Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break 2009: Sushi Gen, Los Angeles

During spring break, my friend Chris and I decided to get some nice sushi. We normally head over to Studio City when a sushi craving hits, to a place called Midori. They offer a really affordable all you can eat that has some delicious sushi and really fun rolls.

I will admit it- I love a good roll. Sushi Gen offers no such things. Here, you will find only the most traditional edo style sushi, as well as other japanese dishes which we did not try. I do not remember the names of everything, but I can describe the taste of all.


Sushi Gen is located in Little Tokyo, in downtown LA.


When we walked in, we knew that they were serious people. The bar was sparklingly clean, and there 9 (I counted!) chefs behind the bar preparing sushi only. The rest of the cookery was handled in back.


I think this was mackerel. It was pretty good- honestly though, it was not the best piece. It wasnt a great start.


Salmon is my favorite type of sushi, and the beautiful pieces they served at Gen more than made up for the sub-par mackerel. You can see the gorgeous marbling in one direction, but if you look REALLY closely, so can see the individual muscle fibers with the fat running in glistening strands along the side. Needless to say, this was great. It had the creamy, unctuous flavor which all salmon lovers crave.


Next, we called for the king of sushi: prime otoro. Otoro is the meat from the belly of the tuna fish, when the fish is at its most slothful and fatty. As you can see, it is thickly marbled and very fatty.

I was glad I tried this, but not overwhelmed. It had good flavor, but I cannot say I loved the texture- it was a little odd.


Their unagi (eel) was incredible though. It was like they had plated damn near the entire eel- the sushi was huge! It was at least 5 inches of delctable unagi, and the sauce, which can sometimes be cloying or overwhelming, was just perfect. Probably my favorite.


Great story: as we were eating the eel sushi, a chef holds up two large, wriggling shrimp. Chris and I immediately yell that we want those! The chef kills the shrimp, peels them and plates the shrimp. Fresh as can be.


And that wasn't all! We then ate the crispy fried head of the departed shrimp. The head, in my opinion, was better than the body- it had a great crunch to it, due to the exoskeleton.


I think this was albacore- nothing special.


I forget what this was- we asked the chef for his favorite, and he gave us this. It was completely forgettable.


Some excellent hawaiian king mackerel. Silky and smooth.


We ended the night by splitting the monkfish liver- by FAR the best. It tasted like rich, delicious pate or foie- just amazing.

Overall, I really liked Gen. My friend and I disagree, but in mu opinion I will stick to Midori, my all you can eat place. I didn't feel like this was that much better. Or maybe I just can't taste the difference.


gastronomy said...

It must feel great to be back on your old stomping ground. Welcome home ;-)

Ben Gordon said...

It was great! Sorry I missed this comment.