Rushed to Toshi after reading this LA Time’s blog entry.
Thought to self: possibly the only affordable yet edible sushi in Little Tokyo? You don’t say? Is LA Times on fire? 2 good sushi joints in 2 months? (The last being the restructured Kappo Ishito in Weller’s Court, a yet try for me seeing the full blown omakase is $85/pp, replete with house made ponzu, soy and pickled ginger, see this Metromix blog entry )
Toshi’s bar is only 6 deep, 3 on each side of a 40 degrees angle. The entire house can’t seat more than 30 people and there’s only 1 waiter, 1 itame (the chef/owner himself) and 1 hostess with perhaps 1 more person in the kitchen. It’s a simplistic operation occupying 1 small storefront between Daikokuya and the Japanese American Museum.
Above all became moot when I saw the menu: $35 for omakase with 12 pieces of fish! Sign my ass up!!!
Much like the other famous Seki-san in the LA Sushi Scene (Keizo Seki of Sushi Zo), Toshi Sushi’s Toshihiko Seki believes in the “old school”, which, in this case, means Edo style from “30-40 years ago”. For him, this means no sugar in the sushi rice, less vinegar and more salt in the tighter compact nigiri and more natural cuts of fish that don’t look like perfect rectangles. He even wraps certain fishes in kelp since Saran wasn’t readily available in Japan back then. This all suits me perfectly.
End result: sunomono consisting of miso-vinegar paste mixed with yamaimo and various root veggies + tuna, etc. 3 small kaiseki-style appetizer served together including roes, octupus, etc. A huge bowl of manila clams miso soup was followed by a miso black cod (needs more miso and obviously, not made by itame) & 10 piece set which included toro, shima aji, Japanese red snapper, albacore, torch seared kobe!?! etc. (I did ask for more shiromi, but nothing as exotic as engawa, or sanma/aji were served, NEXT time). Topping off the omakase were a few pieces of mochi ice cream and some fruit.
Easily the best bargain in all of Little Tokyo at the moment. Toshi-san is amiable, convivial but respectful of those seeking the higher path in sushi dining.
That bowl of huge chirashi? $21. I know people rave about Sushi Go 55’s bowl, but this far exceeds that proffering in terms of cut and thought.
Love this place.
359 E. 1st Street.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
80% off Savings on Dinner of the Month Club Purchase. Code SURPRISE. Valid only 11/18/08 thru 11/20/08.
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