When I hear or see the word YOLO as uttered by many females on social media, I think of them partying in Vegas, bikini thigh poolside shots, and drinking way too much alcohol and puking on the dance floor.
But to us avid eaters, it sounds a little better than "gluttony" or "food porn".
So I present to thee, my first full blown review for the LA board. It has been an extremely long time coming, satisfying a lust that lasted 8 years.
Last Thursday's virgin visit to Mori Sushi was nothing short of spectacular in all aspects. All that despite the very interesting placement of the restaurant (the street it lies on), the neighborhood, and the somewhat minimalist decor. Past that, it was nothing but total wow factors.
Easy reservation a little over a week in advance, and we chose the 6 pm slot, right when they opened. Was able to dine in front of Maru-san himself, who was not only a killer professional that excels in what he does, but also extremely down to earth, engaging, humble, and very thoughtful and courteous. Our waiter consistently helped refill our sake cups, fold our napkins when we got out of our chairs, and new pours of tea (rather than refill existing). The house matcha was absolutely brilliant, by the way (surpassing Shunji's)
For sake, narrowed it down to either Tasuriki "Kome No Sasayaki" Daiginjo from Hyogo Prefecture, or Kimura Shuzo Junmai Daiginjo, and after a little deliberation, picked the former which was a very solid choice. We offered Maru-san some, to which he revealed to us that he's also from the region (Osaka) and also liked. This also explained quite a few things, particularly the artistry and the kappo style / kaiseki approach to the cooked dishes from the aesthetics, kodawari, and arrangement/plating.
Given the options of nigiri omakase, premium nigiri omakase, omakase, and premium omakase, we decided to take the plunge. YOLO!!!
And thus YOLOmakase it was.
Pretty sure quite a few of you had his signature tofu. It's damn good and interestingly reminds me of a very smooth Japanese soymilk custard, and also really good Taiwanese style almond tofu (texture, not flavor), as well as a wee little bit of "thousand layer cake/pudding" in Cantonese dim sum 千層糕.
The next platter of goodies was a true delight.
Simmered/marinated mini conch from New Zealand (sazae-ni). Reminded me quite a bit of bagai-ni 梅貝煮 that I had in Hong Kong (legit Japanese izakaya restaurants). Ridiculously nice texture.
Takuan (pickled daikon) smoked with cherry wood, and house made tsukemono (pickles). Fantastic, particularly the takuan.
Hotaru-ika (firefly squid) with su-miso sauce. Vastly superior to the batches I've had in Northern California before coming down.
Rapini - chilled greens were refreshing to have
Wakasagi ワカサギ【公魚】wakasagi - Japanese smelt tempura. Freakin' ridiculous. Highly refined frying technique, not a single drop of grease. Delicate and delicious! Even the slices of bamboo shoot in front were smoked a little with cherry wood (and gently marinated in front of that).
(Doing this review in spurts, please excuse this weird approach)