Monday, June 7, 2010

King of Sushi

Beautifully plated engawa: halibut fin with ginger, scallions and ponzu
Saturday night, we paid a visit to our go-to sushi place, Sushi King, on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.  We always arrive a few minutes before opening so that we can sit at the sushi bar in front of Saito-san, our favorite sushi chef in the city.  His seats are the first seats towards the left as you walk in.  Saito-san is not only an expert at cutting the fish precisely and beautifully (as opposed to the hacked up fish at Hide), but he is such a nice guy, unlike some of the sushi chefs with attitude (see: Sushi Zo and Sushi Sushi).  It just makes for so much more of a pleasant meal if you can engage the chef in conversation as opposed to sitting on pins and needles, afraid that you might somehow offend the chef.  The sushi on Saturday night was outstanding; very very fresh and so delicious.  Not only do they have great pieces of fish, they also are generous with their slices and their prices are very reasonable.  It's not fancy or trendy and offers traditional, straight-forward nigiri and sashimi; no funny sauces or accompaniments.  We ordered all of our usual sushi: a wonderful hamachi (yellowtail), which I forgot to take a picture of, engawa, pictured up top, a sashimi salad with assorted fish including, but not limited to: hamachi, salmon, tuna, red snapper, clam, shrimp with daikon sprouts, gobo, takuan and ponzu dressing:
 Uni (sea urchin): poor iphone photo, switched to DSLR after this)
Beautifully marbled but not stringy toro (fatty tuna)
Very sweet and fresh amaebi (sweet shrimp); I like to eat it with a little piece of ginger on top
Instead of deep-frying the amaebi heads, Sushi King gives the option of an amaebi head miso soup which is flavorful and satisfying
Last course: tamago (egg) and takuan (pickled radish) to help cleanse the palate
Sushi King
1330 Wilshire Blvd

Santa Monica, CA  90403
(310) 395-0120

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