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Restaurants & Bars 1

Fujiyoshi -- sushi discovery in Little Tokyo

Eric Eto | Jan 1, 200308:52 PM

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the family and I went to Fujiyoshi on the recommendation of a local business owner. Although there wasn't a great deal of exotic variety that I've had elsewhere, just about everything we got was as good as I've had at the "good" places. It certainly helps to sit at the counter, and make conversation with the sushi man, although Fujiyoshi tends to get jammed. I'm sure it also helped our cause that my parents knew two other people sitting at the counter, who were also regular patrons (and one who keeps his own bottle of booze there). As usual, we left it up to our father to coax a good omakase meal out of the sushi chef, and we were treated right. The night we ate there, we were told that the anago (fresh water eel) was fresh and plentiful and on special. Delicious. The saba (mackerel) was also one of the hits of the night. Other highlights included: raw oyster nigiri, mirugai (geoduck clam) as fresh as I've had, very good uni, very good chutoro, and very nice amaebi (fresh shrimp). I've been told (by my father and others) that a good indicator of a chef's touch is in tasting the tamago (sweetened egg). If the flavors are off, that's a warning sign. In any case, tamago is something an experienced sushi taster will try at some point as a benchmark of quality. Dad gave it a thumbs up.

Anyway, we had plenty more, and we were stuffed. So the biggest surprise of the night came when the bill was only $150 for four of us, with at least 3 bottles of sake. Again, I'm not sure if that was coaxed by my father, but we were told by our friend, the barber of little tokyo, that Fujiyoshi is a solid place and a really good value. He wasn't kidding.

It seems that the locals are all aware of the value of Fujiyoshi and it is really hopping, so if you want to sit at the counter, make sure to reserve in advance or go early (or late).

As a bit of a postscript, I had occasion to go to another sushi place on the 2nd street block, Sushi Hama (without the family, I might add) and it was merely mediocre, especially in proximity to the Fujiyoshi meal.

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