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The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

I love the Zaru Soba at Otafuku. Have not found any place in LA that is better.

Oct 17, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

I thought Kagura was Tonkatsu. I still miss them as a Kaiseki place. Are they now Tempura? I used to be a regular at Inaba but stopped going after one too many hit-or-miss dinners.

Oct 17, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

The Tokyo-LA Sushi Gap is Closing

So bizarre - I had to reread this post to see if I wrote it myself. Was in Tokyo in May and went to many of the same places you listed, other 3 star Michelin Sushi as well. Shocked by the overlap. Great minds..

Came back thinking that the SushiYas there are on par with, and not better than, Q. Just different fish. I think Q is much better than Kyubey from the ones you list btw. I will also say that Train station sushi is better than most of the 2nd tier places in LA. And A LOT cheaper!!

Agree that Kaiseki is on a whole other level - Especially loved Ryugin. DId not love Ishikawa as much. LOVE Shunji here in LA tho. Have you found a high end Eel or Tempura place comparable to what you find in Tokyo? There used to be one in Torrance but closed years ago.

Oct 12, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Molecular Gastronomy in Tokyo - As good as Spain and Alinea?

great blog + photos, thanks for sharing!

Apr 06, 2014
wasabica in Japan

Molecular Gastronomy in Tokyo - As good as Spain and Alinea?

thank you, this is very helpful

Apr 06, 2014
wasabica in Japan

Molecular Gastronomy in Tokyo - As good as Spain and Alinea?

Sadly, I will be there in May, too soon. :(

Apr 05, 2014
wasabica in Japan

Molecular Gastronomy in Tokyo - As good as Spain and Alinea?

I already have a reservation for takazawa, I agree that one looked great. I apologize, I should have mentioned that. I take your answer to be skip the other two?

Apr 05, 2014
wasabica in Japan

Molecular Gastronomy in Tokyo - As good as Spain and Alinea?

I am toying with going to Flatiron and/or Tapas Molecular Bar. But I have been to all the molecular restaurants (41 Grados, Tickets, Arzak, etc in Spain + Alinea and others in the US) and after carefully watching videos and reading reviews I suspect I will be disappointed. The ones in tokyo look overly gimmicky without being as delicious, like Bazaar in Los Angeles or Moto in Chicago. Has anyone been to many of these restaurants to compare?

Apr 04, 2014
wasabica in Japan

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

A true foodie never minds the drive. :) Can you tell me more about what makes them special?

Feb 05, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I think I understand the difference but in hindsight I should have called that out in my question. I appreciate the aging and enjoy the nuance found with kelp or dashi-infused sauces/marinates. I was originally worried about what I believe to be non-edo style sauces/marinades such as drowning in sweet miso glazes or the gari juice that is added to some of the soy seasoning at Zo. (Not to mention the westernized chili oil/teriyaki sauces so prevalent in "high end" sushi bars.) If there is nuance here I am missing I would appreciate any clarification you could offer, thanks

Feb 05, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

sometimes I do enjoy modern - I do not mean to appear inflexible. But, and maybe I need to move this to a new post for further discussion, I find that when the chef has to add strong flavors like hot sauce, eel sauce, heavy mayo, etc. it is because the fish is often (not always!) sub par and requires some flavor boosting to cover up fishiness from age or lack of flavor from being low quality. It is also why good chefs often season the fish for you and do not allow you to drown it in soy sauce and fake wasabi. The fish should speak for itself with subtle flavor enhancements from a light hand. The additions should not drown out the fish flavors

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I haven't been because it is more modern/westernized with ingredients like hot sauce being liberally used.

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

This was over 4 years ago so I have no clear memory. We certainly did not gift him the bottle - we gave him a glass as he used to do for us with stuff from his cellar. Most likely it was very mature and probably had a retail value in the $150+ range. Your question troubles me - are you implying I was supposed to buy admission to have the honor of him serving me? This kind of BS is why I would never go back to the equally ridiculous Totoroku.

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I somehow missed those - thank you very much. I think I agree that I need to try Q. Thanks for the help!!

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I will investigate Kimagure Ike, thanks for the lead

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I replied to a different string - I saw complaints about "marinated fishes" in strong sauces and this scared me off. Would you agree?

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

What did he do that offended you? Was it the plating or the flavors?

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

As I mentioned, we have no problem paying for great sushi. I don't blink at my $700 Shunji charges or similar at other Omakase experiences. We have even racked up $500 charges at Kampai in Westchester and it was well worth it. But the best example of our alienation at Mori was we once ordered Ama Ebi sushi at Mori and were served one lobe of the shrimp - maybe 3-5 mm wide. Besides it being very unsatisfying to eat, it was $9 per piece. I think this was inappropriate.

