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Sushi for One Tonight

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djquinnc Mar 14, 2013 05:12 PM

I live in WeHo, but not afraid to travel a bit west. I like Gen in DTLA and the OG Katsu-ya in Studio City. Loved Urasawa (but not sure if my pocketbook will ever lead me there again). I pine for the days when Niki still ran Azami on Melrose - that was my ideal. I've been to Zo, but can't remember a single dish (I remember the attitude though). And at the risk of being chided, I find a spicy tuna hand roll at Noshi to be a thing of beauty sometimes. Suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Porthos RE: djquinnc Mar 14, 2013 05:22 PM

    Call Mori. Ask to sit at the counter.

    You can ask for a toro/scallion hand roll at the end. Also a thing of beauty.

    Cost will be about as much as Zo. Less attitude. More memorable IMO.

    Ask for buri belly if they still have any left.

    Here is a link to one of JL's more recent photo essays:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877170

    10 Replies
    1. re: Porthos
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      djquinnc RE: Porthos Mar 15, 2013 09:36 AM

      Porthos: I took your suggestion as a directive and high-tailed it over to Mori last night. I had a really good experience. The service was top drawer and the mood was affable throughout the meal. I must say, they get a big thumbs-up for presenting ingredients outside the norm (at least inmy experience). Abalone made a couple of appearances. Tasmanian sea trout was a sushi first for me. I can’t say that I’ve ever had baby barracuda before. And uni in a couple of unique presentations. First, I was presented with a plate of tempura: uni wrapped in shiso leaf, and bamboo shoot. I will probably dream of the uni/shiso tempura in my sleep sometime this week – it was provocatively yummy. There was a wonderful broth with an impossibly tender “fish cake” made of sweet shrimp floating about. And at the end of the sushi course (I had to tap out at this point as my GI tract was about to scream “Uncle!”), two types of uni, side by side: Hokkaido and Santa Barbara (the creamier local stuff got my vote, hands down –although I would never turn down either). I did appreciate that the pieces were small-ish and delicately formed, almost as if the nigiri inexplicably dissipated in my mouth. The flavors and the textures of the nigiri were also diverse and did not seem to follow a “logical” progression, but rather kept me on my toes and my interest engaged. However, as a final assessment, my palate was not as delighted as I anticipated in sum. The flavors were very “clean” for lack of a better word. And this is not to say that this is a bad thing, but I felt that the meal was not as intense with umami and that unctuous mouth-feel that I have come to appreciate elsewhere. I am open to the possibility that what I consumed last night was a sushi-style of the highest order and perhaps something that I am not accustomed to eating regularly. The price point is rather cost prohibitive for me in terms of making a return trip anytime soon. But in the end, I took some very good advice from a ‘hound, set forth on an adventure, and had a wonderful time. Thanks again for the suggestion. Next stop (and next paycheck), Kiriko.

      1. re: djquinnc
        Porthos RE: djquinnc Mar 15, 2013 09:52 AM

        The flavors were very “clean” for lack of a better word. And this is not to say that this is a bad thing, but I felt that the meal was not as intense with umami and that unctuous mouth-feel that I have come to appreciate elsewhere.
        =================================
        I think clean is the perfect word which is what I love about the place. Clean and pure. You don't leave feeling stuffed or hungry. Always just right.

        The umami you may be missing is probably the extra ponzu sauce that many places around town like to apply. The lack of fatty feel is because the fish used are often leaner wild white fish with different textures and profiles and not the fattier, thicker, proven crowd pleasers like salmon, hamachi, and albacore (which are cheaper). Also instead of that fatty piece of unagi at the end with rich sauce you get a delicate piece of anago lightly sauced.

        Thanks for reporting back and for investing the time and paycheck in IMO one of the best sushi experiences in town.

        1. re: Porthos
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          djquinnc RE: Porthos Mar 15, 2013 10:21 AM

          You hit the nail on the head with this explanation. I kept thinking throughout the meal that this was something special and unique. It was just a framework that is significantly different than what my palate has becomed accustomed.

          Now I wish I would have fought the good fight and stayed strong for that anago! Chef did bring me a trio of tiny dessert tastes at the end, that were thoughful and very enjoyable.

          1. re: djquinnc
            Servorg RE: djquinnc Mar 15, 2013 10:32 AM

            And the financial "damage" was?

            1. re: Servorg
              d
              djquinnc RE: Servorg Mar 15, 2013 11:26 AM

              $140, pre tax/tip. This included my iced green tea.

              1. re: djquinnc
                Servorg RE: djquinnc Mar 15, 2013 11:39 AM

                So, knowing how I tip, that would mean about $180 out the door with no sake. Costs are outpacing income, again! (g)

                1. re: Servorg
                  d
                  djquinnc RE: Servorg Mar 15, 2013 11:48 AM

                  You are right on the money!

                2. re: djquinnc
                  k
                  kevin RE: djquinnc Mar 15, 2013 01:22 PM

                  Oh, 140, not including any alcohol ? and you only had two pieces of sushi,

                  Maybe I skimmed through your review too quickly.

              2. re: djquinnc
                k
                kevin RE: djquinnc Mar 15, 2013 01:24 PM

                Sorry, I missed " at the end of the sushi course", then you had two pieces of uni.

            2. re: djquinnc
              k
              kevin RE: djquinnc Mar 15, 2013 01:21 PM

              Did you only have two pieces of sushi, the sea urchin pieces, as part of your sushi course ?

          2. j
            jdwdeville RE: djquinnc Mar 14, 2013 07:48 PM

            Have you been to Kiriko yet? I love sitting at the bar there and dining solo. Go piece by piece, and try some of their more unusual fish. Also, they make 2-3 different kinds of amazing salmon, some smoked, some not.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jdwdeville
              k
              kevin RE: jdwdeville Mar 15, 2013 01:21 PM

              plus one on this.

            2. ipsedixit RE: djquinnc Mar 14, 2013 08:14 PM

              Have you tried Ajisai in WeHo? Sounds like it might suits your likes, esp. since the place does wonders with spicy tuna (and not just in rolls).

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