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May 18, 2012 10:44 AM

Omakase at Mori Sushi: A Pictorial Essay

With all this recent banter about sushi on the board, it just plain made me hungry! Maru-san was nice enough to help me in my time of need by offering me a seat at his sushi bar.

Verdict: Mori Sushi is good as ever. The rice (dare I say?) is even better now than before! The service and attention to detail are also exemplary.

Highlights: The kinmedai broth was the epitome of subtlety, so simple, yet so rich and complex, if that's possible. The tuna "flight" (3 type of different tuna from different parts of the world on the same platter for comparison & contrast) is not only a pleasure to eat, but also instructive! The bluefin chu-toro from the Indian Ocean, especially, reminds me how lucky I am to be eating here (yes, I had seconds on that!). Also, the wild smoked salmon - Maru-san was almost apologetic when he explained to me that, while salmon is not part of Edomae sushi tradition, this particular wild salmon, at this time of year, was just too great a fish for him not to serve his customers. How awesome is that?! And he was right - that wild salmon was the single greatest bite of salmon I've ever had in California. The Hokkaido uni is larger than I recall it, but it retains the same umami as before. Wild mulberry was served with his homemade ginger ice cream for dessert - I don't think I've ever tried wild mulberry before this meal.

Go, go, go to Maru-san. The man is proudly upholding Mori-san's fine tradition.

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  1. sounds and looks epic(ally expensive)

    4 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      I'm also curious as to the final cost for that amazing-looking omakase.

      1. re: ns1

        Mori Sushi Dinner Omakase + 1 Hitachino White Ale + 1 Yuzu Cocktail (aperitif) + 1 extra serving of chu-toro + 1 extra serving of seared baby barracuda came out to about $170 before tip.

        In contrast, it was far less than my $450 sushi omakase lunch (lunch!) at Sawada in Ginza back in November (yes, for one person)...

        1. re: J.L.

          Hitachino White ale and barracuda, awesome.

          1. re: J.L.

            "In contrast, it was far less than my $450 sushi omakase lunch (lunch!) at Sawada in Ginza back in November (yes, for one person)..."


        2. Were those baigai whelks with the hotaru ika? Awesome pics as usual.

          I don't know if this is old news, but Maru-san gave me his card and on the bottom it had a different website address ( than what usually turns up in web searches ( defunct). There's not much on, but one thing that jumped out at me was that they're open for lunch starting at 9:45 AM. Has that always been the case? Seems awfully early, but a good way to get some one-on-one time with Maru-san at the bar I bet.

          10 Replies
          1. re: PeterCC


            You do know that sushi is considered a perfectly acceptable breakfast item in Japan, right? Sushi Chefs must sleep, too (incredible but true!). So after a 4AM Fish Market run, many itamae prefer to get some shut eye, rather than manning the counter for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

            I too have the card for Maru-san, but the demands placed on my schedule doesn't really allow me the luxury of delving deeper. For Chowhound: Yes I'll spend a modicum of time on it, but otherwise, not much computer time spent on food on my end. Sorry.

            1. re: J.L.

              I've probably read that somewhere, but no I didn't know that. (I wasn't kidding when I said I was an amateur.)

              Wasn't much delving, just noticed the URL was different than what I had seen for the restaurant.

              What could be considered delving deeper would be to look up on and note that it was archived by the site on August 19, 2010, so it got deactivated some time after that. Also, checking whois info on shows the domain was registered January 17, 2012, so the new site came up just within the last few months. :-)

                1. re: PeterCC

                  I highly doubt that in LA he is doling out sushi at 930 am.

                  Darn, 170 bucks before tax and tip sounds like a lot. I may just save up and go whole hog on Urasawa sometime soon.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Save up for that pilgrimage, kevin. You won't regret it.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      A quick thanks JL. I've read many of your posts and stopped in Friday night while in LA. What a meal (3 small apps and about 20-24 nigiri). Maru-san said over and over how lucky I was - with 34 different items that night and the one-year anniversary of his purchase. In fact, it became a running joke throughout the meal as he would present each item, about 50% of which he said this is very, very special (indeed, 4 or 5 pieces were reference-worthy). There are the rare times when you catch a restaurant operating at its highest levels, and certainly that was the case on Friday.

                      I was meeting friends for dinner later so came in at 6 and was literally the only person in the place until ~720, a treat to say the least. And what a host. Maru-san is an absolute pleasure to be around. He reminded me very much of Hiro-san in that way. Outgoing, kind, humorous, drinks, etc. - an exact opposite of Keizo. Comparisons are unfair based on singular experiences but my evening with Maru-san was as pleasurable and delicious as any I've had in the states. Lastly, I thought the bill was quite inexpensive for the value @ $145/food. Many thanks again for your posts, truly a memorable night.

                      1. re: palmdoc1

                        You indeed got super lucky. I'm jealous. Thanks for reporting back!

                        1. re: J.L.

                          I forgot to mention that tamago that you pictured looks quite exceptional, just like an airy sponge cake. It doesn't look like the usual leaden, heavy tamago that one usually gets at sushi bars around town.

                          1. re: kevin


                            Actually that's what real tamago is supposed to look like. Each sushi-ya of renown in Japan jealously guards its own recipe for the house tamago. In L.A.: You can find this type of preparation at Shibucho, Urasawa, and Kiriko.

                        2. re: palmdoc1

                          Did you have one piece of all thirty four items?

                          That's some good variety right there, for sure.