Food as Art: R.I.P. The Hump

Restaurant: The Hump

Location: Santa Monica Airport — Now closed!

Date: Dec 5, 2009

Cuisine: Japanese / Sushi


For twelve years the Hump was one of my absolute favorite LA restaurants. It combined cutting edge LA Japanese, unparalleled ingredients, a cool location and great decor. Last year they got shot themselves in the head and served whale meat to some journalists disguised as high rollers and got themselves closed. Personally, I found this very sad. I myself, despite having eaten there 40-50 times and having numerous omakases ever ate anything illegal — as far as I knew. Nor for the record would I ever eat a primate or cetacean.

That being said, I wanted to post the only complete omakase from the Hump that I have photos of. Unfortunately, they aren’t great photos either, some being from my cel phone, but we shall get no more. Typhoon, BTW, which is owned by the same people and located below is still open and is a very good place as well, it’s just a different think, as a bit less elegant than the Hump was.

Uni (Sea Urchin) over Ikura (Salmon Eggs).

Tai (red snapper) and some other sashimi. I loved the sashimi at the hump. One of these has Yuzu, the other radish, and they are dusted with million year old salt.

Soem various cuts of tuna/yellowtail. Ponzu and jalapeno.

Traditional Japanese egg custard. I don’t remember what was in this particular one, often shrimp or mushrooms.

A whole main lobster, converted into various tempura and sashimi. There is also some vegetable tempura, and some endive with some lobster something on it. Oftentimes at the Hump the lobster was so fresh the head squirmed on the plate.

A close up of one of the endive things. Gold foil. I think it was roe.

Various bits of fish, all yummy i’m sure.

The lobster head returns for lobster miso soup.

Sauteed mushrooms.

Kobe beef, cooked at the table.

Some sushi. I was notorious at the Hump when not getting the Omakase for having these Mega large plates of sushi come to the table. The Hump had 3 custom porcelain slabs, about 18 inches by four feet. I’d often have one totally full.

The remains of custom homemade sorbets.

Oh Hump. Why did you have to go over to the dark side. I miss thee.

For more LA area sushi, see here.

3 comments on “Food as Art: R.I.P. The Hump

  1. Quora says:

    What is the best sushi restaurant in Los Angeles, aside from Urasawa which is impractical for regular visits?…

    I only eat sushi on the Westside, as there is so much good fish that it isn’t worth going farther. That being said. At the top: Urwasawa ( and Go Mart Innovative New Sushi (or at least …

  2. […] but it isn’t in the same league as Matsuhisa. Takao (who used to work for Nobu) and the late Hump (memorial REVIEW HERE) are among the few places that have their own totally successful take on the […]

  3. […] is no total “neo new style” joint like Sushi House Unico, but instead, like the late Hump (REVIEW HERE), marries Nobu-style sushi with a more traditional Japanese restaurant format. In fact, in homage […]

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