Monday, September 28, 2015

Sushi Zo

Sushi Zo
9824 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Boy have I been wanting to try out Sushi Zo for a long time.  It has been on my radar ever since I started to appreciate really high quality sushi, and when I became willing to drop a couple hundies on one meal.  Sushi Zo ain't cheap, and so it was a bit jarring to arrive and find it situated in a ghetto strip mall.  I mean, it's not like it was a surprise.  I always do my research, but reading about it and seeing it for myself are two very different things.  For a Saturday night, the place was pretty empty for a 7:30 reservation.  Slowly, parties began to trickle in, but it was by no means crowded.  Overlord and Carnivorous Lush joined BHD and I for a parade of sushi.  I'll keep the editorial brief since sushi is but a simple food.

Miso Soup
Standard fare.

Kumamoto Oyster homemade ponzu
This was our first taste of Zo's homemade ponzu which I liked at first.  BHD was a big fan of it, but after a while I found it a tad too sweet for my liking.  The oyster was lovely.


Baby Abalone

Snappy but not too hard or chewy.
White Sea Bass
Clean, fresh.

Bluefin Tun
Not my favorite.
We ended on a good note with the amberjack.  The cucumbers there weren't just for decoration.  They were lightly pickled.
Squid uni, truffle salt
BHD and I, who are big fans of uni, were quite impressed by the thin ribbons of raw squid.  The uni was made into a sauce that coated the noodle-like squid.  The truffle salt was an aromatic burst of flavor, which so artfully complemented the uni flavor rather than overpowered it.  A most unique dish!
Halibut sea salt, lemon
I was a bit surprised they were using lemon instead of yuzu.  Yuzu just seems a much more Japanese citrus to season sushi.

The yuzu made its appearance again.
Baby Yellowtail
I don't get to have baby yellowtail too often, but it was quite tasty here.
Spanish Mackerel
Not the best I've had, but not too fishy either.
Good, but Ohshima's is still better.
Bluefin Toro
Not the best.  Too fishy.
Sea Bream
I was starting to notice how small the pieces were.  The fish was just a small sliver and the rice was a small lump.  I guess it enabled us to try many more types of sushi this way.  Pretty good sea bream.
The texture was a bit mushy.  I wasn't a fan.  It's related to mackerel but didn't have any of that fishiness.
King Salmon
This had a weird pickled seaweed on top which I did not care for.
Red Snapper
I loved the heady truffle aroma here.  Sooo delicious and made some of us go "Oh snap!"
Golden Eye Snapper

Seared Red Cod miso vinegar
I thought the miso vinegar was too sweet and sour, but not like anything I've had with sushi.
Shima Aji
I quite enjoyed the topping on here though I can't describe what it was or what it was like.
Rock Cod
Sweet Shrimp
The shrimp was a bit too goey for me.
Monkfish Liver
I've never been a huge fan of monkfish liver, but this was not bad.
Giant Clam
Snappy, fresh.
Skip Jack

Always a fan of good uni.
Ikuri dashi marinated, sushi rice, seaweed
I'm usually not a fan of fish roe, but this was very tasty.  Each little egg burst in my mouth with salty umaminess.
The octopus was tender, but I expected to end with something better.
Black Sesame Tofu
Kind of whatever.
A refreshing sweet yuzu juice to clean the palate and end the meal.

Overall, Sushi Zo was good for the large variety of sushi.  However, I didn't think the sushi was the best I have ever eaten.  And at that price point, I don't think Sushi Zo is worth it.  I would prefer larger and fewer pieces of sushi.  And I just did not think our sushi chef cared too much about what he was going.  I dislike having to ask for explanations of what fish I am being served.  I think I'm just cranky about the price and quality of fish.  I felt like Sushi Sushi is a much better sushi place at half the price and in a better location.

10 - You NEED to eat here
9 - Awesome! 
8 - Very good
7 - Good 
6 - OK 
5 - Average
4 - Not bad
3 - Not good
2 - Terrible
1 - Do NOT eat here


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