Little Tokyo has grow to be a hotbed for the very best grades of omakase. Though some iconic eating places have closed just lately, the neighborhood stays a strong epicenter for costly and well-executed sushi in Los Angeles, with locations like Kaneyoshi, Takeda and Bar Sawa opening in recent times. The newest addition is Sakurako from chef Kimiyasu situated within the former Komasa house on Second Avenue.

If the chef's identify sounds acquainted, it's as a result of Kimi-san owns 5 mid-range Sushi Enya places, with places in Beverly Hills, Sawtelle Japantown, Marina del Rey, Pasadena and Little Tokyo. The prolific chef brings a number of expertise to Sakurako, together with chef Akira Yoshida, grasp chef Tatsuki Kurogi and pastry chef Shota Takaki.

Blue sign of Sakurako restaurant in Little Tokyo.

Sakurako is situated within the former Komasa house on Second Avenue.

Minimalist sushi bar, dimly lit, with an ornate wall design and white tiles.

The principle sushi counter.

Sakurako's distinctive design facilities on a low L-shaped wood counter that sits 9 diners. Though there are different tables within the room, Sakurako is presently solely seating folks on the bar with plans to host bigger events sooner or later. To start out, Kurogi prepares wherever from six to seven compound appetizers that mirror his intensive coaching at eating places akin to kappo-style Kigawa and kaiseki-style Nadaman, each in Osaka. Kurogi sources as many elements from native farmers markets as attainable.

The starter can encompass an intricate tableau of sakisuke (amuse) akin to komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) in dashi broth; wagyu roast beef with egg and watercress sauce; shrimp with child turnips, kabocha and snap peas; marinated dried squid and kelp; and fried sawagani river crabs – all organized like a bit of desk artwork. (Head waiter Asaka Bozic-Kikuchi informed Eater that small river crabs escaped from their container throughout a current service and crawled across the kitchen. For sure, the crabs are fairly recent.) Subsequent, the sashimi dish might be slices of royal mackerel. with an onion sauce, flake salt and recent wasabi with a facet of amaebi (prawns), uni sauce and caviar.

Beautiful Japanese kaiseki dishes at an LA restaurant.

Get pleasure from completely different bites with a facet of sake.

After the set dishes, Yoshida serves a parade of sushi with seasonal fish, which is the primary focus of the omakase expertise. The chef educated at a bunch of one- and two-star Michelin eating places in Japan, in addition to the Sakai in Frankfurt, Germany, earlier than coming to LA to affix Sakurako. Final week, Yoshida reduce the primary catches of the bluefin tuna season, serving a splendid chu-toro over shari.

Takaki, who labored for 10 years as a pastry chef in Kumamoto, serves the desserts fully flat; a welcome distinction from the standard scoops of inexperienced tea or black sesame ice cream that many omakase eating places serve. Diners might see an intricate honey and kumquat mousse topped with orange slices surrounded by finger biscuits, their plate dotted with raspberry sauce and dried kumquat. To drink is a curated menu of craft beer, small producer sake and wine; drink pairings will probably be out there sooner or later.

Sakurako provides seating at Tock at 7pm Wednesdays and Thursdays and 5:20pm Fridays by means of Sundays for $250 per particular person earlier than tax, drinks and tip. A $100 deposit is required to order a seat. Stroll-ins can be found on a restricted foundation topic to availability.

Sakurako road sign made with black painted wood.

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