We went to Club Sushi in Hermosa last night because my parents know one of the sushi chefs there - Eji. He was the only Japanese person behind the sushi bar. He is the main sushi chef there and works only Friday and Saturday nights. He was trained in Japan, and also trained some of the other sushi chefs at Club Sushi. We did get special treatment, but I also saw that he had some regulars, who he also gave special treatment. Special treatment includes tastes of various fish (eg uni), recommendations for items that are fresh, the best cuts of fish, interesting creations not on the menu, and a beautifully carved fruit platter for dessert. (He turned a pineapple into a ship).
My expectations were not very high, but there were a few items that were delicious. We ordered some rolls, sashimi, some nigiri, and an order of tempura.
The rolls were not that great, but they were mostly for my mother, who doesn't eat raw fish. The tempura was not that great - the sauce wasn't right, the squash that I ate was cut too thick and undercooked, and the tempura was on the oily side. I didn't have any of the sashimi because I prefer the same fish on nigiri. Of the nigiri, the tuna, tuna toro, yellowtail, and halibut were fine, but not spectacular. I am very picky about mackerel and theirs was the standard pre-marinated kind (yuck). I was surprised that one of the tuna nigiri (albacore, I think) was served with a sauce and sauteed onions.
What was outstanding were the salmon, the giant clam (mirugai), and the uni. The salmon was extremely fresh and flavorful. I was served the belly portion, and the white lines of fat were thick and plentiful.
I was very surprised that the clam was delicious, since I have had many encounters with not-so-fresh stuff. It was crunchy and had a pure clam flavor. I noticed he used a brand new neck of clam. Between the other regulars and our group, it was gone by the time we left.
I was even more surprised that the uni was amazing - similar in quality to the uni at Hama-Ko in San Francisco. It came out of a brand new box, and had no off-flavors. It was slightly salty and had a brain-like texture. I noticed Eji ate a few pieces of it as he was getting it ready. The other regulars got a free taste too.
Overall, I felt that this place is good only if you know the sushi chef (my parents said he had a pretty loyal following). Otherwise, the food is pretty average.