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Real wasabi at Nishimura?

Today lunch at a downtown sushi bar, I asked the chef if he knew where they serve real wasabi.
He recommended Nishimura (on Melrose), he said the chef will grate real wasabi ($100+ / lb...) right there in front of you.
I searched this board, not may recent threads, very opposing views, nobody mentioned the real wasabi.

Questions for the connoisseurs:

a) do they grate real wasabi in front of you at Nishimura?

b) how good is the sushi ?

c) how good are the cooked dishes ?

Chef said to expect about $100 pp, less than Urasawa, but definitely more than a sushi place downtown.

Bonus piece of info: Chef I spoke to speaks two languages (and I'm quoting here), Tokyo and Osaka; he mentioned the fact Chef at Nishimura speaks same two languages.

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  1. I've not been to Nishimura, but I've had fresh wasabi grated in front of me at Mori and Kiriko.

    Keep asking around; there may be other places that have it as a secret option. (It's not secret at all at Mori; it's mentioned on the menu as available at extra cost but seems to be included when you order omakase.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: HPLsauce

      K-Zo in Culver City grated me a big pile of fresh wasabi ...

    2. Went to Nishimura a while back and was wowed by the omakase. We sat at the bar, and both sushi and cooked dishes were incredible. They did have real wasabi, but they are not the only place to do so. I've had it at Azami when I get omakase at the bar, and I know they use it at Sushi Sushi (again omakase at the bar).
      Bonus info: Am I not getting the joke? Tokyo & Osaka have their own dialects, but it's like saying I speak NYC & L.A.

      1. I second Mori and Kiriko... If I recall, the one time I was at Mori, they grated it on the traditional sharkskin...

        1. yah, it's hardly a secret menu thing...I've gotten fresh wasabi at Sushi Go 55, even. ("even" just because they're hardly uppa-crust. they're pretty wonderful!)

          generally, I'm guessing that most sushi places worth their saba have it as an option, just one that most of the clientele don't exercise.

          1. I've had freshly grated real wasabi at Kagaya. They also have real Andean salt. It's pinkish and they grate it from large rocks. It has a very nice flavor.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lil mikey

              Wow - the gourmet rock salt craze has hit here as well... It's huge right now in Japan... That's a nice touch - I would imagine it could add a whole new dimension to what you're eating...

            2. I've had fresh wasabi at Mori, Kiriko, and Nishimura. At Kiriko I got fresh wasabi sometimes and the paste stuff on other occasions.

              With regards to Nishimura, I can't recommend the place. In terms of quality, Mori and Nishimura edge out Kiriko, and Mori beats Nishimura. In terms of where I'd rather be, Mori and Kiriko hands down. Both times I went to Nishimura, the hostess was unbelievably rude. The quality is good at Nishimura but the selection is pretty basic. Not much to stimulate the more adventurous eater. For needle fish, barracuda, kan buri, kohada, near white o-toro, and pristine rice, Mori is where you want to be. Even Kiriko offered live japanese mantis prawn while Nishimura only had amaebi.

              Nishimura pulled a lot of "new wave sashimi" (sashimi with garlic chips, Hawaiian sea salt, etc.) which is fine to start but after the 4th or 5th plate, it gets tiring. The rice is a notch below Mori's. Everything was good but not worth the attitude and considering the overall dining experience, not at all worth the price.

              1. Questions for the connoisseurs:

                i don't know if i'd call myself a connoiseur, but i have been a regular of nishmura-san before his namesake establishment at r-23 and the hump and several other sushi restaurants around town and in japan.

                a) do they grate real wasabi in front of you at Nishimura?

                by "real", do you mean from japan (which is a no-no by u.s. ag standards) or do you mean the actual grated rhizome from the US (usually oregon, sometimes NC).? on second thought, i don't think i want to answer this question.

                b) how good is the sushi ?

                very, very good

                c) how good are the cooked dishes ?

                very, very good

                for the best experience, sit in front of nishimura-san himself, but expect to pay the big bucks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: revets2

                  I've been to Nishimura 3 times as the guest of regular patrons, and each time my experience has been top-notch. We ate at the sushi bar once, and the other times at tables with sashimi, because we wanted to converse.

                  Our hosts are very friendly with the staff and chef, and we were served marvelously each time.

                  The quality of the fish was wonderful, and we enjoyed the so-called "new age" touches like the garlic chips and the various salts. We had a wonderful eggplant dish last time that was delicious.

                  The last time I was there, our hosts and one of the guests were interested in sake, and we were treated to a tasting of several rare ones.

                  Yes, fresh wasabi.

                  The only thing I've been disappointed with was some king crab legs - they were boring.

                2. I've only been to Nishimura once (wanted to try their sushi) vs the numerous visits to Mori. You can try the different types of salt at Mori as well.

                  Oh and yes, Mori uses fresh wasabi.

                  1. I love fresh wasabi. If you are in the OC, you can get it at Restaurant Koi on PCH in Seal Beach. They have very excellent sushi/sashimi. Always a wait for the sushi bar.