I made my way over to Sushi Ike last week - ready to indulge in some fine sushi (from the reports I have read and questions I have had answered about the place). After a quick once-through in the parking lot - I made due on the south side of Hollywood Blvd slightly east of Gower.
The place was PACKED. Very loud and bustling - I was a little intimidated at first, being my first time, and having really dedicated my sushi dollars to Jun and Sushi Ryo - where I was considered a regular.
I told one of the servers that I was dining alone that night, and he pointed me to a spot at the bar between two couples. More importantly, I was in the righter part of the bar, manned by Ike's son (I think). I received warm welcomes from Ike's son and Ike himself. Ike wasn't too far from where I was seated, so I felt confident that if my chef was too busy with other orders, Ike could most probably fill in. I looked down and saw that I was greeted with a small portion of halibut roe, which tasted pretty good (dressed in some ponzu and scallions).
Not wanting to do any ordering myself, I stated confidently that I wanted the omakase. The chef asked about any allergies and I said there were none, and that I was open. What followed after was a great line up of fresh fish:
maguro - fine
toro - one of the better pieces of toro I have had in a while
hamachi - on par with that of Ryo, if not better.
salmon - i think the chef does something different with the salmon here, as I tasted a hint of lemon zest and some hot pepper (jalapeno?) - very good with scallions on top.
shiro maguro (albacore) - very fresh - melted in the mouth.
scallop hand roll - with mayo - most lackluster of the items - felt as if they were trying to do something quick and easy (on the tastebuds) here.
at this point, I notice that I am getting run-of-the-mill items, albeit very fine in quality. while not really much for me to speak up about, I felt that perhaps this chef was taking a more conservative approach with my omakase offerings. I noticed that the couples on my side were getting items such as the grilled octopus and eel wrapped in cucumber - neither of which would be a part of my omakase experience.
realizing that I was slowly getting full, I rounded out the omakase with an order of ama ebi (VERY good), another round of hamachi and salmon, and a negi-toro handroll.
all-in-all, I really liked the place. Ike and Co. are extremely nice. So nice, that I offered to buy a beer for the chefs, but was rebuked by my waitress (here's hoping I did not commit a big faux pas). the personalities behind the counter were quite a sight to witness (interactions with the customers, etc). Like any other place, I think I will need to establish a repoire with the guys and really let them know what my likes are and how open I am to other menu items.
I appreciated this first experience because it really gave me a good indication of how good this place is - in the quality of the fish and preparation. I will definitely return, probably earlier in the week if its not busy and I will be sure to pipe up about trying other items next time.
6051 Hollywood Blvd, Ste 105
Los Angeles, CA 90028-5496