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Sad News for Sushi Lovers

Tom Armitage | Jul 7, 200003:43 PM

As readers of this board are aware, I believe the best traditional sushi and sashimi in Los Angeles is served at Shibucho, located in Little Tokyo on the fourth floor of the Yaohan Plaza on Alameda Street. The excellence of the sushi and sashimi at Shibucho is due to owner and master sushi chef, Shibuya. Alas, the Alameda Street Shibucho is no more. Shibuya has retired, or is at least taking some extended time off from operating a sushi restaurant, and sold his restaurant. It is now renamed Tsukasa Sushi, and the new sushi chef is Kawasaki.

That's the bad news. My commiseration to those of you who didn't get around to eating at Shibucho. You missed a great opportunity.

The good news is that Kawasaki is carrying on, at least as of this writing, many of the traditions that were established by Shibuya. These traditions include fresh from the kitchen, warm tamago (layered omelet) and a basket of steaming, freshly cooked anago (saltwater conger eel). Last night, Kawasaki also had fresh, local octopus. The aji (Spanish mackerel) sashimi was magnificent, as was the light, delicate ankimo (monkfish liver). He prepared a salmon roll, wrapped in a paper-thin sheet of daikon radish with shiso and with gobo (burdock root) at the center. Pretty to look at and delicious to eat. Kawasaki, like Shibuya, provided his customers at the sushi bar with various "treats" throughout the evening, like baby eggplant stuffed with shrimp. Time will tell whether Kawasaki will provide some of the more exotic items that Shibuya introduced me to, such as shirako (codfish sperm sacs) and octopus brains (which I forgot to ask about last night). But, despite the enormity of my disappointment at learning that Shibuya would no longer be serving me or be my sushi mentor, Kawasaki provided a very good experience. I'll go back to Tsukasa Sushi, but, man oh man, will I ever miss Shibuya.

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