The beauty of living in LA/Southern California is that you're never farther than 20 minutes from a decent sushi restaurant. Gen, R23, Zo, Toshi, Urasawa, Nozawa, SugarFish, Mori, Kiyokawa, Kawa, Kiriko, Famima, Ralphs, Gelsons, the list NEVER ends. There is just no shortage of sushi in this city. It's a good thing for us sushi lovers as there are options galore when you have sushi on the brain.
While I don't find myself in the South Bay often, I was impressed enough with Nozomi Sushi that I would definitely take another drive down to experience the omakase there.
Not to mention, Chef Yasu is one funny guy, so make sure you try to get a seat with him when you are at Nozomi.
But enough of the chatter, really what you want to see is the food, and without further ado, a journey through Nozomi Sushi's omakase.
Dinner was kicked off with a cracker topped with uni, marinated squid and cream cheese. At first, I thought, cream cheese?!?! But yes, it was a rich and savory way to start off the evening.
The standard sunomono to cleanse the palate and soul for the onslaught that was about to begin.
The alfonsino is an ugly fish (based on what I saw on wiki). It's better known as red bream or Tasmanian snapper. It was a tasty fish and something I've never had before. The grated yuzu on top was the perfect complement.
The black sea breem was topped with a very interesting ponzu jelly that Chef Yasu carefully cut and formed. The level of intricacy and detail to each dish was amazing.
This red snapper was topped with a sesame soy sauce.
The hiramasa was brushed with soy sauce.
We take this quick commercial break to introduce you to Sapporo. Sapporo, it's Japanese for sharing...and getting your ass drunk since 1876.
Sorry about that, let's get back to the omakase.
We took a short break from the sushi extravaganza and the kitchen brought out these tasty plates of calamari. I can't remember what the green stuff was, but it provided a nice tart flavor to the calamari. I'm a sucker for anything tart and vinegary.
It's always exciting when the chef breaks out the torch. You know something is about to get seared/burned/fried.
I never had barracuda before. I kicked this barracuda's butt. Does a barracuda even have a butt? The barracuda was topped with yamaimo, which is a Japanese mountain yam. Supposedly it's an aphrodisiac. I requested a second serving.
We had a healthy debate about this shrimp since we misunderstood the chef and thought the shrimp came from the Dead Sea instead of the Red Sea. See what happens when you let Sapporo sponsor your dinner? (Note: Sapporo didn't sponsor jack ish...)
The orange clam was really good and didn't have the texture that you expect to get from a clam.
With all the unique cuts of fish we were experiencing, could I dare say that this was kind of...boring? The white thin kelp was a nice addition and reminded me of Shibuya's toro in Calabasas, CA.
Hamachi. Yum. No other words necessary.
This tuna was marinated in soy sauce which added a layer of flavor to it. Very interesting.
Toro. Sushi for the Gods. Need I say more? Melt in your mouth good.
What's under the hood?
Eggy goodness. A nice break from the sushi.
The Santa Barbara uni was rich and flavorful.
Rich and flavorful in a different way, I ate cod milt. I'll give you 30 seconds to google cod milt. Yes I ate it. Tasted kind of like monkfish liver.
The ikura had a ton of flavor. Dos Huevos senor!
Our last course was the anago with lemon zest. Topped with a little teriyaki sauce, this was a nice warm treat to end the meal.
Don't piss off the chef or he might just shank ya.
Nozomi stood out it with its eclectic selection of fish, attention to detail and delicate handiwork. It was an an excellent time, and I can't wait to go back.