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Restaurants & Bars 14

Tsukasa Sushi

Leslie Brenner | Mar 22, 2002 12:49 AM

On Tom Armitage's recommendation I tried this Little Tokyo sushi bar this evening and was quite impressed. The atmosphere is very low-key, and the room feels very traditional, which matches the food. The bar was inhabited mostly by people who seemed to be regulars, and I felt a little as though we were stepping into a world that was not yet ours. Oh, incidentally, we had our five year old Wylie with us, despite the fact that I think Tom said in a post once that it's not a place to bring a kid. But sushi's Wylie's favorite food, he wields a mean chopstick and eats everything, and we wanted good sushi, so we risked it.

After edamame and an amuse of beautiful tamago, we started with miso with clams; perfect. In no particular order, I had (all nigiri sushi) some very small, sweetly delicious local squid; abalone that throbbed appealingly as the chef removed it from the small shell; octopus from Japan; albacore; a crustacean whose name now escapes me--shatto? shakko? translation was mantis shrimp, also from Japan, with an odd, grainy texture--delicious; Spanish mackerel (very delicate); silvery sardine from which the chef coaxed the skeleton with his fingers. (He opened it like a tiny magazine and just pulled it out!) At some point we were treated to a paper-thin deep fried slice of pompano, and Wylie got some extra maguro gratis.

Although I was kind of jealous of the regulars who were getting all kinds of more involved sashimi dishes, all in all it was an excellent meal and very good experience, and a bargain to boot--$79 before tip for three, including two large Sapporos. I'll be back! Thanks, Tom!

P.S. Wylie was on his best behavior, and amused everyone--guests and staff alike--by eating everything we were eating. When we asked for the check he complained that we didn't try the uni. Scout's honor.

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