2006 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Dining date: 9/20/15
Sushi Tsujita opened about a year ago and was the third LA restaurant from the Tsujita group. The first two restaurants are popular noodle bars; I’ve been a huge fan of the tsukemen they serve (even trying it in Tokyo a few years back). However, this restaurant is something a little different – a refined sushi bar. Reviews of the restaurant have been strong thus far, so a visit was in order.
The dinner menu is omakase-only at three levels: $120, $150, and $180. We went right in the middle. While sushi made up the bulk of the menu, there were a scattering of small, plated dishes throughout.
Deep Fried Sand Fish
We began with this delicately fried piece of fish with a wonderfully crispy skin and mild fish flavor.
Japanese Mackerel with Ponzu and Mountain Yam
The mackerel had a subtle smokiness and was tender with a silky yam mixture and nice ponzu.
Golden Eye Snapper (meichi)
Our first piece of sushi was this snapper, clean with a subtly sweet flavor.
Bonito Broth with Mozuku, Egg and Ginger
A hearty warm broth of seaweed and egg. Slightly smoky and very savory; it was very comforting.
Sashimi Plate flounder (mako karei), scallop (tairagi), grouper (ara), mackerel (saba), blue sea bream (aodai)
A sampling of sashimi was the next course. All varieties were good with my favorite being the grilled grouper.
Grilled Spanish Mackerel (sawara)
Grilled king mackerel was moist with plenty of flavor. A squeeze of lime provided the perfect bright acidity to complement.
Fried Sweetfish (ayu)
The fried ayu might have been a touch overcooked but also had good flavor.
An assortment of sushi came next, one-by-one.
Eyeline Snapper (meichi)
Spanish Mackerel (aji)
Sea Bream (tai)
Fatty Tuna (otoro)
Sea Urchin with Salmon Eggs (uni with ikura)
Gizzard Shad (kohada)
Sea Eel (anago)
The highlight for me had to be the duo of tuna from Boston, especially the rich otoro. The uni with ikura and sea eel were also memorable. However, we had an issue with the kohada. While 3 of the 4 pieces showed off the fish’s oily, full flavor, one piece of sushi still had a few bones hidden inside. I don’t often find bones inside sushi (except small, edible ones in something like eel), so was surprised to find it here. The chef commented that it’s typical for kohada to have bones and they’re okay to eat. I know I’m not nearly as experienced or knowledgeable as the sushi chef, but I’ve never found bones in this fish once prepared for sushi/sashimi. And these bones definitely weren’t something I’d purposefully swallow. I understand bones are found in even the most refined preparations of fish–it happens. But I felt a little bit like the chef wasn’t completely forthcoming on this one; I wish they would have just remade that piece. Unfortunately, this is the lasting impression from an otherwise rather strong meal.