Tsujita, renowned for its mastery of Japanese noodles, continues its expansion on Sawtelle with the grand opening of its latest venture, Sushi Tsujita.
Wait, what? Did you say sushi? No noodles? Yep that’s right – No noodles. Sushi Tsujita aims to offer a refined sushi omakase dining experience, with a light emphasis on Edomae techniques.
RESERVATIONS: Not too difficult, as far as I know. I had no trouble getting a seat on a Friday night at the sushi bar. We shall see if this remains the case in the next few months.
PARKING: The usual Sawtelle craziness. But the complex which houses Sushi Tsujita does offer valet parking at night.
DÉCOR: The outdoor guest seating area/patio features a very glam, eye-catching chandelier, with comfortable seating. Aperatifs can be enjoyed here before the meal. As for the dining room itself, I’d call it very “fractal”. Without doubt, the dining room at Sushi Tsujita photographs very dramatically. But when I actually sat down for dinner, I found the triangular/bamboo motif to be interesting without being distracting or intimidating. The 11-seat sushi bar area is open, well-lit and welcoming. But c’mon, for >$100 per person, we don’t get porcelain chopstick rests? (Paper chopstick rests are used). Four tables and four booths are also available, for those who prefer no interaction with their itamae.
BEVERAGES: Four types of Japanese beers, two shochus, four cold sake varieties (and one hot sake, for those of you undergoing life-threatening hypothermia), five champagnes by the bottle are offered. As for wines, there are decent selections of reds and whites, several of which are available by the glass. Two roses are also on the wine menu. And yes, they DO offer free L.A. tap water (in addition to the usual bottled waters, soft drinks and matcha green teas).
FOOD: Everything was fresh as can be. There are numerous traditionally prepared dishes from the kitchen, and a few with modern flair. Highlights of my cooked dishes: Awabi (abalone) from Chiba Prefecture steamed with kimo (its liver) garnished with yuzu, bachiko senbei (sea cucumber crackers), kasago (scorpionfish) mizore (“sleet”, made from ground daikon) in a dashi broth with okra, grilled Miyazaki wagyu beef with fresh wasabi & garlic chips, Momotaro tomato gazpacho with blueberries in wine, slow-braised kinmedai (golden eye snapper) collar with ginger & scallion.
Nigiri-wise, the shari is just a tad above room temperature and packed semi-tight, which I like. Highlights of my nigiri courses include: Edomae style aged North Atlantic akami (lean tuna), shako (mantis prawn), mutsu (blackthroat perch), and Hokkaido bafun uni.
Dessert-wise, I recommend having the musk melon if it is available. Sweet, soft, and summmery in its flavor, the musk melon is a rare treat outside Japan.
SERVICE: Attentive, cordial, responsive. No problems at all in this department.
COST: Three different omakase options are currently available, priced at $120, $150, and $180 (and up, which is what I ordered). Full disclosure: My omakase cost $250.
VERDICT: For those of you who doubted it, there IS space for another high caliber sushi-ya in the Little Osaka area. Sushi Tsujita offers a different, slightly more Edomae-style sushi experience than its nearby neighbors. I would have liked a bit more variety of neta for the price I’m paying, but this is only their first week of operations, so I expect adjustments will be made.
2006 Sawtelle Bl.
LA, CA 90025