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Shunji Japanese Cuisine, Summer Omakase Menu: A Pictorial Essay

J.L. Aug 2, 2012 02:30 AM

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then may I present 45,000 words...

Verdict: Spectacular. Shunji-san is hitting his stride, no holds barred.

This meal was enjoyed in early-mid July. Sorry for the delay in posting...

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  1. Tripeler RE: J.L. Aug 2, 2012 04:48 AM

    Great work, J.L.
    Congratulations again for this beautiful array of photos. Words fail me, but everything looks delicious.

    1. Porthos RE: J.L. Aug 2, 2012 07:27 AM

      Is that shirako? After the ankimo ball?

      Impressive photos. Makes me want to go back already and I was just there last Friday!

      Already planning on going back in Sept for mom's birthday. Fully plan on pre-ordering Kegani and seeing what he can do with it. Also hoping matsutake is avaiable that time.

      He is one of the most impressive chefs I have ever seen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Porthos
        PeterCC RE: Porthos Aug 2, 2012 07:38 AM

        Looks like shirako. (Mouseover my profile pic next to my name for this comment to see the shirako I had there previously for a comparison.)

      2. m
        madcao RE: J.L. Aug 2, 2012 08:52 AM

        Wow, spectacular array and photos.

        Is there a set omakase price or is that something to discuss with Shunji at the bar?


        6 Replies
        1. re: madcao
          PeterCC RE: madcao Aug 2, 2012 08:57 AM

          $80 for omakase but does not include formal sushi courses. Sashimi is part of the omakase, and you can add on sushi separately.

          1. re: PeterCC
            ns1 RE: PeterCC Aug 2, 2012 01:56 PM

            all that is pictured above cannot be $80....right?

            1. re: ns1
              PeterCC RE: ns1 Aug 2, 2012 02:05 PM

              No, take out the half dozen nigiri, and I still count about 16 dishes. The $80 omakase usually runs 10-12 dishes. Looks like he ordered some additional sashimi too. And the desserts.

              1. re: PeterCC
                chrishei RE: PeterCC Aug 2, 2012 02:17 PM

                I had around 14 dishes pre-sushi my last time there (late June). It's really up to Shunji-san...

                1. re: PeterCC
                  ns1 RE: PeterCC Aug 2, 2012 02:17 PM

                  Thanks. I gotta start doing these set price omakase's now. I don't have the money to trust the chef anymore lol

              2. re: PeterCC
                kevin RE: PeterCC Aug 3, 2012 09:45 AM

                damn, this is so tempting and i don't have the bucks for this either.

                what's the dish right to the left of the bleu cheese with persimmon ?

                Also, yeah, how much was this meal before tax and tip ? it definitely doesn't seem like just the $80 omakase ?

            2. k
              kevin RE: J.L. Aug 3, 2012 09:48 AM

              and did you also have three desserts: the fruit, green tea, and the black sesame (?), did you ask for a trio or did he just give you it ? It looks like tiny balls of ice cream so it's not too heavy.

              1. k
                kevin RE: J.L. Aug 3, 2012 09:48 AM

                also, does he carry mangju ???

                1. Servorg RE: J.L. Aug 3, 2012 09:55 AM

                  J.L. - Until CH site engineering comes up with a system to caption each individual photo it would be incredibly helpful if you could list the dishes in order to your photo array (if you a. remember what they were and b. it wouldn't be too much to ask for?). How many individual dishes did you have? I tried to count but wasn't quite sure what might be a preparation photo of a dish that is then shown afterward. How much did this meal set you back? I might just print this out, take it with me and hand it to the chef and say "Me want this same-same" and hope for the best... ;-D>

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Servorg
                    kevin RE: Servorg Aug 3, 2012 10:01 AM

                    I agree, though JL that would entail more work for you. :)

                    yeah, i always found it annoying that chowhound doesn't allow a captions and you can't look at the photos as a slide series.

                    1. re: Servorg
                      Porthos RE: Servorg Aug 3, 2012 10:21 AM

                      Warning. The JLomakase looks stellar but the pricing has to be equally impressive. I count 15 dishes, 6 pieces of sushi, fruit and 2 ice creams.

                      The first 5 courses are pretty obvious. Plate 6 is actually a set of 5 which starts with the abalone and ends with the ankimo ball topped with caviar. Dish 7 is the shirako (cod sperm). Then comes 3 separate sashimi plates. Afterwards is the squid ink, truffle, quail egg dish. Then the signature age-dashi momotoro tomato. The next dish is braised kinki followed by the delicious looking unagi bowl. The following dish looks like fried squash blossoms stuffed with prawns maybe? After that the 6 pieces of sushi and dessert.

                      Very impressive meal indeed.

                      1. re: Porthos
                        PeterCC RE: Porthos Aug 3, 2012 10:46 AM

                        I counted 16 non-sushi non-dessert dishes before, so I went through the pics again and I think you missed a dish. In the same row as the shirako, immediately before the pic of the fresh wasabi root, is a small white bowl with what looks like some kind of tsukudani and shirasu or shirauo (dunno which, both tiny white fish as pictured).

