Jozu, Tsukasa, Lucques
I was in L.A. last week on a business trip / family visit and was able to get to some restaurants that I had wanted to try:
Last Thursday I selected Jozu for a dinner my company hosted for 60 people. The service there was phenomenal, from the planning to the serving. Patricia, who we dealt with, was very accomodating, an A+ employee. We had a set menu of lobster salad to start with a choice of either the miso cod or the filet mignon for an entree followed by chocolate cake for dessert. Everyone at my table had the cod and loved it; my boss who doesn't eat fish had the filet and said it was the best he had ever had. For gracious service, yummy food an elegant setting, WITHOUT PRETENSION, Jozu is it.
On Friday night, based on a rec from Tom Armitage, my sister & I went to Tsukasa, which is downtown. It was very good and low key and served a primarily Japanese clientelle but was very welcoming to us gringos and also does not have the "temple of shushi" syndrome that so many top sushi places seem to have. A toro roll and salmon sushi were my faves. It is also noce to find a sushi restaurant that takes reservations. We had a late dinner and it took very little time to get there from the west side on the freeway.
Saturday I hit Lucques, which I thought was good. I had a tough time finding an appetizer that sounded good, and ended up ordering the seared salmon salad which was suprisingly good. Then I had the halibut, which was the best halibut I have had. So good. Two others had the lamb and liked it but said it was too rich. For dessert we shared cookies & a caramel tart. The restaurant was quite a scene (Martin Short entered when we did) and possibly too trendy for its own good. The "garden" seating is nice, but it was evry loud at the beginning of our meal. Our consensus was that the entrees were outstanding, but that the apps were merely good. Also the wine list didn't offer many wines under $50, which I consider to be uncustomer friendly. We enjoyed it, as an expensive treat. I would return, but not as quickly as I'll go back to Jozu.