By now I have made it pretty clear on this blog and in life that I have no need for sushi. Thus, life in Pittsburgh was good because A) there are very few “good” sushi places and B) my wife got deeply pregnant and could not eat it or convince me to eat it. Thusly, her first meal post-child turned out to be sushi at Sushi Fuku.
The first time I laid my eyes on natto was while studying abroad in Japan. To me it was nothing short of disgusting. Fermented soybeans? A raw egg? A simple stir with the chopsticks that made strands that looked like spiderwebs? For breakfast? It was not a pleasant experience, but it was certainly an experience to be remembered.
The Miracle Mile is often considered to be a culinary dead zone. In the beginning of the food truck explosion, the trucks took full advantage of the lack of good food to dish out grub to those hungry workers. So when I was meeting someone for dinner and they suggested Yuko Kitchen in the Miracle Mile, I was a little bit surprised. They knew I had a food blog, right? It turns out that yes, they did and they were more than a little concerned about what might happen after I got my hands…errr…chopsticks…on Yuko Kitchen’s food.
For my first outing to LA Live, my lady and I headed to WP24, a restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton created by that famous chef with a name like a prodigious hockey item, Wolfgang Puck. We were out celebrating, but didn’t call ahead to make plans. This meant we couldn’t get a table, because apparently WP24 has no room for walk-ins, but it also meant we weren’t locked into an $80 or $110 fixed price dinner. Instead, we were offered the lounge, which served sushi and appetizers.
I’ve never understood the point of expensive sushi. When you get down to it, they’re all pretty much using the same ingredients with similar results. So when I ended up grabbing dinner at Hara Sushi in Santa Monica, I was a bit excited. Why? Because their sushi is always half-priced. And, they have a happy hour until 9:30 pm with some pretty cheap beers. So for once in my life, sushi sounded like a good time.
Katana (warning: turn down your speakers because their retarded site automatically plays loud bass) in West Hollywood is about as trendy as you can get for Japanese food. Yet, to my surprise, when I was sent their DineLA Restaurant Week menu for a possible dinner, I saw only one sushi option. With this in mind, I thought that perhaps the $34 fixed price would actually be worth it, so off we went to Katana. Showing up last, I was greeted with a rousing “irasshai” (although I was a bit disappointed they didn’t go for the more formal “irasshaimase”) and found that some chicken gyoza (potstickers) had already been ordered. This struck me as strange since we were about to order a fixed price meal, but I decided to roll with it.
On our way to my Chinese homeland, the girlfriend and I happened to have a layover at the Tokyo-Narita Airport in Japan. This was great for the girlfriend since she loves her sushi and also great for me because I was hoping to find myself some Melon Fanta. Sadly, the Melon Fanta was nowhere to be found, but at least we found some sushi. The little airport restaurant was appropriately named “Sushi” (I thought Japanese people were supposed to be creative) and we took a seat inside.
They say mo’ money, mo’ problems. And by they I mean Puff Daddy and the Family. But for me, MoMo Sushi is less less problems. To start off, MoMo Sushi is anything but trendy. It sits in a tiny little corner strip at La Cienega and Olympic with 3 or 4 other shops and a 7-11. Although the inside is certainly Japanese, it doesn’t have any of that overdone Japanese decorum that makes trendy places look more Japanese than Japan itself. So for a sushi place, MoMo already had me happy before I looked at the menu.
So one night I was told we were going to a cheap sushi place for dinner. Fine. You all know I am not a sushi fan, but if I’m going to eat it, it should at least be cheap. Somehow we wound up at Asakuma Restaurant in Brentwood, which was not cheap at all. This wasn’t the fault of the restaurant, but still I can’t understand why sushi is expensive. I fail to notice a difference between expensive and cheap sushi. In fact, some of the best I’ve ever had was also some of the cheapest I’ve ever had. Wow, do you readers ever get tired of me griping about sushi? No? Good, then read on about some Asakuma.
In yet another night that I was made to eat sushi, I was brought to Yamato Restaurant in Westwood. Catering to the college crowd, their sushi is always half off, which is great, except that it makes you wonder why they wouldn’t simply print prices that are low. Is it some way to confuse people into ordering more or to make them think they are there at a special half off time? Either way, it is weird, but good for the wallet. When I arrived, some food had already been ordered, which was slightly bothersome, but I decided to roll with it (pun!).