                        1. re: PeterCC
                          Porthos RE: PeterCC Aug 3, 2012 10:55 AM

                          That dish was part of the sashimi set 1 in the photo before :)

                          So we agree, 15 dishes before the sushi.

                          1. re: Porthos
                            PeterCC RE: Porthos Aug 3, 2012 10:57 AM

                            Ah, you are correct. I thought I looked at the sashimi set pic in full size, but I guess I hadn't.

                            I think what made me think it was a separate dish was because the bowl was on the place mat in its individual pic, so that threw me off.

                            Wonder what was in the white and reddish-brown bowl on the left of the platter?

                            1. re: PeterCC
                              kevin RE: PeterCC Aug 3, 2012 11:14 AM

                              also, jl, did you have that whole tray of uni as a dish ?

                              1. re: kevin
                                PeterCC RE: kevin Aug 3, 2012 11:15 AM

                                He wishes! :-)

                                1. re: kevin
                                  J.L. RE: kevin Aug 3, 2012 02:41 PM

                                  Hehehe... I don't think my circumflex coronary artery (or my left main artery, for that matter) can withstand the onslaught from an entire tray of uni at once!

                                  I am working on a detailed report of this meal, to be posted later, since so many people are asking... Stay tuned.

                                  1. re: J.L.
                                    xoxohh RE: J.L. Aug 3, 2012 03:07 PM

                                    I made a reservation for next week. So excited!

                          2. re: Porthos
                            AyrtonS RE: Porthos Aug 3, 2012 04:20 PM

                            Very impressive meal indeed and great photos! Shunji must have been at his full shoulder shrugging mode that night!

                            At Porthos, as impressive as this meal was, did it vary that much from the most recent meal which you posted? It may have had a greater number of courses, but all of the dishes (except for maybe the fresh eel) are/have been in the rotation?

                            1. re: AyrtonS
                              Porthos RE: AyrtonS Aug 3, 2012 06:37 PM

                              The meal was totally different from mine as mine was pretty much all sashimi and sushi.

                              Shunji truly caters his omakase and alters it based on the customer's preference. Definitely a chef worth knowing.

                        2. J.L. RE: J.L. Aug 4, 2012 06:03 PM

                          OK everyone, due to the overwhelming enthusiasm (thank you all!), I shall try to clarify the details of this meal which I enjoyed over 3 weeks ago.

                          01 - Specials of the Day, listed on his dry-erase board
                          02 - Mozuku, with kisu (Japanese whiting), with myoga
                          03 - Marinate jellyfish, with kabu (turnips), with mini momotaro tomato
                          04 - Breaking out the fresh uni tray
                          05 - Red snapper, uni, in a hamaguri ushio-juru (clear clam soup), sweet summer corn, baby celery
                          06 - Preparing the next veggie dish
                          07 - Summer vegetables in a dashi broth gelee
                          08 - Shaving black truffles
                          09 - Hiyashi chukka ("old" noodles), with uo somen (noodles made from fish - red snapper, in this case), truffles, yuba (tofu skin)
                          10 - Close-up of 09
                          11 - Quintet of appetizers (see 12-16)
                          12 - Steamed awabi (abalone)
                          13 - Steamed ebi (shrimp) stuffed with sweet potato paste
                          14 - Okara (tofu paste, or soy pulp) with kani (crab), shiitake mushrooms, wrapped by prosciutto
                          15 - Bleu cheese & taro ball, topped with date "chip"
                          16 – Ankimo mousse ball with caviar
                          17 – Shirako in ponzu
                          18 – Someone else’s sashimi dish… (not mine - was it for you, PeterCC?)
                          19 – Shirasu (baby anchovy) with mozuku
                          20 – Freshly grated wasabi from Shizuoka Prefecture
                          21 – Trio of sashimi (see 22-24)
                          22 – Kamasu (baby barracuda)
                          23 – Isaki (grunt)
                          24 – Akami, bluefin
                          25 – Trio of sashimi (see 26-28)
                          26 – Wild sockeye salmon with wasabi
                          27 – Wild kohada
                          28 – Wild albacore
                          29 – Ika “pasta” with squid ink
                          30 – Momotaro tomato agedashi “tofu”, grilled eggplant, shishito (Shunji-san's signature dish)
                          31 – Braised kinki (rockfish)
                          32 – Japanese anago don (sea eel rice bowl)
                          33 – Summer squash blossom tempura stuffed with prawn, served with matcha salt
                          34 – Young ginger, for sushi
                          35 – O-toro, bluefin
                          36 – Chu-toro, bluefin
                          37 – Searing the baby barracuda
                          38 – Baby barracuda (2nd round)
                          39 – Mentaiko
                          40 – Aji (Spanish mackerel)
                          41 – Uni
                          42 – Dessert #1: Yuzu mochi, lychee, mulberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry
                          43 – Dessert #2: Housemade matcha green tea ice cream
                          44 – Dessert #3: Housemade black sesame ice cream

                          The cost of this meal, with 2 glasses of organic sake and one large draft Sapporo was about $185pp before tip. I asked Shunji-san to create the meal for me, no price limit. As Porthos has said, the chef knows what his “regulars” like.

