there's a hidden buzz about this place that is a'brewin (at least it seems to me). my gf's kid sister, who is my trendoid barometer (she's soooo into the latest and greatest in LA, nyuk nyuk)says she hears about this place on melrose all the time. recent posts have piqued my interest, so i checked it out before the crowds descended upon it en masse (i hoped i wasn't too late).
ordered a few items on friday night -
baby mushroom miso soup - where do they get these small mushrooms - gf thought they were "precious", i liked the flavor of the soup with the small mushrooms. pretty good.
agadeshi tofu - best rendition i have had in the city. the tofu was fried just right - the outside coating not falling apart once you attempted to pick up the tofu and dissolve into the sauce provided. gf - who LOVES this dish, was pretty much speechless.
tuna avocado "crispies" - basically diced tuna and avocado served on wonton crisps. saw it on their specials board. too citrusy (was dressed with lime/lemon juice) for my tastes.
hamachi carpaccio - decent cuts of hamachi that were dressed in a citrus sauce and peppercorns. unlike the tuna avocado crispies, this had enough citrus flavor to set this dish apart from just normal yellowtail sashimi.
ordered a few "fun" rolls, by request of the GF. won't go into too much detail here but to say that they were pretty good.
various orders of nigiri including ama ebi (sweet shrimp), hamachi belly, salmon. hamachi belly was excellent, though they served it with a sauce, which i will probably request for them to hold off on next time. one of the better pieces of salmon i've had in a while. ama ebi is decent, but the batter used for the shrimp heads was a bit heavy, i still like junichi's version at sushi ryo.
a blue crab roll that was not as fulfilling as nozawas, but better than matsuda's off of Ventura. creamy flavor and obvious taste of blue crab.
great place - curious about trying the yellowtail tartare which includes diced okra (yum).
by the time we left the place got packed - seems to be a very cool neighborhood joint - catering to all levels of sushi eaters. very nice and attentive service, simple decor and ambiance.
props to the women running the place, it is rare to see that in the sushi bar biz.
i'll be back, this place will do in a pinch when i'm too lazy to drive to IKE and while i await for izayoi's opening.
azami sushi cafe
7160 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046