I'm a big fan of edomae-style sushi, where the itamae (chef) serves you each piece of nigiri individually (what you saw in Jiro). This is important for the temperature of the rice (shari) and neta (fish). Plus, it looks cool and the itamae can pace the meal according to your appetite and wishes.
It's very difficult to find in the States, although there are some shining examples in LA, such as Mori Sushi (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9654...) or 15 East in NYC (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9989...).
Morimoto is not edomae style sushi, at all, it is new Japanese cuisine. That said, they have mastered all the basics, have excellent shari, and the most varied and seasonal neta in the immediate area. I was in for lunch today, and the itemae was kind enough to do a sashimi into sushi omakase despite being clearly swamped. He did a couple pieces at a time after the sashimi courses, which I said was more than okay since he was the only man behind the bar! Trust me, the sushi didn't sit long!
We started with some sashimi, which was very new style although centered on some quality, seasonal ingredients.
- Buri with jalapeño - loved this, since the old yellowtail is very much in season. The fish was said to be 5-6 years old (when live!), and was a very big specimen. This has been very popular at the high-end sushi-yos lately. The jalapeño, of course, was the Morimoto touch!
- Hotate hot oil and Hokkaido Uni - classic Morimoto omakase dish. The scallops were lightly pan seared, and Hokkaido Uni lent a delicate nuttiness to the dish
- Sashimi course - Chutoro, Kenmadai, Buri, and Saba. The Chutoro was rich and tasty. Apparently a lot of the high end fatty cuts get shipped to the States over even Japan! The Kenmadai is very popular at Morimoto, Buri I already mentioned, and Saba is a stronger fish that I particularly enjoy, which the itamae knows
Nigiri started here.
Shari is slightly warm and a touch sweet. Very good and delicious with the dashi flavor. I love that Morimoto has such good rice. The neta to shari balance is a little heavy on the shari side, so if you're a paleo head you might want to say go light on the rice!
- Aoyagai and Sayori - great crunch to the clam and contrasted well with the light smoothness of the needlefish. Aoyagai is a favorite of the Japanese chefs at Morimoto, and I'm glad they treated me to this delicious nigiri. The Sayori is in season
- Maguro and Hirame in ponzu - bold dualism in the red, iron-rich fish with the sweeter white fish and sauce
- Engawa seared with shiso leaf and Madai - Engawa stole the show with the textures and rich tastes. Madai was cool and smooth
- Kenmadai and Suzuki - a bit repetitious with some of the sashimi neta, however, the Suzuki offered a nice contrast with the skin
- Seared toro (oh my) and Kamasu (barracuda) also seared - the savory course was outstanding! Very buttery and rich, melted in my mouth
- Plum shiso temaki - I didn't snap a photo of this, since it was handed to me the but nori is nice and crisp. Warm rice brought out the vegetarian flavor of this handroll, and the Japanese plum adds an interesting tartness
- Unagi and avocado temaki - savory and so delicious, perfect way to end with the sweetness of the eel sauce
All in all, a wonderful lunch omakase pushing different tastes, textures, and stories behind each fish.