Takao Top Omakase

Restaurant: Takao [123, 4, 5]

Location: 11656 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049. (310) 207-8636

Date: October 16, 2011

Cuisine: Japanese / Sushi

Rating: 9/10 creative “new style” sushi

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I’ve already covered Takao in some detail HERE and then separately herehere and here. The full menu and some information on the history of the place can be found through the first link. This particular meal covers a full $120 Omakase, which actually is a very good value compared to ordering ala carte.


We started off with a lovely “shaved rice” style cold sake. I’ve become increasingly fond of this old-school premium form of sake.


Ankimo (Monk Fish Liver) with ponzu, scallions, and slightly spiced daikkon radish. An excellent example of this classic dish.


White fish with a bit of micro greens, citrus zest, and red peppercorns. A very light and delicious “sashimi salad.”


Toro tartar with caviar. A takao (and Nobu) classic.


Baracuda with ginger, scallions, in a light ponzu. This is not normally my favorite fish, but this preparation was very nice, with a light hint of char on the partially cooked fish.


Grilled Alaskan king crab legs. A sprig of pickled ginger. Very fresh and not frozen tasting, but the sweet vinegar sauce (in the back) totally made the dish.


A classic Japanese style unami flavor. A autumn broth of three kinds of mushrooms and some kind of light fish. The two sauces were a sour plum sauce (I think traditional with this fish) and a really tasty vinegary ponzu.


Sweet Santa Barabara prawn and asparagus tempura. The batter had little crispy riceballs in it which gave the whole thing a different texture. Plus there was both curry salt and sea salt and the traditional tempura sauce for dipping.


Salmon slices, marinated in a miso broth, served sizzling hot in this cast iron pan. You could cook as little or much as you liked. The sweet miso sauce was very tasty too.


A sushi flight. Starting at the left: red snapper, gizzard shad, blue fin tuna, toro, and in front, Santa Barbara uni (sea urchin).


Clam miso. Like regular miso, but with an extra hint of brine.


And for dessert, green tea creme brule with strawberries. It’s very green, with a fairly intense creamy tea flavor.

This was probably my best official omakase at Takao yet (and it’s always good). A very nice meal.

Check out other Takao reviews:  [1234, 5]

For more LA area sushi, see here.

Go Sushi Goes To Lunch

Restaurant: Go’s Mart [1, 2]

Location: 22330 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303  818.704.1459

Date: October 11, 2011

Cuisine: Japanese Sushi

Rating: Possibly LA’s best sushi!

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This is my second visit to the unassuming Canoga Park sushi temple that is Go’s Mart. You can check out the Foodie Club mega tasting meal I had previously. This time I just dropped by for lunch and had a more “modest” little lunch omakase.


The plate of ginger and wasabi gets the saliva flowing.


Marinated toro collar. In some ways like a really nice marinated tuna fish.


Homemade Ikura (salmon roe). As good as that gets.


Go has the interesting format of serving fish in related flights. This is a foursome of whitefish. All are prepared with variations of wasabi, rock salt, truffle oil, and kelp. Some also have shiso and or yuzu pepper. All four are fairly similar with a nice light bright flavor.


Kue I think, which is a kind of grouper.


John Dory.


Red snapper.


Kelp bass.


Sweet shrimp roe marinated in a mirin (rice wine) based sauce.


It looked pretty cool even after I got most of them out.


A flight of shellfish. Dusted with hibiscus salt.


Japanese snow crab with gold.


Some very fine Alaskan king crab.


Japanese scallop. Yum.


And sweet shrimp (body) with caviar.


The heads came back to us fried. Which are also great.


We ate everything but the eyeballs and beaks.


A flight of tunas.


Blue fin tuna with garlic chip.


Albacore tuna with garlic.


Chu-toro (medium tuna belly) with radish and caviar.


O-toro (extra fatty toro), seared, with gold and a slightly sweet sauce.


A tro of squirmies.


Live octopus, cooked. It was alive a few minutes before we ate it. This was good, but I probably prefer it less cooked.


Fresh abalone. As good as the chewy creature gets.


Baby squid, with a bit of squid guts. Very soft for squid.


Both kinds of eel, sea and freshwater.


The sea eel, with kelp.


And the river eel.


Two kinds of halibut. Both with hibiscus salt, micro greens, and yuzu pepper.


Kelp halibut.


Halibut fluke.


A blue crab handroll with a bit of truffle oil.


Go finishes up with a bit of fruit drizzled in sweetened condensed milk. Very nice finisher. There are rasberries, figs, melon, golden-berries, mulberries and blueberries.

Go-san continues to impress with some really scrumptious sushi. He has his own take on the art and not only is the fish impeccable but the flavor combos very refined and interesting. Given the ultra high end nature of the food (and standard sushi pricing), it isn’t even that badly priced either. Much more reasonable than Mori Sushi for example. Go to it!

For more LA Sushi, click here.