So last night, at my
We started going to Ike after five years of my trying to get the H to try it. Sigh. Story of my life. He doesn't do "new." But after L.A. Magazine named Ike one of L.A.'s best sushi joints, that, and its proximity to our old house, convinced him to try it. Either our best decision ever, or a big mistake, depending on your point of view--Ike has totally spoiled us for any other sushi ever, except, I suppose, what we would get in Japan. When we go to Ike (which we used to do two to four times a month, when we lived here) we order "omakase", meaning "chef's choice." Sushi aficionados no doubt more knowledgeable than me will tell you that ordering this way is a sign of respect to the chef: he is in the best position to know what is best on his own menu on a given day. Unlike some of L.A.'s famous omakase restaurants, like Sushi Nozawa in the Valley and Sushi Sasabune in West L.A., the menu actually changes depending upon what Ike has selected that day. (If you go to either of those other two, you can count on pretty much the same selection, in the exact same order, every time, and you better like ponzu sauce and a lot of attitude.)
Last night, as Ike welcomed us to the bar with his easy smile and usual wry twinkle (the guy's sweet, and has a great sense of humor, and genuinely seems to like getting to know his patrons, some of whom have been coming every week since he opened the restaurant) we enjoyed a typically amazing and well-curated selection of sushi. He always offers an opening amuse-geule (I'm sure there's a Japanese word for this I don't know) which last night was tiny octopus tentacles in a mild marinade with a tangle of olive green seaweed. Gently sweet, and delicious. The first sushi was two pieces of tuna: one bluefin, slightly darker, and as our friend said, more opaque, than the accompanying big eye. Then onto yellowtail and amberjack; salmon served two ways, one piece with a paper thin slice of kelp and the other served plain; amazing red snapper with shiso, lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt (no soy sauce!), halibut; hama hama oysters, a negiri toro handroll that was completely transcendent, and for the H, who was still not full, a Japanese sea scallop and finally, some uni, which is an aquired taste that we only indulge at this restaurant, because here it is always clear tasting, smelling of clean, briny sea.