Several people told me this place was very good, so I went for lunch today. They have a rotating sushi counter, but instead of the conveyor belt, there are little boats. I sat there and wanted to have sushi, and was constantly pestered by the staff about whether I would order off the menu or not. I wanted to start with a little sushi, then maybe have some ramen to finish, which is exactly what I did. The staff seemed to have little flexibility and answered questions abruptly barely before I finished my questions. The first little plate I thought contained some sort of battered and fried scallops, but they turned out to be siu mai (pork dumplings). This made more sense when it became obvious that the main language among the staff is Chinese, despite the syrupy "irrashaimase" upon entry. Still, I soldiered on and had some very nice treats, including generous portions of sea urchin roe (uni) which was on the lean side, and then three small but tasty raw oysters from Washington, which were the chef's rec, and and a good one at that for 3 for $5. The real highlight was the "scallop mix" which was raw scallop chopped finely and mixed with what seemed to be a bit of uni and some other kind of fish roe, served in two "gunkan maki" (like uni alone), $3 for two, and they were very generous, and quite delicious.
I ordered miso ramen, and what arrived was created by someone who'd obviously never had real miso ramen. It was essentially miso soup, with still-briny tasting menma, a bit of fresh spinach, a bit of green onion, noodles, that was it. Still, the curly chewy egg noodles were outstanding, so it made the $6.75 somewhat worth it.
But what really made the whole trip worth it was finding the Baryozka European Food store across the street -- see adjoining post.
Izumi Japanese Restaurant
6840 Five Star Blvd.