Sushi on Sunset is the rare Sunset Strip restaurant that takes food seriously.
Restaurants along L.A.’s glamorous Sunset Strip tend to always stay hip–with that exact theme–all glamour but no individuality, emphasis on the current vogue rather than that distinct, delicious bite.
Such was the misconception with Sushi on Sunset. I would always pass by its neo-modern facade on my way to local punk shows but would not think much of it, until now. Before my media dinner invite, I never would of thought the restaurant would be a platform for so much fish creativity other than the usual ‘fill-in-the-crazy-word roll. I must admit, I was still doubtful upon walking around the restaurant and watching oblong plates of rolls on every table. I learned that the place was recently revamped with a more serious approach to food thanks to Master Sushi Chef Tetsuro Ahn. Upon swooning lightly on the first dish, the goal was notably conquered.
Albacore Tataki was the epitome of the cooking method known as searing, with the well-seasoned, barely-kissed exterior not intruding with soft, raw flesh within. Fried Gobo root and garlic chips–amongst the raw vegetable slaw and umami intensive sauce garnishing it–had me dumbfounded with so many textures of raw and rich, keeping true with old roots and new trends; such a plentiful but masterful preparation.
I’m not usually a sucker for Anglo-Asian, gimmicky sounding dishes, but was surprisingly sucker punched by Firecracker Chicken. There was dubious chicken breast (not dark?) and an Orange Chicken look; I still have not learned to not judge a book by its cover. The chicken had succulent juices and a titillating kick in that chili caramel glaze. I told myself only one. Four pieces later…my willpower is another quality of mine I need to work on.
‘Matsuri’ in Japanese translates to “festival”. So, as the next oblong plate landed and the waitress murmured “chef’s matsuri”, I knew I was in for a treat. Tonight, Spicy Toro with Wonton Chips, Blue crab, Avocado & eel in oyster shell, Salmon, Crab & Shrimp with shiso leaf in a Radish Wrap and Tuna, Shrimp, Octopus, Seaweed & green onion with Nuta Sauce (ranked according to my favor) were the flavors of honor.
Drinks here are also taken seriously, opting for a perfectly brewed Sencha Green Tea (usually around four minutes). These tea leaves are dried, steamed and then pan roasted, which can indefinitely result in bitter, overly strong tea. Here, as smooth as a sushi chef’s [Santoku] knife.
As many cultures know already, flawless tea cannot go without exceptional sweets. Curious “Chinese Churros” with a Nutella Chocolate Sauce remained true to its naming, innards having the texture of typical Chinese breakfast donuts known as “cruellers” and delivering that rich, granulated satisfaction.
Apple pie is adorned with a five-spice caramel sauce and green tea ice cream, then shattered with an extra buttery phyllo pastry, odd, but worked. And of course, there has to be something chocolate, so, there is just that “Something Chocolate”: flourless soufflé oozing with molten you-know-what.
Sushi on Sunset just introduced a four-course “Recession Proof Sushi” prix fixe menu for $29, which is a good way to sample a lot of the prior items.
Hence, the new Sushi on Sunset hopefully has started new food Coup d’état on Sunset Blvd, onwards!
Javier Cabral has a website of his own at The Glutster