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$u$hi at Its Best

mjalz Feb 21, 2007 03:19 PM

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!

  1. c
    chowmominLA Feb 21, 2007 03:37 PM

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

    7 Replies
    1. re: chowmominLA
      mjalz Feb 21, 2007 04:18 PM

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

      1. re: mjalz
        chowmominLA Feb 21, 2007 07:44 PM

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

        1. re: chowmominLA
          mjalz Feb 21, 2007 09:31 PM

          about $250.00 LESS

          1. re: chowmominLA
            kevin h Feb 24, 2007 03:36 PM

            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
              yen Feb 24, 2007 03:55 PM

              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
                kevin h Feb 24, 2007 04:51 PM

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

              2. re: kevin h
                eezerik Mar 3, 2007 03:40 PM

                Fantastic. i enjoyed that report

        2. s
          slacker Feb 21, 2007 05:36 PM

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: slacker
            Debbie W Feb 22, 2007 12:11 PM

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

          2. SauceSupreme Feb 21, 2007 09:45 PM

            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
              bulavinaka Feb 21, 2007 09:55 PM

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

            2. b
              bulavinaka Feb 21, 2007 09:57 PM

              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
                mjalz Feb 22, 2007 10:19 AM

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

                1. re: mjalz
                  bulavinaka Feb 22, 2007 08:52 PM

                  You won't be disappointed...

              2. f
                FKA Andrew Feb 22, 2007 11:17 AM

                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
                  mjalz Mar 3, 2007 02:41 PM

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

                2. jcwla Feb 22, 2007 01:40 PM

                  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. c
                    chowmominLA Feb 22, 2007 02:19 PM

                    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
                      choctastic Feb 23, 2007 06:16 AM

                      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
                        nimo Feb 23, 2007 06:02 PM

                        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: nimo
                          slacker Mar 5, 2007 03:08 PM

                          lol! That's cute and funny!

                        2. re: choctastic
                          kevin h Feb 24, 2007 03:39 PM

                          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. f
                        FDawson Feb 23, 2007 04:37 AM

                        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. russkar Feb 23, 2007 06:19 AM

                          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
                            Ciao Bob Feb 23, 2007 08:47 AM

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

                            1. re: Ciao Bob
                              russkar Feb 23, 2007 03:42 PM

                              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. Ciao Bob Feb 23, 2007 05:49 PM

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

                            1. d
                              Diana Feb 24, 2007 08:50 AM

                              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. z
                                zack Feb 24, 2007 02:29 PM

                                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
                                  ipsedixit Feb 24, 2007 02:33 PM


                                  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
                                    kevin h Feb 24, 2007 03:47 PM

                                    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
                                      mjalz Mar 3, 2007 02:48 PM

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

                                    2. eezerik Mar 3, 2007 03:39 PM

                                      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
                                        Pablo Mar 5, 2007 02:47 PM

                                        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!

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