd pic isaki, fourth pic sayori, had me wondering there for a minute).

Sockeye…from Copper River?

Honmaguro - is he still using Boston wild bluefin , or is this Southern Pacific or Spain?

How does Mori fare against Shunji these days in terms of overall satisfaction level/dining on cloud 9 experience if considering a meal consisting of similar type of cooked dishes followed by a nigiri progression?

Thanks again J_L for yet another fantastic photographic report!

Pairing champagne with chinmi and otsumami is quite nice. But pairing it with nigiri is more difficult, imo. Not only because of soy sauce but also because of the finish and mouthfeel of some wines don’t work well with good rice’s nebari, which I believe to be one of, if not the most important aspects for very good sushi. Sake is more successful in complementing the right mouthfeel, in my opinion. Nigiri of red meat fish and bluefish are also a challenge to white wine, in my opinion. Such may deserve some Chambolle Musigny.

For Extra Brut Champagne and pairing with delicate starters like uni-based dishes or some nice toothsome whitefish sashimi, I like Jacques Lassaigne La Colline Inspiree or if I’m feeling a bit more opulent, 2002 Bollinger RD. I haven’t tried a Brut Nature with Japanese food. Mori is one such sushi place whose food warrants great wines!

But I’d do it like JL and start with champagne then transition to sake for nigiri, and end with tea. Great report, @J_L!

Nice to see Maru-san in this video promoting Buri…


Is Mori doing takeout?

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Yup–ordering starts daily at 9am (and does sell out quickly). A bit interesting to see they post the update time of when they are fully committed, and today on a Wednesday that was 10:10am.

Sorry, I meant Mori Sushi on Pico in West LA.


Unfortunately No.
At lease when I called about a month ago.
You could call him and leave a message.
He replied to my message promptly.

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