Mind-Blowing Sushi at Shunji’s

More and more hounds have been pouring into the newly opened Shunji's and loving it. ANori's mind was blown from the start, when an order of sushi omakase started with a magical plate: "I literally couldn't believe what it looked like. It was a beautiful collection of vegetables and roots (lotus, of course, squash, kabocha pumpkin, mini-turnip, what used to be a carrot carved into a flower, a burdock root in which small matchsticks of celery were residing....). I mean REALLY beautiful." Each vegetable had been poached in a completely different broth, for maximum vegetal uniqueness. "On the other side of the plate was a small glass (almost like a shot glass) filled with a taro/potato soup in which the chef had dropped small, just-seared scallops!!"

The best thing that night was tomato agedashi tofu. "I couldn't believe how flavorful and delicious and creamy and interesting it was!" says ANori. Another highlight: Japanese conch. It came out as a conch shell wedged into a mound of salt. "Underneath the lip of the shell were three small hot pink rocks - on fire!!" says ANori. And inside was an incredible soup: conch and mushrooms, just perfect. "As the plate was set down, the soup slowly began to boil in the shell. The presentation and the quality taste of the broth - okay, I was just beginning to understand that I am definitively NOT in just a sushi restaurant."

The sushi is quite good, but not exceptional against the background of LA's sushi extravaganza. The truly amazing things here are the creative little small plates. Like: "squid sliced into 'somen' noodles and hung over a toothpick over a flavorful broth? Really?" says ANori. "Shunji's passion and dedication are inspiring." Warning: Many of the best dishes you can't really guess at from the menu, which makes Shunji's look like a normal sushi restaurant. You can order these little dishes separately, but really, you probably just want to go omakase.

Shunji's [Mid-City]
7015 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
323-933-6500

Discuss: First Review: SHUNJI'S (with photos)

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