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Jun 2, 2009 09:52 PM

Mori Update. Kinmedai Belly!

Went back to Mori tonight. Here’s what he’s offering these days

Items marked with "*" designate the highest recommendation I can give.

-Homemade sweet white corn tofu garnished with white corn kernels. The texture on this tofu was amazing and accented by the side of coarse sea salt.

-Kinmedai soup with grilled eggplants and young bamboo. An elegant and wonderful soup that’s clean, pure and highlights the genius of Japanese cuisine.

*ishidai no konbu jime*. I’ve had this several times with tai but today, the ishidai was more flavorful and sweeter tasting. Outstanding

-warasa. Yellowtail a size smaller than buri. Excellent and as rich and flavorful as much of the buri you’ll find out there.

-chu toro. Bluefin tuna from Morocco. Mori-san is quick to point out that there is not the smallest trace of sinew in this tuna. The texture and flavor is amazing. It’s not PC but it’s delicious.

-kohada. As always, Mori’s kohada is top notch

*Aji. Spanish mackerel*. Amazing! So sweet and delicious, you would be shocked in a blind tasting. The rice was dipped in chives and the aji was topped with a small bit of grated ginger.

-kamasu. Torched baby barracuda. Today’s was excellent. The fish was still silky and sweet.

*wild kinmedai belly*- dipped in some sort of shoyu based sauce and grilled. The texture and fattiness of the belly was truly spectacular. This is a must and a call to all sushi aficionados to get some before it’s gone. After tonight, there’s only the other half left.

-mirugai. Served with yuzu pepper paste and sprinkled with lemon juice and some yuzu spiked sea salt. Makes the mirugai more mellow and subtle. A very nice touch.

-steamed abalone. Tender and slightly smoky in flavor but abalone doesn’t hold much appeal for me as sushi and I knew it would run up my tab.

-aori ika. Thinly sliced, scored many times, and served with shiso. Creamy and delicious. Completely unlike regular squid.

-ikura no shoyu zuke. Ikura marinated in sake and shoyu. Again, some of the best marinated ikura you’ll find.

-Santa Barbara uni. Sweet, very good, slightly metallic.

*Hokkaido uni*. As always spectacular. Sweeter, more flavorful, and more custardy than Santa Barbara uni. This is truly amazing stuff and will ruin you.

-freshly grilled anago. Silky and delicate. Very good.

-Repeats of aji, kinmedai belly, and Hokkaido uni

-chu toro hand roll. People that have had the nori at Mori know that there’s no other way to end the meal. People who haven’t go try it. It’s thick, smoky, and you won’t find any better here in LA. In fact, if memory serves me right, the nori here may be of a higher quality than Yasuda’s nori!

I finished with a bowl of asari miso clam soup.

Dessert consisted of genmaicha tea and a perfect plate of fruit consisting of 2 types of mulberry, white peach, strawberries, and perfectly sweet cherries.

Damage with tax and 2 bottles of Allagash pale ale ($30) was 140pp. A bit on the higher side of my Mori visits, but I blame the repeats of Hokkaido uni, kinmedai belly, and the abalone.

Mori’s selection and seasonal offerings are exactly why I make it my go to place for sushi. This is not for those that only want the same textures and tastes in sushi (eg “meltingly soft”). Mori uses what’s wild and what’s in season. The difference in texture between the ishidai and the kinmedai belly and the amazing ethereal flavor of the Hokkaido uni is why you come here.

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  1. Well said, well done. Appreciate the details, Porthos. But I ask for 2 more -- what types of mulberrries?

    2 Replies
    1. re: epop

      Quick search of google images suggests that one was a white mulberry while the other was a long mulberry.

      1. re: Porthos

        Thx. The long one is an Afghani. I heard people are selling them now...

        Your post convinced me to go to Mori soon.

    2. Were there any signs of Mizudako?

      Also, isn't it a bit late in the season for kinmedai? It's a winter fish, right?

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Nope. No special japanese octopus.

        As for kinmedai I think you're correct, traditionally it's December - end of March but then again I thought matsutake season was only in the fall. However, Providence and Mori started serving matsutake in August last year.

        This kinmedai was top notch and fatty. Maybe a cooler summer/longer spring around the waters where this was caught? Who knows. All the more reason to go now and get the rest of the kinmedai belly before it's gone.

        Here's an old thread on kinmedai:

          1. re: Porthos

            Regardless of seasonality, if Mori-san deems it fit to be served, then I trust him. His Hokkaido uni alone is worth the price of admission. Did he use the "holy" Saga nori to wrap it?

            1. re: J.L.

              Yes, the premium nori made several appearances last night. The kinmedai belly is amazing on the level of the Hokkaido uni.

        1. Hi Porthos,

          Uwaahhh! Kuyashii...! :)

          Here I thought I'd be able to space out another visit to Mori-san a bit later than sooner...

          Kinmedai Toro + Hokkaido Uni is too good to resist. :)

          Thanks for the info.