Sushi Tsujita

The Tsujita ramen shops (Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle and Tsujita Annex) are two of the restaurants that I frequent the most in Los Angeles. So imagine the joy I felt when I saw that the Tsujita team was going to open a new sushi restaurant called Sushi Tsujita on Sawtelle Blvd…I knew I had to try it out, and I was very happy with my experience.

Sushi scale: 5 of 5 stars

Sushi Tsujita was excellent overall. The atmosphere was intimate and relaxed, the sushi chefs were friendly and skilled, and the food was delicious. We went with the $120 per person omakase option because we weren’t incredibly hungry, but there were also $150 and $180 options. The sushi was wonderfully fresh as expected, and I also enjoyed the creativity and interesting use of ingredients in our starter dishes. Below is a recap of our meal:

Chandelier outside of Sushi Tsujita. The environment outside of the restaurant was definitely a step up from most sushi places in LA. The chandelier and orchids were beautiful. Sushi Tsujita would be a great choice for a date night.

IMG_1191Appetizer. Persimmons in tofu paste, oysters and baby abalone, snapper sushi, shrimp cooked in sake, eggplant. The edible popped rice plant was a nice touch on this beautifully arranged plate.

photo 1Soup. Chicken, sea eel, and matsutake mushroom. I was pretty gleeful when I saw that our next course was served in a teapot. We were instructed to pour the soup out of the teapot and into a cup for sipping. The soup was delectable, with strong umami flavors. I fished out tender pieces of chicken, sea eel, and mushroom after finishing the soup.

photo 2After the soup course, we moved on to sushi.

Scallop from Hokkaido with truffle. The scallop was one of the freshest I have had in the US. Plus, you can’t go wrong with truffle.

photo 3Halibut with Japanese lime and rock salt. Although the halibut piece wasn’t my favorite, I enjoyed the pairing with lime and salt.

photo 5Sashimi. Sawara (Spanish mackerel), gizzard shad, and bluefin tuna. Silvery fish (hikari mono) are typically prone to strong, fishy flavors due to the abundance of omega 3 oils found in their flesh, but I didn’t find any unpleasant fishiness in the sawara or gizzard shad.

photo 1Deep fried mochi, crab, rockfish in special sauce. The special sauce was a warm and thick ponzu-flavored one. The crab meat was ultra tender and broke apart easily in the sauce.

photo 2Sea bass. I don’t typically find sea bass on sushi menus, so this piece was a nice surprise.

photo 3Wild yellowtail. I didn’t think there was anything special about the “wild” designation while at the restaurant, but I did a little more research on the subject. Apparently wild yellowtail is extra fatty because the yellowtail (buri) get progressively fatter during their winter migration around the waters of Japan. Hence, the meat is pinker than the yellowtail sushi you may be more familiar with.

photo 4Japanese mackerel cured with salt and vinegar. The Japanese mackerel was delicious and even better than the Spanish mackerel served earlier in our meal.

photo 5Baby abalone from Santa Barbara. After numerous tries, I’ve decided that I am a fan of baby abalone. The slippery, chewy texture of this piece of baby abalone was impressive.

photo 1Salmon roe and uni from Santa Barbara. I enjoyed one half of this rice bowl a lot more than the other half…if you guessed that I favored the uni, then you were right! Ikura is one of my least favorite sushi offerings, and this dish didn’t do anything to change my preference.

photo 2Baby sardines simmered in fresh peppers. I found this dish to be interesting. The baby sardines were bursting with flavor that reminded of fish stock infused with peppers and spices.

photo 3Pike mackerel. This was the third piece of mackerel that was served. It seems like Sushi Tsujita views mackerel as one of its specialties.

photo 4Seared toro from Boston. The toro was seared perfectly, with the right amount of charring.

photo 5Tamago. The tamago was delightfully sweet and spongy.

photo 1Dessert. Melon compote. This fruity dessert was a nice way to end our sushi meal.

photo 2I’m adding Sushi Tsujita to my regular rotation of omakase-style sushi restaurants in LA. The sushi was solid across the board, and the experience was differentiated enough from what other LA sushi restaurants offer to entice me to go back again. The casual, friendly atmosphere was an added bonus. I loved interacting with our sushi chef, who had just moved to California from Osaka. If I had to choose one sushi restaurant for a date night in LA, I would choose Sushi Tsujita based on the overall experience. I would say that Sushi Tsujita compares favorably to Asanebo, Kiyokawa, and Kiriko. I liked both Sushi Zo and Shunji better for the actual sushi, but they can’t compete with the atmosphere at Sushi Tsujita.

Sushi Tsujita, 2006 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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