Anyone been? It looks like it’s been getting some buzz
There is gonna be battera!!
Chef shin was the chef at sushi i-naba before chef yasu took over.
Hopefully this place has no relations to the old Miyagis on Sunset. Good times were had there in my younger days.
Oh so that means he definitely has some cred then
Since no intrepid FTCers had visited we decided to take a journey to the newly opened Sushi Miyagi after hearing from @PorkyBelly that Chef Shin was the chef at i-naba sushi in MB prior to chef yasu. Sushi Miyagi is in brentwood off of barrington between sunset and wilshire.
We were greeted warmly by the server who was dressed in traditional garb and Shin-san and were given warm towels. The itamae asked us how we had heard of the restaurant, we mentioned some friends had said good things about it and also mentioned FTC which he gave us blank stare. Shin-san’s english is not the best but he was very jocular which is in contrast to many of the itamaes we have met who are nice and conversational but extremely polite.
When we mentioned i-naba sushi he kind of gave us a frown and intimated that he was peeved that they were still using many of the dishes he had created as the opening chef. I quickly steered the conversation elsewhere.
We had the 80 dollar pp course which was an opening special, thought it was a good opportunity to try without committing too much money
First Course was orange clam w/ miso
Amberjack w.onion sauce very tasty reminiscent of a tuna dish we had at sushi sho in hnl.
Not pictured - I forgot to take a picture but Kombu aged halibut. Aged for 1 week had good flavor
Hokkaido Scallop w/ yuzu
Blue fin tuna
aged toro 20 days
Bonito super smoky
Ikura very fresh juicy and bubbly
Torched butterfish very reminiscent of unagi
Canadian Wild Salmon. Shin-san mentioned it was from the “Bako” river but since his english wasn’t very good it was hard to understand where that specifically is.
Not pictured blue crab handroll
OT we did Uni, we got the san diego uni which shin-san recommended over the Santa Barbara uni. He was so generous that he gave us both complimentary SB uni sushis to compare with the San Diego uni I would agree with Shin-san that it is sweeter and better in texture.
Also not pictured homemade yuzu and vanilla ice cream, bursting with yuzu flavor but mellowed out by the vanilla.
Shin-san told us that he specializes in aging fish. When pressed for more details if he ages in kombu or freezes or other methods he politely declined to expand and told us that this was his “secret.” The only fishes he explicitly told us he aged were the halibut in kombu and the toro. I asked him if the toro was chu-toro and he said kind of but he preferred the term toro instead.
He also opined that he prefers Japanese fish over fish from the west coast because the Japanese fish have more flavor. He mentioned that he fishes a bit and aside from local albacore all the fish he’s caught do not really have the same flavor of Japanese fish. He believes this is because Japan is an island and a lot of the nutrients and minerals from the rivers in the mountains run directly into the ocean near Japanese waters and these minerals and nutrients contribute to the flavor of the fish served.
Aside from the salmon, the orange clam, and the uni everything else was sourced from japan.
Overall our meal was quite good with many very delicious pieces namely the salmon, toro, amberjack, and SD uni and the rest were all very good. One complaint is that he uses a mix of white vinegar and red vinegar rice for shari and I felt that the rice was probably the weak portion of the omakase experience, not sure if this is because we had an early dinner at 530 and he was preparing for a buyout of the restaurant at 7 pm but it is something to point out.
Rather unfairly I always compare my US sushi forays (at more expensive omakase restaurants) with the two transcendental meals I’ve had at sushi sho in Honolulu. I’m actually not sure how I can remove such a bias because the price points are so different but it definitely always pops up in my head and affects my sushi judgment.
I would say that Shin-san, aside from his English difficulty, is super fun, engaging, and great to talk to during dinner, which definitely made the meal more enjoyable. This is a great addition to the area and definitely worth a visit.
I did the same lunch omakase there last week.
Subjectively, I felt that the shari had issues: Grains were a bit too sticky for me, and he was also a tad heavy-handed with the komezu (rice vinegar). BUT - At $80pp, it’s nevertheless a well-priced omakase.
On aging: The one piece of 25-day aged honmaguro (yes, I believe it was a chutoro cut) I received was OK, but there were subtle notes on that bite signaling that it was at the very precipice of edibility. (Based on the taste, I think he uses konbu aging.) Even Kimura-san is hesitant to age tuna, so hey, my hats off to any itamae who engages in this process.
Surprisingly (or not surprisingly), the battera there (yes, I had added that option on to my lunch omakase) was delightful. The sticky rice, which sort of plagued the nigiri courses, serendipitously worked well in adding much-welcomed density to the battera - It provided a delicious enough reason for me to go back to Miyagi.
LOL I too asked Shin-san about I-naba, and got the same gruff reply from him. It appears that it was a less-than-harmonious departure, so I left it at that.
Looking forward to going back for lunch (battera) - However, I’m not yet ready to plop down $180pp for their baller dinner omakase.
Thanks for the review JL
Can’t wait to try the battera!
Thanks for the review I’m gonna go get the battera there for lunch!
Unfortunate about the chutoro cut you received eating a piece of spoiled fish would definitely be off putting. Ours melted in our mouth and had a great meatiness to it.