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Jun 10, 2001 09:29 AM

Jozu Experience

  • l

Last night 4 of us went to Jozu. Web site It is a nicely decorated room, simple Zen Asian. Just after we were seated the waiter brought us a small glass of complimentary cold sake to enjoy as we read the menus. I ordered the Omakase at $45.00. One of us ordered the Shrimp dumpling in Lobster sauce which she liked, another ordered the Hamachi Mille Fuille (sp?) that he also enjoyed another the Beet, celery root and Goat cheese salad, and my first course was an Ahi Tuna tartare. Good quality Ahi with tangy and zippy undertones but letting the flavor of the Ahi through. My second course was a small Lobster tail over mashed potato with a bit of shredded daikon that was lightly dressed in a very mild vinegar. The Lobster was nicely cooked, the potatoes very good and the daikon gave a pleasing freshness to the dish. The waiter skillfully paced my courses. The next course was a perfectly cooked Shitake mushroom with a frisee salad. For entrees my wife had the Portobello mushroom with spinach and roasted potatoes. Each item was perfectly cooked, one ordered the Seared Sea Bass and loved it and 2 of us ordered the Japanese Mahi Mahi. It was tender, mild, very fresh and served with a light miso (I think) sauce that perfectly complimented it. We ordered a small carafe of the cold sake to go with our food. It seemed to go better than wine. Dessert was a Raspberry tart with Wasabi Iced Cream. Buttery pastry, fresh raspberries and nose clearing iced cream. The other dessert was an Asian Pear Tart. It is served warm in a caramel sauce with vanilla iced cream. Same pastry as the other tart, the pear slices were just cooked and served with an excellent caramel cream sauce. We all were delighted with all of our food and the price before tip was just $45.00 a person. I felt like I was at an Asian version of Joe's in Venice except that at Joe's since his expansion I have had some less than perfect dishes (not meals). I still love Joe's and I would come back to Jozu in a minute. After the meal the hostess asked each one of us if we had enjoyed our meal, I thought that was a nice touch. The chef was in the kitchen actively cooking with his staff which also makes a huge difference. Amazingly we were there 3 hours but were never rushed. They seem to only have enough business to do one and a half seatings on a Saturday night. That is good news for people that want to get reservations but a crying shame for such a great restaurant and staff.

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  1. Hmmm... at first read, I thought that you and I had the exact same dishes on their "Omakase" Menu, when I went on May 18th. I looked at the menu I asked for and it turns out it's a bit different. Also, when I went it was $40. Damn that hyperinflation.

    Let me give you a breakdown of what I had:

    First the complementary edamame and sake, I believe was called Ozeki Karatamba, was served chilled while we perused the menu.

    Spicy Tuna Tartare with Seaweed Salad - I think my friends found the plates this was served on more interesting. I thought the seaweed was slimy. Who cares, it was a nice match with the spicy flavor of the tuna.

    Grilled Lobster and Shiitake Salad with Yuzu Vinaigrette - we got the claw which usually has that nasty rubbery tip, but I found this piece did not have this. It was served with a bit of the smoothest mashed potatoes I've ever seen. What is yuzu? I dunno.

    Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Tempura with Spicy Diakon Sauce - I think it was stuffed with a shrimp mousse, I thought this was delicious, it was gone in three bites.

    Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Black Bean Sauce - A generously large piece of fish for a five course meal. I'd say this is the best implementation of wasabi mashed potatoes I've ever had. It was very *green* and had all the nuances of wasabi without the sulfuric bite.

    Blackberry Tart - If I remember this right, it was a cheesecake decorated with blackberries on top, served on top of creme anglaise. I thought this was great.

    We chose a bottle of 97 Trevor Jones Riesling. I don't know if this is the greatest match out there. We didn't care, we like rieslings. Although this has that peppery note that I don't enjoy in wine.

    The service wasn't the greatest, we had to ask several times for glasses of water, and ended up pouring our own wine. Other than that, if they can keep their meals consistant, I may become a regular.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kev

      Thank You for your rendition of the meal. I knew I was not recounting it right but I couldn't remember what. The first course was the same Ahi tartare but with shredded daikon so it was not slimy. The lobster with claw meat and mashed potato did come with the mushroom and frisee. I completely forgot the squash blossom and it has been driving me crazy that I couldn't remember (senior moment in the mid-40's) I did love it too. The entree was Mahi Mahi that night but it came with the same mashed potato as the lobster salad. I don't know what Yuzu is either but I bet someone here does. Thank You for helping me regain my sanity (or at least some of it).

      1. re: Larry

        This place does sound great. I'm putting it on my list for my next LA homecoming from NYC. Sounds like they use fresh wasabi for the potatoes, not the ubiquitous powdered stuff. As for yuzu, it is a japanese citrus fruit, whose flavor is a cross between a lime and an orange. I've included a recent link on the subject. Cheers.


        1. re: Eric Eto

          MMM... I had a great birthday dinner at Jozu in April. Our service was friendly and very attentive, the cold sake perfect, and each fish incredibly fresh and well prepared. We missed their desserts, though, in exchange for that Sweet Lady Jane (right next door)berry cake which a friend had picked up and the waiter first presented, then served. Definitely a birthday I won't soon forget!