Thursday, November 13, 2008

Extravagant Lunch Omakase at Sushi Mori

Sushi omakase for lunch on a weekday. I probably shouldn't have done it - such an indulgence for a weekday lunch, don't you think? But too late now. I was meeting a good friend, Kat, and her sister who was coming straight from LAX that day and we decided to try out Sushi Mori.

Mori was marked with a fish sign on a small street corner of Pico and I had to loop around until I was kinda sure that was the right place. On a weekday lunch time they're fairly empty. I sat at the sushi bar and ordered omakase - but told the sushi chef (not Mori) that we would like mostly sushi - maybe just one kaiseki.

He started us off with some tofu and tomatoes in vinaigrette.A nice, light way to start off. The tofu was smooth and silky and the tomatoes were fresh and flavorful.

We had some soup with seafood
Pretty standard, too much soup for one person, in my opinion, and were antsy for the sushi, so we didn't finish this. I had this at Sasabune also and was never very keen about it. The one at Mori is better, but either way, I want to hurry and eat my sushi.

We also had a nice little platter with eggplants, beets, and a caviar gelee.
The eggplant with miso (yellow) was great, and the beets were flavorful. Everything was well prepared and we had a good variety of cooked appetizers this way.

We started with some red snapper marinated in seaweed
Really fresh, the subtle taste from the seaweed is amazing. Great first impression!

We then had some big eye toro
Again, very fresh. The big eye toro had a very smooth texture but it's not as oily and fatty. I personally prefer the fattier one but for those more health-conscious you might like this leaner big eye toro :P

Next is an interesting one I haven't had before: wild eel tail
So far I've only had unagi or anago, cooked with eel sauce, so this is new to me. A little fishy and chewy, but it has a nice flavor and texture.

Also had some japanese mackerel
Next is fresh octopus with yuzu chili
I was quite impressed by this one. I normally don't like octopus that much, but this one was delicious. Nice crunchy texture.

We also finally got some bluefin toro.
I think all three of us agreed that we like the bluefin better - it's oilier than the big eye, but hey, we're eating toro here, of course we want oil and fat :P
It's definitely very fresh, but it's not the best toro ever as far as the texture and taste though - although this preference of mine can't be very healthy for me ...

Another interesting piece we had that day was this baby barracuda:
It was seared and had a very nice seared flavor. The fish itself is a little fishy but it's very2 tender. First time I had this as sushi and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I finished the meal with some spanish mackerel
Again, very fresh fish, but the flavors are pretty subtle.

My friend and her sister had another dish, mirugai with yuzu chili
Didn't taste this so I won't say anything.

They served us some fresh fruits with azuki paste for dessert
Great fruits, although the mangoes weren't particularly ripe (then again I always compare mangoes to the South Asian mangoes, so ... ). Loved the azuki paste, a nice simple ending to the meal.

After tax and tips I came out of there for $102. Kind of a lot for a quickie lunch (less than 1 hour)! The sushi was definitely very fresh, no doubt about that, but it's definitely pricey. I think Sushi Zo is on par with Mori and for a bit cheaper, so I would be coming back to Zo more than Mori. That said, there's no denying the quality of fish at Mori. I don't think I can justify another $100 lunch anytime soon, but I'll come back one of these days!

Sushi Mori
11500 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064-1520
Phone: (310) 479-3939

Mori Sushi on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

amanda

Mori actually calls the first dish you had (tomatoes and tofu) tofu caprese; he adds balsamic vinegar and oil to the tofu and tomatoes. It looks like there's also a piece of tuna in there... so delicious! It's one of my favorite things there.

TonyC

hm... $100 for that particular omakase seems a bit.. exorbitant?

that's always the problem with sushi joints you don't often frequent; omakase pricing can really bite you in the butt. looks great tho!

kevinEats

I'm a bit surprised that they let you take photos. I was denied my last time there, which left a bad taste in my mouth and kept me away.

burumun

Kevin : Maybe it's because Mori isn't there?

TonyC: Apparently someone else had a $110 meal that seems so much better than mine. I think next time I'll skip all the kaiseki ... they seem to really bump up the price.
Except for that tofu caprese - that was great :)

kevinEats

Perhaps, though it wasn't Mori that chided us, but the hostess.

Maybe I should give the place another shot, as the food itself was pretty solid.

Aaron

I heard that Mori crafts his own plates--that's how much care he puts into his art. I wonder if he grows his own rice too

Kat

I was there with you ^_^ I have been very lazy in posting about it too. The people were actually pretty nice but the food was disappointing. =*( It was expensive and they kind of messed up with the billing for my sister and I after you left.

She is still mad about it when I talk about it. I think Sushi Zo is much better for about the same price.

burumun

Kat: "I think Sushi Zo is much better for about the same price."

Really? I still think Zo is cheaper, actually. My meal there for $80 was more satisfying!

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