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Sashimi

I am starting another round of a "modified" paleo diet for a while. During this time, I would love to gorge on some good sashimi, since white rice is verboten. Plenty of posts on the board about where to get good nigiri, but not much about about sashimi. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I think probably any place that you previously found to have great sushi should be able to serve great sashimi, and you can probably name all the places I'm going to name anyway (IIRC you haven't had the superlative experiences at Shunji that I've had, so I won't recommend that). I can't think of any place where I would say the sashimi particularly stood out over the sushi.

    15 Replies
    1. re: TheOffalo

      When Asanebo first started they were more of an izakaya meets ippin-ryori with a strong basis in small plates and various sashimi. Hence ......

      Nishimura used to be huge on sashimi. But did it fold ????????

      And then there's always Matsuhisa for his sauced sashimi dishes.

      Damn. Now I want an omakase composed solely of sashimi.

      And that ain't no joke.

        1. re: kevin

          The sashimi and sushi lunch special at kiriko is good. 10 bucks more I think than just nigiri.

          1. re: kevin

            My one trip to Asenebo a long time ago did not result in any memories that I carry today. However, I don't know how I have spent my entire life as an Angelino and not experienced Matsuhisa yet - I even live spitting distance from the joint. Two of the saving graces of a low-carb diet are vinegars/acids and chilies. I might have to make the splurge.

            1. re: djquinnc

              there you go….

              Matsuhisa.

              CASE SOLVED.

              next question.

              1. re: kevin

                So, although my resolve to go paleo was promptly placed on the back burner (I love all manner of food too much for that to be a tenable way of life for me to adhere to), I still maintained this notion to go to Matsuhisa at one point. So, I went for lunch today.

                I was offered three levels of omakase at the bar: $100, $150, or $200. Wisely, I chose the least expensive option. Although it was not a bad meal per se, I left disappointed. For lack of a better word, the food lacked refinement. And the overarching flavor of the meal was abrasive acidity. There were two dishes in which unrestrained fumes of vinegar rose up into my throat and gave me an almost instant sense of agita. One of the dishes, a "sashimi" salad was presented on a rather large bed of "mixed baby greens" and drowning in an onion dressing. Another dish, "whitefish tempura" was soaking in one of these aggressive vinaigrettes, which rendered the breading utterly limp, while dressed with a heap of thinly shredded red onions and some jalapeno slices, in case I wanted it to be "more spicy." The "signature black cod" was on the very edge of declaring itself overcooked and didn't have that umami-rich flavor and almost gelatinous mouth-feel that I've had with other versions (that I am assuming are borrowed ideas from Nobu Matsuhisa).

                I'm certainly glad that I didn't go for a larger price point. If more expensive ingredients would have been treated with the same lack of discernment, I would have been downright pissed. In contrast, The $125 lower end omakase I had recently at Sushi Tsujita was leagues above the meal I had today. Another point to mention was that not a single staff member greeted me as I was leaving. That to me in concerning.

                I'm sure there is a place for Matsuhisa in the LA dining scene. A lot of the patrons resembled the old Hollywood types that tend to frequent Spago as well. I'm glad that I dived in and gave it a shot, but I can't see myself returning. If want this sort of gilded lily cuisine in the future, I'll just head over the hill and go to OG Katsu-Ya on Ventura. I think theirs is a better representation of this sort of dining experience.

            2. re: kevin

              Try Matsuhisa's tiradito and new-style sashimi.

              A lot of the K-Town sushi dens offer more generous cuts when you order sashimi.

            3. re: TheOffalo

              FWIW, some neta do not make good sashimi; neta is designed to be complemented by the texture of the rice, while sashimi has to have texture sufficient to stand up for itself; you don't have uni sashimi for example. if anything the sashimi might be better if the place serves indifferent rice. but i'm not so sure gorging is the approach i'd take with good sashimi; a chef's choice of sashimi is still going to be more about balance/contrast of texture than about volume.

              1. re: barryc

                I agree that some neta are not ideal for sashimi. I was more talking about quality of the fish itself; if a place sources high quality fish for their nigiri then it should follow that their sashimi would also be of high quality.

                So my last sentence in my comment above probably should have said, "I can't think of any place where I would say the quality of the sashimi fish particularly stood out over the sushi fish." Almost seems silly to say since (when dealing with fish that are suitable for both sashimi and nigiri) a restaurant likely isn't keeping separate sashimi and nigiri fish (maybe saving different cuts for different purposes though).

                Not sure what your mention of volume/gorging is in reference to, unless that's directed at someone else.

                1. re: TheOffalo

                  I used the term "gorge" in my original post. Anticipatory starvation, I suppose. :)

                2. re: barryc

                  On numerous occasions I've been served uni sashimi by different itamae at very good sushi-ya here in Los Angeles. Sometimes the uni was solo or belted with nori or served on a shiso leaf, all sans rice. Back in the day my favorite places would start me off with a selection of sashimi which later on in the same meal would be offered again as neta (different knife work). mmmmmmm.

                  1. re: yinyangdi

                    Shunji's uni and kawagishi toro sashimi from a while back.

                     
                    1. re: TheOffalo

                      I really really really really really want that.

                    2. re: barryc

                      Plenty of uni sashimi served in little wooden half barrels with shredded daikon propping it up. Izaykaya staple.

                  2. Go to Shunji. And just tell him all sashimi.

                      1. Go to a Japanese market (Mitsuwa, Marukai, Nijiya) and buy for a lot less than you'd spend at any restaurant. Just make sure it's sashimi grade (usu accompanied by a small packet of wasabi) and not just any raw fish.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: OCAnn

                          I think that's a good idea too. Though some fish don't come ready to eat as sashimi at markets. I think the OP saying in another thread that he really likes aji, and I think because it's a small fish that probably needs to be filleted fresh, I don't think I've seen it as sashimi (maybe for cooking).

                          1. re: OCAnn

                            Great idea. However, the temptation to make a bee-line to Hannosuke would be very, very tempting!

                          2. Katsuya in the valley. They have sashimi that's pretty good.