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Test of the Iron Stomach: $2 Sushi Lunch at CSA in Culver City.


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Test of the Iron Stomach: $2 Sushi Lunch at CSA in Culver City.

Dommy! | Apr 21, 2006 07:36 PM

I admit, when it comes to chowhounding, I’m a little cocky… I grew up eating all manner of street food in L.A. and Mexico. I grew up in the SGV where an A rating is looked upon with suspicion and contempt. Recently, I even survived eating Sushi in Utah!!!

So when I was driving down the street to work one day along Centinela, right before getting to Culver, I saw a sign announcing that the California Sushi Academy has just moved into the neighborhood. It had taken over a spot next to a small Sushi bar, so I wondered if they were going to have open a Sushi restaurant along with the school… And about a month later, I drive down and see a banner $2-$3 Sushi!! Come see our students make your lunch!

Okay, I admit, the alarms started to go off… First, there was the fact that it was cheap sushi… second there was the factor that is was made by young punks who at most have 12 weeks of training … Third, was just I insane?!?

I guess I was because I made a post on CH about the best Sushi day (I figured with so many odds stacked against me, I can have one thing go my way) and went the following week…

I met my very brave SO there (He HAD recently got sick from a supposedly GOOD sushi restaurant) and we sat at the Sushi bar (yes, we are brave folks). The restaurant is TINY. It sits only about 12 – 15 folks. There were three Sushi ‘Chefs’ working. All students and from their talk, very obviously so. We ordered up a Miso Soup ($1) which was pretty tasty but standard and ordered pretty much one of each from the small sushi menu… First up..

Hamachi $2: I recently read in a WSJ Sushi Article that all Hamachi comes from pretty much the same place, so I figured this was a safe bet. And it was. The fish was fine, not fishy in taste or smell (Yes, I did sniff it before I took a bite). The cut was okay, nothing beautiful. Bit it became very obvious we were at a Sushi school when I noticed the rice was pretty standard Calrose. A little long in grain for my taste, but it still was prepared decent enough to stick together.

Spicy Tuna Roll $3: This might come to a shock, but I’ve never had Spicy Tuna anything before this. I’ve always a rather Sushi purist. Still, I figured this was something they couldn’t mess up. And it wasn’t. VERY spicy tuna mixture. Not bad… but I’ll stick to straight up fish from now on.

Masago: $2: SO had never had this type of Sushi before, and I LOVE these little poppy fish eggs, so we ordered it. Again, the student hands were obvious as they both were a little lopsided and different sized. SO didn’t care of it too much, I thought it was just okay…

Eel and Cucumber Roll: $3: Again with the student hands… instead if cucumber in the roll, we got Avocado. We weren’t too upset about that, but there was a real uneven distribution of rice in the roll…

Unagi: $2: Our last order. And it was the best. The Unagi was perfectly warm and creamy. Even better than I’ve had at some REAL sushi bars. The only student problem with it was too much of Unagi sauce, it totally over powered all the other elements (Except for the Unagi itself). On my way out, I saw a person ask for a hand roll (One of my favorite things!). It’s not on the menu, but I’ll be sure to order an Unagi handroll next time

Maguro: $2: Yeah, I know I said Unagi was our last order. Another student error, we got pieces we didn’t order… Ah well! :) It was tasty…

And so, we felt we had a great sample of everything and we both agreed that the Unagi was the THING. It defiantly was the cheapest sushi lunch I’ve ever had, but we also agreed that we’d happily pay more for better quality food.

And to end things with a little dessert we went across the street to Angel maid and got the BEST bread pudding I’ve had in town (It was almost like FLAN… and a bit rummy! Yum!) and a rich Mocha Roll (you could totally taste the coffee.) We resisted getting cream puffs to go… :)

And so we went to bed that night, hoping we’d wake up in the morning… and well… here I am writing this post!!

Honestly, if I get another Sushi jones at work, I’d be back. The sushi was better and cheaper than the stuff at the Supermarket and I kinda liked seeing what the students did next. Kinda like that Celebrity Cooking Showdown show… but I’ll stop right right there before I incriminate myself and get kicked off the board…



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