I've lived in LA, with a couple detours, since 1997, and downtown a non-consecutive year and a half. Yet tonight was the first time I've been to R23. Great discovery. There hasn't been much on this board lately so I especially wanted to report my good experience. There was quite a wait for a seat at the bar but the host checked in several times and I never felt neglected. Wine and sake list is limited and expensive. What they have is pretty good but they could do with a great deal more breadth and depth. I ordered sashimi only, in half portions:
1) endawa, three transparant slices with no membrane, on shiso, with ponzu;
2) tai, a little softer than I am used to and without skin which is a first for me (I don't necessarily like the skin but the absence contributed to the overall impression of mushiness). Touch of green chili. This was probably my least favorite;
3) hirame, excellent. A tiny bay? leaf;
4) albacore, excellent-- not seared as is most albacore around here (I like that too). Shaved daikon.
Finally I had black cod, which was firm, not mushy or fatty as it can be, and not buried in whatever it is they brush on unagi either (I've repressed it). A little salty to my taste. Perfectly cooked, and hot too (important to me). Couple slices of pickled cucumber and also of tamago, which was not rubbery.
Temperatures were all on target.
I've already forgotten my chef's name. Hake? But will return soon.
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