Shin Sushi (Summer Omakase): A Pictorial Essay

Shin Sushi is upping its game. Our most recent visit last week was absolutely delightful.

Take-san is really easing into a great rhythm here. The shari is now amongst the finest one can have in Los Angeles, with a delicate yet harmonious blend of akasu and komesu. Another notable (and welcome) nuance is that Take-san is taking care to customize the tightness of shari packing on each piece of nigiri so as to fit the “strength” of the taste of the accompanying neta.

Sake: Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku Junmai “Southern Beauty”, from Iwate Prefecture… Shin Sushi has its liquor license now, so game on!

Otsumami: Summer vegetables medley of okra, nasu (Japanese eggplant), marinated cherry tomatoes, tsubaigai (from Hokkaido) and smoked toro (fatty tuna belly, from Boston)… Simple and delicious.

Gari (pickled sweet ginger)… Really smooth gari.

“Old & young”: Madai (sea bream) & kasugodai (young sea bream)…
These two sea breams, served at different stages of its life cycle, are an interesting and tasty way to start the nigiri procession!

Hotategai (scallop, from Hokkaido)…

Sawara (king mackerel)…

Kurodai zuke…

Honmaguro akami (lean tuna, from Boston), aged 3 days… Outstanding. Kouji Kimura, the Tokyo-based grandmaster of aged sushi, recently visited Take-san at Shin Sushi. Though Kimura-san himself doesn’t usually age tuna, Take-san felt inspired enough to try, and the result was sublime.

Seared kamasu (baby barracuda)…

Ama ebi (sweet prawn, from British Columbia)… So, so sweet. This compactly-packed nigiri really accentuated the taste of the shrimp!

Ebi head miso… Ridiculous! WOW! Take-san prepared a 72-hour base (yes folks, THREE DAYS!) broth for this deceptively simple-looking miso soup using shells and tomalley from several shrimps. It is easily the richest and tastiest version of shrimp heads I’ve had.

Isaki (chicken grunt)…

A tale of Two Salmons: Seared salmon zuke & ginjake (silver salmon)… Just beautiful. This launched into a conversation about what exactly constitutes edomae-style sushi. Take-san informs us that in the early days of sushi (in the Edo era), the only place where seafood could be harvested for true edomae-style sushi was Tokyo Bay. This meant that all seafood used for sushi but found outside this very specific body of water was not actually “edomae”. However, Take-san also feels that this strict definition of edomae is too antiquated for modern times, and quips that “some traditions should evolve”. Deep…

Slicing tuna for the next course…

Seared chutoro… The searing on the tuna contrated so nicely with the last bite of seared salmon. Terrific!

Ikura (Canada)… Luscious “pops” burst forth from every roe!

Aji (from Kyushu)… The rich oiliness of the hikarimono is right on.

Mirugai… Gently sweet, crunchy but not too hard. Swoon…

Yari-ika (spear squid)… Really nice knifework. The nitsume (sushi glaze) here is worth noting: An absolute winner along with the delicately-vinegared shari!

Hata (grouper, from Japan)… Complex taste and texture. Whoa.


Murasaki uni (purple sea urchin roe, from Mexico)… Solid.

Anago (sea eel)… The nikiri (sauce which goes over the eel) played so well with the fluffy, fatty eel.

Kasutera-style tamagoyaki… Oh man, this is on par with any tamagoyaki I’ve had in Japan.

Negitoro maki… Housemade shoyu accompanies this fantastic cut roll - what a great way to cap off the omakase!

Dessert time!!!

Housemade dessert trio: Hoji-cha ice cream, tofu mousse with kuromitsu, and lychee sorbet…

Every aspect of the meal - timing, temperature, shari, variety, flow - All splendid. Even after receiving their first Michelin Star, the price for the omakase at Shin Sushi still very reasonable for what you’re getting (a bit north of $150pp for my omakase on this night). Note to diners: If you order omakase at Shin Sushi, note that at the end of the meal, you’ll see each item added up on the check, as if you had done okonomi (ordering a la carte). Thus, there is no “set” price to omakase here - The only difference between going omakase at okonomi at Shin Sushi being, of course, that Chef Take chooses the flow of items when you choose to go omakase.

And I’d highly suggest that you let him choose. :slight_smile:


Shin Sushi
16573 Ventura Bl., Suite 14
Encino, CA 91436


Well said! It was indeed ridiculous!

Thanks for the excellent report and pictures.

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Holy crap! Well done as usual. Thanks for sharing.

Would share a tab with.

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Looks like another fantastic meal. Glad I went when I went when prices were south of $100pp. Even though I really enjoyed my two visits, at $150pp (I’m assuming that’s pre tip), it’s hard to justify trekking over the hill to the deep valley. Take san is a very gracious host and I’m happy for his success.

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Fantastic pictures and writeup as always!

I also scanned the Yelp reviews to get an idea of what others say…the negative ones are soooo painful to read (but also shows that they lack a certain mindset to be able to understand or appreciate, there is absolutely no pleasing this kind of crowd).

How did you like the Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai, and what did you feel it paired best with? It’s a great affordable go to sake, and it certainly helps that it won gold medal for best Junmai (category) International Wine Challenge (sake) in London 2017 (Grand Champion). Never tried it with sushi before though, so curious how it worked. My first time having it was actually with Ippudo Ramen (shiromaru / classic) and it was surprisingly a great match with a cleaner base tonkotsu broth, although it also works very nicely with shoyu ramen. It’s available in 300 mL small format too from the wholesaler.

Very cool juxtapositioning of the kasugodai and madai! Also the horse saddle (kurakake) formation of tamagoyaki nigiri, old school approach. Does the seasoning and flavors of the ikura mirror the spheres of Mori and Shunji?

The trio of desserts reminded me of Dessert Republic haha! Go big or go home!!!

I think I totally get this place now and what they are trying to do!


Which, conversely is great for valley folks of course but I think we all knew those prices weren’t intended to be long term.

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Awesome review as usual.

I gotta make it out to here!

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Yup. This place should be on your regular rotation if it isn’t already.

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FTC has long known…