After a few months of talking about it, last night my boyfriend and I finally got a chance to go to Urasawa in Beverly Hills from an invite from our friend Arthur. The restaurant only seats 10 people in a bar seating arrangement so his friends and us ended up taking half the restaurant already. A very tiny restaurant, but with very big presence. Everything I expected out of this place was mostly met though I thought there would've been slightly more innovative pieces given the price point. But execution and the quality of everything from the fish to the rice the fish was served on was, without a doubt, the absolute best you could get in LA. I've never had a fresher piece of lobster, shrimp, or fattier and more deliciously melty piece of toro in my life. You can't really get any better. Anything that could be brought in live was prepared at the bar in front of us. The lobster, shrimp, abalone, scallops were all withering around and alive before they turned them into beautiful pieces of art for us to eat. Watching the master Hiroyuki Urasawa and his sous chef working the fresh fish in front of us was a spectacle in itself.
Attached are a few shots of my favorites from our 30 something odd number of courses we had though I would, as an American, hardly call one piece of sushi a "course". In any case, I was ready to burst 3/4 way through our 3.5 hour meal. Like El Bulli, it was pretty much non-stop eating; one dish after another. The pieces of sushi may have started to get redundant after awhile since there was so much but you really felt like this was something you'd get at some prestigious sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Everything beautiful and deliciously decadent at the same time. A place like Urasawa is deserving of an album of it's own. See full course at my web album: http://picasaweb.google.com/mstinawu/....
Fun fact: After being seated I noticed myself constantly rubbing the table, I commented on how soft it was and aparently the bar is made out of a 1,000 year old tree. It almost felt soft. I felt sorry for the tree, but more happy for myself.
Another fun fact: We mentioned our favorite noodle (or anything) place in Gardena, Otafuku, and we got props from the chef. Aparently, he's gone many times and it's one of his favorites. It's nice (yet sad) to know that Otafuku is probably one the best noodle place in town and that when Frank and I finally move to the Bay Area we won't get such great noodles anywhere else. Ah, well--we will come back and visit.