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$u$hi at Its Best

  • m

When you get invited for a Sushi Dinner with 7 other people and are told it will run $1,000.00 a couple (with sake and tip), I shrugged and passed it off as a "No Go". I've only had a handfull of 4 digit meals in my life but they were all well worth it and were in the French Laundry league.

In steps my wife whose birthday was last week and a trip to Napa was planned but called off due to our kids school schedule. "Honey, I really want to go for this Sushi Dinner and Napa would have been a whole lot more!" With that reasoning I said Happy Birthday and went to Urasawa in Beverly Hills last night. I am happy to announce that it was absolutley worth every dollar.

Master Sushi Chef Hiro was an artist with such excellent skills and amazing taste, my cheap bones didn't squawk a bit. Every dish of the 12 + courses was such an adventure
in flavor and texture / aroma and vision. It was well above and beyond any sushi envelope I have ever seen pushed before. It was a three hour marathon of culinary delight.

I would love to outline the meal in detail, but most of the dishes were so strange and unfamilar that beyond the Kobe beef and sweet shrimps, I am at a loss to inform.

How can I recommend such a lavish and expensive meal? It's hard, but I DO!

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  1. Sounds great :0) How much did it come out to be for you and your wife?

    7 Replies
    1. re: chowmominLA

      $925.00 all inclusive. Great night. I won't do it to often, but Urasaw was very special!

      1. re: mjalz

        How much do you think it would have been without alcohol?

          1. re: chowmominLA

            Food only there is $250 last time I checked, and that'll get you around 10 dishes and 20 pieces of nigiri.

            Photos from my trip to Urasawa: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fus...

            1. re: kevin h

              The price has gone up to $275 per person. There is no longer free corkage either, which was charged at $30 per bottle. Evian is still $8 per bottle.

              But it's one of those places where if you have to ask.....

              Oh, and it's worth every penny and then some. Best meal experience ever.

              1. re: yen

                Interesting. Thanks for the update. I wonder what prompted him to raise prices and start charging corkage.

              2. re: kevin h

                Fantastic. i enjoyed that report

        1. If i win in the new Lotto Raffle game, I might just head over there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: slacker

            That's EXACTLY what I told my husband after I bought our Raffle ticket!

          2. If I win the lotto, every member of the CH Los Angeles board is eating at Urasawa with me.

            I guess I'll still have to keep my day job after hitting the jackpot.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              One word describes you: Selfless...thanks...we'll be watching those numbers...

            2. Next - Ocha Kaiseki - think Urasawa creating those dishes in the most beautiful tea garden... save those frequent flier miles and go to Kyoto...

              2 Replies
              1. re: bulavinaka

                Next summer ('08) Japan with the family. I put down your recommendation! Thanks

              2. Great "back story" on your trip to Urasawa.

                Only 12 (+) dishes...I seem to recall that Hiro regularly serves 30 to 40 dishes to a customer. Has Hiro dramatically changed his food service?

                1 Reply
                1. re: FKA Andrew

                  No, we just got full and he might have upped the portions

                2. well...when you say "30 to 40 dishes"...there are usually somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to twelve "special dishes" that precede the sushi, then about twenty to two dozen pieces of sushi/rolls, then three or four dessert/palate cleanser type courses...

                  1. 30 to 40 dishes???

                    Do you think he'd let you have one ongoing meal over the course of the week? Four to five dishes each on Monday and Tuesday, six to seven pieces of sushi/rolls each on Wednesday and Thursday, the desserts on Friday, the palate cleansers on Saturday and then, of course, rest and digest on Sunday? That way I might actually be able to afford it and not get too full.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: chowmominLA

                      i actually met some people who had stopped by In & Out before going there for dinner, which I found out when I noticed they had stopped eating halfway through the meal. luckily their lawyer was paying the bill, but still...

                      most people i've seen can't get all the way through it and must stop at some point. there are some really big eaters who get charged extra though because they pack it in. i heard of one lady who eats $500 worth of food when she is there.

                      1. re: choctastic

                        Ha ha, I didn't want him to stop. Around 11.45pm, he finally (and as politely as possible) told us that there was nothing left to eat and that he needed to get home to his mother.

                        1. re: choctastic

                          Funny you mention In & Out, as I could've gone for a Double Double afterwards! Seriously though, we could've cleaned out his entire case but we held back out of respect.

                      2. Try Kappa Ishito on the 3rd Floor of Weller Court in Little Tokyo for a real authentic sushi experience. I was there Wed night. Spent 2 years in Osaka in the mid 80's and haven't been to a sushi restaurant that reminded me of Japan until now. Gochisosamadeshita!

                        1. I saw Hiro yesterday at IMP and he was surprised we didn't eat a lot more? I told him after the Lunch Tasting Menu at Angelini (same day) I just didn't have the stamina. He said he would have been happy to serve courses all night. BTW we were at Urasawa 4 1/2 hours, not 3? (6-10:30pm). Favorite Special dish of the night was the Live Green Japanese Giant Abalone, amazing!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: russkar

                            My favorite was the Tofu "baskets/bao" wrapper around Uni.

                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                              That is a standard awesome dish. Are you still enjoying your First Place Trophy for eating the most Sushi last Tue? Hiro was afraid you'd bankrupt him?

                          2. I could have bankrupted him but then he's just raise prices! What a meal...unforgettable!

                            1. Maybe one day I'll have enough disposable income to eat there. Well, probabaly not. I need to find a few rich, generous friends, or write the next great American Novel.

                              1. i realize a meal at urasawa is more than just sushi but is it worth 3x the cost of meals next tier down? i've never read a post that didn't highly recommend urasawa so guess i'll have to take the plunge 1 day and find out for myself.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: zack


                                  The experience at Urasawa is really more than just about the food (which is fabulous), but it is also about the service. They treat you like royalty.

                                  Is the price tag worth it? That's really an individual decision.

                                  1. re: zack

                                    For me, dining at Urasawa is not a just a meal, it's an experience. I have yet to find another place where you can really experience the essence of a chef like you can at Urasawa. Totally worth it in my opinion.

                                    1. re: zack

                                      It was decadent, but absolutley worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    2. It looks like the place is quite small because he is preparing the items for you individually. Is this correct? How long to get into a place like this?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: eezerik

                                        I think eight people at the bar and there is a small table for four. I had no problem with a reservation. When I went there were only four other people. Best meal ever!