- kevin Jan 6, 2002 01:29 PM
I visited this small sushi restaurant the other night. It's right across from the Pacific Design Center and the restaurant itself seems to be possibly influenced by the minimalist designs that may be viewed in the PDC. Anyways, Nishimura does not have sign stating it's name out front, there's only a sign out of front simply stating "sushi restaurant open". My friend and I walked through the decorated walkway with greenery and a few stones leading towards the sushiya. Once inside we sat at the sushi bar, which must have had about eight seats and one of the smallest glass refrigerator cases I have ever seen. The inside has a few more tables and the decor is of course minimalist to the extreme, reminding me of Katsu's stark design (maybe Nishimura is a possible acolyte of katsu), basically splashes of white accentuated with some black tones. I think a lot of thought was also given into the pottery in which the sushi was displayed upon and one of the stylized sushi platters almost looked like a longboard.
Enough with the decor and on to the food. I had the excellent and very fresh hamachi sashimi with the chiles and Dai-Dai sauce. Sadly, it was way too small a portion for the outrageous price. Next, I had a textbook example of toro sushi - very fresh and very smooth, and silky, yet rich at the same time. Warm monkfish liver (ankimo) fresh from the oven was served next. I usually have it cold, but I guess they serve it warmed here. The ankimo looked exactly the same as a lobe of foie gras surprisingly, although it doesn't in my opinion taste much like foie gras except for its richness. Next, some tuna sushi, yellowtail, red snapper, albacore, and pepper tuna sushi (topped with garlic and very good). If I can remember correctly finished off with a double order of the pepper tuna being as I tried virtually all the possibilities of sushi on the menu and about 5 or 6 options on the sushi list were not available that night. And finished off with a few mochi ice cream balls with fruit. Overall, a good meal in pretty ritzy surroundings. And the fish was definitely at times some of the best I've ever had.
But was once again I have quibbles with the pricing. My dessert was atrociously priced at about 10 bucks and we're not talking about a fancy or labor intensive or even expensive ingredient based dessert, but merely three mochis and a slice of strawberry and a slice of pineapple. My friend ordered the same thing expect with two mochis and it came to about 7 dollars. The regular sushi was maybe a dollar or two more than other comparable places. And the special sushi were in the mid teens, which is pretty darn expensive for such a small though (it must be said) artistic and tast portion. So basically I felt ripped off yet the meal was definitely in the top three I've ever had (it was far better than Mori and Tsukasa).
Give it a try if you don't mind dropping over a hundred big ones for sushi and sashimi. You will not be disappointed in the food, which is three star quality, but the check will definitley give you a double-take.