Attended one of the most remarkable birthday parties ever, at the legendary Urasawa in beverly hills. The birthday family reserved the entire restaurant…10 people at the bar, 2 at a table. One seating per night. The experience was reminiscent of Alinea in that it was an amazing dinner and a Cirque du Soleil-like foodie show all in one. There were about 10 appetizers, 20 individual pieces of sushi, and about 2-3 desserts. In total, yes, it was the best sushi I ever had. But if I were to dissect each individual piece of fish, I would have to say I had comparable quality at other high-end sushi places. The main sushi differentiator here was that EVERY piece was at least as good as the best I ever had anywhere else.
But trancending the sushi were the small plates. Especially memorable was a shabu-shabu-like dish involving kobe, lobster, and foie gras. And another dish was a hot stone in front of each diner + three remarkably succulent chunks of buttery toro that were meant to be seared and carmelized on the stone. Yes another was simply the best ikura (marinated in sake, but not too sweet, not too sake-ey, not too salty) sitting on a chawan-mushi-like custard with a surprise uni section in the middle.
The only thing that I would have preferred differently for my palette is that the uni that was included in many courses was typically seared or steamed slightly, which for me hurt its uni essence.
Everyone always asks about cost. Before beverages, it was over $700 a couple. You better REALLY like sushi if you decide to check it out.
Please check out my album on flickr for some great action shots, including some of the amazing carved-ice sculptures used as serving plates, as well some of the wild and crazy lobsters we briefly had the pleasure to meet before they went to a better place…
Scot did all the photography and comments on Flickr. Note the images on the top of this blog are Urasawa dishes.
3 thoughts on “Urasawa – (with apologies to Plato, The Perfect Form of Sushi)”
Nice blog. Especially your article on Urasawa. If it is something that interests you, I would like to invite you to particpate in the fine dining survey I am running which covers 1500+ restaurants in North America and Europe. Go to my blog address, click on the regitsration button, and enter “banana” as the precertification code and you will have instant access. Thanks and I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks! I checked out your blog as well…very impressive. You’re on the mark with Vetri, what a disappointment. If you are back in LA, try to get to the “new” Bastide. Best in LA. Like you, I am also a fan of Sal at il grano. Going there shortly for their seasonal bolito misto tasting menu. Good luck with the survey, we really do need something more foodie oriented. Michelin, Zagat, etc. just don’t cut it
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