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Urasawa - Fugu?

I was hoping to take my girlfriend to Urasawa as a Christmas gift but heard that they no longer serve Fugu (Blowfish). Is this true? If so, is there any other place in So. Cal that does?

Beyond that, I'm certainly open for any suggestions for a gift for this adventurous foodie/wino girlfriend of mine. We did French Laundry last month so it's becoming harder to top each experience.


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    Re."it's becoming harder to top each experience"

    Risking being off-topic here, I'd suggest the purpose of foodies in life is to enjoy, rather than trying to, as you put it, "top each experience."

    2 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      Well said RicRios.
      Being a foodie, to me, is as much about having a tongue taco at the car wash as it is about ordering the foie gras app at an au courant restaurant.

      1. re: bodie

        I agree but somehow a tongue taco at the car wash is not appropriate for a Christmas gift... unless that is a euphamism. ;-)

    2. if urasawa doesnt have fugu, chances are you won't find it anywhere else in CA. since you have the money, just fly her to NY and go to Masa.

      1. Last time Hiro-san told me that they would have the fugu sperm sack available in January. I believe there is a supplemental fee of $150 in addition to the regular omakase.

        1. I had the good fortune to eat at URASAWA last week. Hiro-san said that he cannot get fresh fugu, only frozen, so he doesn't serve it. He confirmed what I had read on Chowhound, i.e., his last shipment was intercepted by the FDA and he paid a big fine, in addition to having the other items in the shipment tossed as well.

          With that said, URASAWA remains the highlight of my culinary experiences and I couldn't care less about fugu as long as toro and Kobe beef are available.

          1. Hump brings a fugu chef from Japan, I believe

            1. HIro-san told me last month that Masa's in NY is the only place in the States that serves fugu when it is available.
              If you're really set on fugu, there's a restaurant in tokyo that serves just fugu...various preparations-sashimi, fugu tempura, etc. sorry can't remember the name.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ostudio

                I had fugu once at Oga restaurant outside Boston...I had a slight reaction afterwards and went to the ER... in hindsight the risk wasn't worth experiencing the tingling sensation, and the fish itself was pretty rubbery and tasteless...stick with Urasawa sans fugu

                1. re: barleywino

                  what was your reaction? that must have been frightening... i think if it was poison though, you probably wouldn't have even made it to the ER... much less gotten out of your chair!

                  1. re: rameniac

                    Used to catch blowfish in the 60's-70's in and around Jones Inlet on the SS of LI. What we would do was to pull off the tail from the fish, and just cook and eat that. Was told the rest of the fish was poisonous. We thought of them mainly as pest fish then.

                    1. re: rameniac

                      flushed, headache, heart racing, anxiety...especially after reading on the internet about trained fugu chefs in Japan dying every year from fugu poisoning...they just kept me under observation at the ER for a bit, figured if it were poison, symptoms would be much worse

                2. The fugu you get in America is not a big deal. Urasawa, on the other hand, is incredible. Go.

                  1. The Fugu that was available in the USA is "FARMED in Japan". It doesn't contain the "toxins" that the Wild Fugu does. Urasawa is so fantastic, just go! BTW we love FL also, did you do the 16 course Chef Menu? (our favorite)

                    1. Have you ever been to the Hump?

                      1. Did you take her to Joel Robuchon's place in Vegas yet? Without having tried either that place nor French Laundry, I would venture to guess the gastronomic experience at Joel R's would "top" French Laundry. (Just guessing...)

                        Bonus points -- I believe Joel R came outa retirement to open his signature Vegas restaurant.

                        From what I've read, Urasawa sounds like a good bet -- even without fugu.

                        One day you'll have to make the trek to Spain for El Bulli!

                        I've eated some fine and memorable meals in my day, but these ones just seem to be in the fiscal stratosphere, beyond my reach, so I just read about them and drool!