                          Hope this helps.

                          16 Replies
                          1. re: J.L.
                            PeterCC RE: J.L. Aug 4, 2012 07:57 PM

                            No. That wasn't me. I haven't had the omakase since the first visit and I usually order nigiri not sashimi. Thank you for detailing the dishes.

                            1. re: J.L.
                              New Trial RE: J.L. Aug 4, 2012 11:14 PM

                              I particularly like the fact that he gives you fresh chopsticks after you finish the ika "pasta" course lest the ink affect the taste of the following course. A small but telling gesture.

                              1. re: New Trial
                                J.L. RE: New Trial Aug 4, 2012 11:21 PM

                                There should be a time-out called after the ika dish for toothbrushing also! :-D

                              2. re: J.L.
                                Ciao Bob RE: J.L. Aug 6, 2012 10:26 AM

                                Thought I would include this lovely tray he made for our 5 party omakase on Friday night...looks like a tasty Japanese Board Game

                                1. re: Ciao Bob
                                  Servorg RE: Ciao Bob Aug 6, 2012 10:57 AM

                                  I could go through that tray (all by my lonesome) like a buzz saw through butta! ;-D>

                                  1. re: Servorg
                                    kevin RE: Servorg Aug 6, 2012 10:57 AM

                                    Same here.

                                    I usally eat that trio of ankimo mousse in a matter of seconds.

                                  2. re: Ciao Bob
                                    kevin RE: Ciao Bob Aug 6, 2012 10:58 AM

                                    how much did that place costed ?

                                    or was it part of a larger omakase meal ?

                                    I could also devour that entire tray in a NY minute.

                                    1. re: kevin
                                      PeterCC RE: kevin Aug 6, 2012 11:25 AM

                                      Ciao Bob said it was a party-of-5 omakase, so that's five people's worth of the assorted appetizer platter (abalone, ankimo mousse ball, blue potato cheese ball, shrimp, prosciutto-wrapped okara, marinated tomato).

                                      Last time I went and ordered that appetizer plate a la carte, I think it was $25 (for one, not five, obviously), which kinda surprised me, considering that's 30% of the cost of the omakase. Not sure I would order it again, as the shrimp, okara, and abalone don't appeal to me that much.

                                      You can (and I think you already have, kevin) order a plate of just one of the items, so like three or five ankimo mousse balls, but I don't know how much that is.

                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                        kevin RE: PeterCC Aug 6, 2012 02:40 PM

                                        Are you saying that $25 was a lot for ordering the a la carte appetizer plate because as part of an omakase dinner it would be cheaper considering that you are getting a whole bunch of other dishes ???

                                        1. re: kevin
                                          PeterCC RE: kevin Aug 6, 2012 02:50 PM

                                          Yes. :-) I'd rather spend $25 on 3 orders of nigiri of fish from his specials board.

                                          1. re: PeterCC
                                            kevin RE: PeterCC Aug 6, 2012 04:43 PM

                                            damn, i'm so overdue on a visit but no moola.

                                            1. re: PeterCC
                                              kevin RE: PeterCC Aug 6, 2012 04:43 PM

                                              I would maybe agree with you unless that plate includes the ankimo topped with caviar, perhaps, and the plate includes a piece of toro.

                                              1. re: kevin
                                                PeterCC RE: kevin Aug 6, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                I realize the plate does change often. When I had it last month, it was the same as what J.L. had. By the time Ciao Bob had it, there was the addition of the marinated tomato. On my first meal there, the plate only consisted of the ankimo mousse, purple potato blue cheese ball, marinated tomato, and another ball of yams, feta, and black truffle.

                                                Probably the safest bet is to inquire what will come with the assorted appetizer plate (and how much it is, if the pricing fluctuates) before deciding if it's worth ordering it separately rather than what is obviously a set course in his omakase.

                                                (I don't think he'd include a piece of toro on there. Doesn't seem to fit the theme, but then I don't really think the awabi fits the theme either. Everything else has a starch component, or is vegetarian.)

                                          2. re: PeterCC
                                            kevin RE: PeterCC Aug 6, 2012 02:41 PM

                                            mY bad, i did have the trio of ankimo there. and it's an upcharge if you happen to want caviar on it too.

                                        2. re: Ciao Bob
                                          J.L. RE: Ciao Bob Aug 6, 2012 11:25 AM

                                          Playing "Connect Four" with awabi!

                                          ... Pretty sneaky, Shunji-san...

                                          1. re: J.L.
                                            Ciao Bob RE: J.L. Aug 6, 2012 11:38 AM

                                            Notice how there are 5 pieves of almost everything but 6 pieces of the non-fish/shellfish (tomato, taro-blue cheese): we had him do A Vegatarian Omakase for one guest. She loved it.

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