Downtown LA's Sakana Sushi
I can’t believe that in just one month, Chris and I will be devouring soba, sushi, and ramen...in JAPAN! I’ve been growing more and more excited every week with each itinerary addition and restaurant reservation. From the amazing shrines and temples we’ll be marveling over in Kyoto, to the skyscraper studded, brightly lit, and kooky hoods we’ll be walking through in Tokyo, to the insane array of yakitori, tempura, noodles, and sashimi we’ll be noshing on in both cities, this trip is sure to be one for the freaking books!
I’ve been told the sushi in Japan will blow my mind and probably ruin sushi in America for me. I certainly hope this is not the case. Because especially in Los Angeles’ food community, I feel like gastronomic authenticity is law.
Sakana Sushi Lounge in Downtown Los Angeles proved this for me last weekend too. Because while the beautiful and airy lounge-like interior is probably nothing like most sushi restaurants in Japan, the sushi...and Americanized Japanese apps were some of the best I’ve had.
Because I’m a sucker for cold sake, it was only right I start with a glass of the Snow Diamond that was effortlessly aromatic and perfectly sweet with notes of lychee. It was so refreshing in fact, I wound up ordering another glass.
I'm aware that this is is absolutely Americanized fare, but Chris and I still felt compelled to order the Crispy Tuna starter. And surprisingly, even through the delicious crispy batter, I could taste and enjoy the very fresh tuna inside. Adorned with micro cilantro and a glorious eel sauce and Japanese aioli, it was a rich beginning to a fantastic meal.
As for the heavenly sushi, we chose the Yellowtail Belly Sashimi. Gorgeously plated, this fish was also crazy fresh and almost like butter in bite. Chris and I had to fight over the last piece.
We also ordered the Toro (fatty tuna), Halibut, and Seared Albacore. And while the halibut was impeccably light and fresh and the seared albacore delightfully rich, it was that oh-so decadent Toro topped with gold flake that was the real star of this sushi show. Next time I’ll be sure to order more of that.
So when in America, do as the Americans do? Yeah, that’s not a saying...but it justifies our decision to order a fancy and fun specialty roll. The Hot Night was one hell of a savory finale too. Loaded with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, crab meat, cucumber, and avocado, this picture-perfect roll was also topped with crunchy crispy tempura flakes - making an irresistible combo that I’d definitely order again.
Since Chris and I both have a bit of a sweet tooth problem, we felt compelled to order a dessert. The Kasutera was absolutely worth it too. Japanese sponge cake, vanilla ice cream rose crystal, and roasted grain powder...a mouthful and also an incredible way to complete the feast.
Just a few blocks from Grand Central Market, Sakana Sushi Lounge is located in the heart of downtown LA, and boasts a sexy ambiance and sushi that just about any aficionado can get behind.