Food as Art – Sushi Sushi

Restaurant: Sushi Sushi [1, 2, 3, 4]

Location: 326 1/2 Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90212. (310) 277-1165

Date: February 11, 2011

Cuisine: Japanese Sushi

Rating: Old school sushi – fantastic fish and presentation!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Last week I ate at this new (to me) sushi place in Beverly Hills, the redundantly named, “Sushi Sushi.” It was great but I didn’t have my camera. So with a bit of arm twisting — not — I convinced my brother to head back for a repeat.

The storefront, on Beverly Dr just south of Wilshire.

A small subset of the sushi bar. “Sushi sushi” is a pretty old-school looking Japanese place inside. Small room, small tables, and a sushi bar of about 12-15 seats. We decided to get the middle Omakase and let the chef work his magic.

He started out with this sashimi plate!

Ankimo (monkfish liver), with scallions and pickles in a ponzu. Perfectly fresh, with that rich creamy texture that it’s supposed to have, a hint of grainy, a hint of fishy,  but very mild (no such thing as monkfish liver with NO taste of the sea — what would be the point of that?)

Perfect Santa Barbara Uni (sea urchin) on a bed of soft Ika (squid). A bit of wasabi mixed with something, and some sauce (had a little citrus in it I think). Both fishes are sweet, with the uni being delectably so. The squid was very soft with that slightly pasty texture squid is supposed to have. While this is not a dish for the land-lubber, it was awesome!

Fresh raw Hama oysters, with a bit of soy vinaigrette. Yum too.

My brother isn’t so into the Uni, so he got sweet shrimp instead.

Blue fin tuna. The chef here “pre-sauces” the fish, so no soy sauce is needed. In this case it’s already been put on. I had this done a number of times in Japan, and at high end places here like Urwasawa (HERE FOR REVIEW). The tuna melted in the mouth. Sushi Sushi uses big pieces of fish and a small ball of rice too. The rice is traditional, not the warm rice favored by Sasabune (HERE FOR REVIEW).

Tai (Red Snapper), with a slightly citrusy sauce. This is a lighter fish, but I’m very partial to it.

After this we had another course pairing a piece of Chu-toro (medium grade fatty tuna belly) and a piece of Kampachi (young yellowtail). Tragically, somehow I forgot to photograph it. /cry /cry

The toro was soft and delicious, the kampachi firmer, but also very tasty, just not nearly as rich.

The chu-toro was just a warmup for this o-toro, the even more fatty toro. It melted in the mouse like butter. Always one of my (and everyone else’s) favorites.

Then there was a piece of scottish salmon which I also missed a photo of. Maybe I’m going crazy, maybe it was just the hangover from Saam the night before, I don’t know. In any case it was one of the best pieces of salmon I’ve ever had.

And another missed one, aji (Spanish Mackerel), with only the very slightest bit of fishy. Again, a great mackerel.

And a fourth miss. Kohada (Japanese Herring) I swear I photoed these, but they’re not on my camera. This was great herring, but is certainly a bit fishy — herring always is.

Saba mackerel, not as good as the Spanish one, but nothing to mock either.

Another sashimi course. Sweet shrimp, Japanese scallop, giant clam, and taco (octopus). Are were prefect examples of the breed, and doused with a little bit of yuzu (just the fruit, not with the pepper) to test them up.


My brother got albacore.

Kampachi cheek. This was marinated in one of those sweet broths I would frequently get in Japan. There was a bit of bone but the meat was incredibly soft (consistency like tuna fish?) and delectable. I really enjoyed the heavily marinated root vegetable. I don’t remember what these are, but I’d get them in Japan all the time.

Asari miso (clam broth miso soup). This is a very light miso, with a clam brothy quality. Not too salty, very nice.

They say you should judge a sushi chef by his tamago (sweet omelet). By those standards Sushi Sushi rules.

Ikura (salmon roe). Perfectly fresh, with just the slightest hint of brine (good). Wonderfully taught, they explode in the mouth like little brine balls.

Uni (sea urchin) sushi. I can’t get enough of this. It amazes me to think that even just a couple years ago (bear in mind that I have been eating sushi since 1978) I didn’t like the stuff.

Seared Japanese scallop.

Diced Toro handroll. This had yellow pickles and shiso leaf inside, which added texture and the exotic and wonderful flavor of the leaf.

Unagi (Fresh water eel). BBQ, with the sweet eel sauce. This was some damn fine eel, as good a piece as I’ve had.

Our chef. I think he’s been working the knives for a while.

The omakase included dessert, this concoction of fruit, green tea ice cream, green tea panna cotta, sweet bean sauce, and whipped cream. Oh yes, and with a “mens pocky” as garnish and corn flakes underneath. Pretty good, and all Japanese.

Sushi sushi is a new favorite place of mine. This place is GOOD! Not only because the fish is totally delectable, but because it offers that relative rarity now in LA, the “traditional sushi bar.” I like the warm rice Nozawa/Sasabune school and the modern Nobu school, but there is something satisfying about the original.

A second and third  Sushi Sushi meal review can be found HERE and HERE.

Or for the LA sushi index, HERE.

10 comments on “Food as Art – Sushi Sushi

  1. Karina Mirkin says:

    Thank you Andy! I love reading your reviews and photos! If I ever want an opinion about a restaurant, your website is the first one I search! I was wondering if you have been at Sugar Fish in Brentwood and what are your thoughts of the restaurant. Best, K

    • agavin says:

      I’ve eaten once at SugarFish. It kinda offends me as there are no sushi chefs. The fish is decent, but they cut it off premises at a central location for the chain. They also have a very small selection, mostly fairly common fish like salmon, tuna, yellowtail etc. So it’s boring 🙂 Sasabune and Echigo are in the same style, and while they do some precutting, it is at least made in front of you.

      KevinEats has a review here:
      http://www.kevineats.com/2010/11/sugarfish-los-angeles-ca.html

      • kevinEats says:

        Note that the above post doesn’t concern the Brentwood location, but the new DTLA outpost, which seems to be the strongest of the bunch.

        In any case, I’ve been somewhat curious about Sushi Sushi for a while. Stupid name, but very solid sushi it appears.

      • agavin says:

        I tried the Marina one myself when it first opened, as Brentwood hadn’t yet. I found it lame. Getting a plate of tuna, yellowtail, salmon etc for like $28. The fish was good, but the whole no choice/no sushi chef put me off. And I loved Nozawa. In the 1994-98 time frame I had an office on Universal’s lot and ate before the master at least once a month. I haven’t been back in a long time, but certainly it was A++ at the time. But Nozawa and SugarFish are not the same animal by any means.

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