Location: 12217 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 201. Los Angeles, CA 90025. (310) 820-9787
Date: October 27, 2011
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi
Rating: Very good warm-rice style sushi
Back when my office was at the Watergarden in Santa Monica Echigo was one of my regular lunch haunts. The chef studied under Nozawa and is stylistically related to nearby Sasabune. They both follow the “warm rice” school of sushi (which I believe originates in Osaka prefecture. The rice is warmer and less sticky than Tokyo-style sushi. It tastes really good this way, but has some tendency to fall apart on the way to the mouth.
The lunch menu has two choices, the lunch special for $14 and the omakase. Below is the union (both) of each. The lunch special is by far the best deal (6-7 years ago it was even $9!).
Fresh ground wasabi and pickled ginger. These photos were taken on the iPhone 4S which does pretty well in good light. A few missed photos were purloined from the web.
Skipjack tuna with a bit of sauce.
Halibut, which itself doesn’t have much flavor, but the vinegary sauce does.
Salmon with a bit of kelp and sesame.
Kanpachi (young yellowtail). With a bright vinegary sauce.
Butterfish. This is an Echigo specialty. A firm fish with miso based sauce.
And the now classic Nozawa blue crab hand roll (I ate two and could have had more).
Echigo is a hair below a few of the very top lunch LA sushi places (Sushi Sushi, Mori, Go, Kiriko etc), but it offers pretty good relative value, and on the absolute scale top sushi, far above the generic touristy sushi joint. Getting the Omakase at dinner at the sushi bar is an even higher caliber experience.
For more LA area sushi, see here.