Dinner at Sushi Hide. I’m visiting LA for a week and one thing on my list was a higher-end sushi dinner, which is something I believe LA has a lot of, although some places are just beginning to re-open. Chef Hide was at Sushi Tsujita (I haven’t been) before opening up his own place, which is on the third floor of Weller Court, a small shopping center in Little Tokyo. I had an 8pm reservation, and all of the patrons of the restaurant that evening for that sitting were seated at the sushi bar.
light and fizzy
The meal started with an ohitashi (chilled vegetables in a dashi broth) topped with a small piece of young red snapper that was nicely salted/seasoned. The ohitashi underneath was light and refreshing.
Next, a live octopus shabu shabu.
Thinly sliced raw octopus in a dish in which a hot dashi was poured. Very nice texture, gelatinous with a little bit of crunch, as the octopus was slightly cooked by the hot broth. I forget what the dipping sauce was called, but it was clear and tasted a little like a stronger dashi. I drank all of the light dashi in the bowl. Very nice subtle dish.
from Hokkaido - trout artfully presented within a glass that had smoke in it. Delicious, nice texture, lots of umami, slight smoky flavor.
Next, the first piece of nigiri - ishidai - stone snapper.
The sushi rice for this and subsequent pieces of nigiri was quite good and at just at the right temperature I think, slightly warmer than room temp.
Steamed abalone with liver sauce.
Abalone tasted like abalone, a little chewy. The savory abalone liver sauce was quite nice. It didn’t have the slight bitterness of liver, was more sweet. This was served with a ball of rice, and we were asked to make a “risotto” out of it with it by mixing the liver sauce with the rice. Delicious with the rice.
Next a fried dish. Pike eel with some ume (salted pickled plum) and shiso leaf. A bit like a tempura eel. Served with salt. Nicely fried.
Next, Hanasaki crab with crab butter from the crab. My first time having this type of crab. I didn’t get a picture of the shell but it is a very spiky red crab. The crab meat on the bottom was sweet and devoid of little shell pieces. With a little bit of shiso leaf. The crab butter or tomalley on top was mostly sweet as well with a slight bitterness.
Chawanmushi, a warm egg custard flavored with dashi. This had some shiitake and some shellfish inside it, and was topped with a lobe of Santa Barbara uni. Delicious silky custard topped with cool uni.
Next was an iwashi maki, a sardine roll. With ginger and shiso, wrapped in daikon. Delicious and also pretty. Meaty sardines went nicely with the crispy cool daikon around it.
Then came a succession of nigiri.
Marinated bluefin tuna from New Zealand. I believe this is called akami zuke.
Bonito - skipjack. This was really good, lots of umami.
Shima Aji - striped horse mackerel
Also quite good.
Squid stuffed with rice, kampyo, ginger, shiso, and sesame
Kinmedai - golden eye snapper
Otoro - fattiest part of the tuna
Delicious, melts in your mouth. Hard to go wrong with otoro.
Botan ebi - spot prawn, cured in kelp.
Also delicious, sweet with a little crunch. I think the kelp cure gives it some more umami as well.
Kohada - gizzard shad, topped with vinegared roe
Next, a break from the sushi with a miso soup made with shrimp. Very good, full of shrimpy flavor.
Next was an uni and ikura bowl with some rice. Uni from Hokkaido, and house cured ikura (salmon roe). Very nice. The ikura was less salty than usual I think. This was presented as one of their signature dishes.
And then back to the sushi with Kamasu - Japanese barracuda.
This was great, nicely seasoned.
Ankimo - monkfish liver
With pumpkin/squash narazuke, which is a pickling method with sake lees (thanks Google). So good! Ankimo is sometimes referred to as the foie gras of the sea. The ankimo was I think passed through a strainer so it was very creamy. The pickle on top gave it a little salty and acidic counterpoint.
Anago - salt-water eel
Delicious. Delicate and served warm.
Tamago - omelette
A slightly sweet, dense omelette flavored with a scallop and shrimp dashi, if I remember the description correctly. Nice dessert.
To end the meal, a simple and refreshing digestif of chilled and I think slightly sweetened yuzu juice.
A delicious sushi dinner with several memorable small dishes as well, and with very friendly service. I’m not a sushi connoisseur or expert, and it is expensive at $250 (they also offer a nigiri omakase for $100) but for me was worth it.