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

We were all about the Burgundy, brought some, bought his. I am a big collector. No issue with the food, but we had a number of unfortunate incidents. Once we had a res and were seated with the pricey wine and had to wait well over an hour to get food because they were wrapping many tiny gifts for some favorite patrons. Another time we were grossly overcharged to the point of absurdity. We took the hint and never went back.

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I looked at reviews for Q - many complaints of "marinated fish" in strong sauces. Sounds like it is more modern than traditional. Would you agree?

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

Edo-Style Sushi in LA- Who's the best right now (controversial)

I have been trolling chowhound and other sites looking for a new Edo-style sushi place to try for hubby's birthday. We want to be able to try as much unique/exotic fish as possible, and the rice must be considered very high quality. It is on a Sunday so Nozawa in BH is out. We don't mind spending $$$ but it has to be worth it.We are regulars at Shunji but he does not want Kaiseki this time. Urasawa is technically Kaiseki and we don't want to spend quite that much. I don't like Sushi Zo because he puts ginger in the seasoning for many of the fish. We do not like the fusion places like Matsuhisa/Nobu etc. We tried Katsuya and Sasabune et al and have concluded they are Hollywood/westernized places and not to be taken seriously. I think it is gone but for reference hated R-23 as well. Mori is off the list with all the changes. Places like Kiriko & sushi sushi are fine but I don't find them special or worth it. We used to go to Shibucho but had some problems with Shige so we won't go back. Not interested in Nishimora, heard too many bad things about his pricing. As Torrance ex-pats, love Nozomi but looking to try a new place. Toying with Sushi Gen or Kiyokawa.I think Kiyokawa is Kaiseki but they seem to have a lot more sushi in the Omakase vs Shunji so that might be ok. I am also open to Orange County. Thoughts?

Feb 04, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

For Tonight: Who has the best Kitfo (Ethiopian-Spiced Raw Beef) in the LA/OC area?

yes - palm grove. We went back to Ibex, and it was the best yet.

Jan 19, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

For Tonight: Who has the best Kitfo (Ethiopian-Spiced Raw Beef) in the LA/OC area?

no, I have not been to Messob! That is now on the short list, thanks

Jan 18, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

For Tonight: Who has the best Kitfo (Ethiopian-Spiced Raw Beef) in the LA/OC area?

Thanks for replying CineFoodie! I have been to both of those restaurants and I think the Kitfo at both Rosalinds and Ibex is better. I also forgot to mention Palms. That might be the best of the three but it closes very early.

Jan 18, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

For Tonight: Who has the best Kitfo (Ethiopian-Spiced Raw Beef) in the LA/OC area?

Craving really good spicy, flavorful kitfo. My current favorite places to get it are Rosalind's and Ibex but I would like to try another restaurant. As a point of comparison, I do not like Meals by Genet as I think they dumb down their spice profile for Americans. (Note I do not mean heat - you can get hot food there, it just lacks the subtle flavors vs other restaurants in Little Ethiopia on Fairfax.) I have never been to any of the Ethiopian restaurants in Anaheim: have car will travel if the hounds recommend it.

Jan 18, 2014
wasabica in Los Angeles Area
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Answering The Age Old Question Of Whether It's Worth The Drive From The San Gabriel Valley to Eat at ROC Dumpling

Roc is very good mostly because you get to not drive to SGV. The wait sucks, it is very uncomfortable, the tables are piled on top of each other, and it is more expensive than the equivalent places in SGV. That said, the ingredients are higher quality and they use more organic product. (And less salt and no MSG which IMHO to me makes them better with more flavor subtlety, not bland!) But from what I have seen of authentic Asian food fans on these boards, this kind of thing often does not play into decision making. My answer is no, if SGV is more convenient then don't bother.

Dec 03, 2012
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

humanely raised pork

Jimenez farms at the sunday mar vista and plenty of other farmer's markets

Oct 31, 2012
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

20th Wedding Anniversary - Need recs for something truly special.

Thanks but I have never found Valentino to be as good as Capo.

May 11, 2012
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

20th Wedding Anniversary - Need recs for something truly special.

too far, we want to stay local. But noted for our next trip to wine country, thanks

May 09, 2012
wasabica in Los Angeles Area

20th Wedding Anniversary - Need recs for something truly special.

Looking for a top-tier restaurant, but thanks. And we will hire a driver :)

May 09, 2012
wasabica in Los Angeles Area