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Sushi Tanaka, unexpected gem in Simi Valley

Sgee | Jul 3, 201511:14 PM     16

I don't think anyone will dispute that Simi Valley is not a sushi hotbed by any measure. However Sushi Tanaka is a surprisingly authentic high caliber spot amidst this residential suburb. Decided to check it out after a recent recommendation by Bikkembergs in a prior post. The pics in Yelp looked very promising too.

It's a relatively small restaurant with a bar that seats 7 people max, along with 5 or 6 other tables. As far as I could tell - there were only 3 people working there, the itamae, kitchen helper and waitress. Frankly not sure if they would be able to handle a larger crowd beyond the sushi bar.

I decided to play it safe, opting for the least expensive $60 omakase.

The courses progressed as follows:

1) Mozuku seaweed with king crab
2) Stone fish - very fugu like
3) Seared scallops with uni, caviar and freshly shaved black truffles. He uses an interesting technique placing a bincho tan between the blowtorch and neta.
4) Baby snapper
5) Aji
6) Tairagai (Pen Shell)
7) Octopus - grilled and very tender, likely steamed prior to grilling
8) Maguro
9) Chutoro
10) Kawahagi (Triggerfish) with liver - delicious!
11) King crab with uni
12) Tamago

Overall fish quality was very good and steered away from the more predictable rotation of salmon, yellow tail etc... Highlights were the stone fish, octopus, kawahagi and tamago. The tamago is one of the best (if not the best) I've had in LA; perfectly formed, pillowy soft and creamy at the same time, Excellent!

A few negatives, sauces can be a bit heavy handed. He spoons rather than squeezing citrus juice over the neta, it was bit too overwhelming on the tairagai. Additionally I found his soy sauce to be more salty than some of the other top spots in LA. I think a lighter application would have been better.

Negatives aside a very unexpected and exciting surprise in this section of the metro area. Worth checking out and quite a bargain too.

Sushi Tanaka
3977 Cochran St
Ste D
Simi Valley, CA 93063

Sushi Tanaka
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