We are regulars at Yuzu in Torrance and were lucky enough to be invited to their “secret” Osechi menu for New Year’s Day. Osechi is a traditional New Year’s Feast in Japan, dating back more than one thousand years. It is typically done in someone’s home, and is usually prepared over the course of several days leading up to the new year. There are many dishes that make up Osechi, and each one has a special meaning celebrating the new year. I don’t know all the meanings, but I included those I am familiar with.
There were a total of six courses, but most of the courses included many small items.
There were six of us, and each one of us individually received a tray like the one below.
On the tray: Hatsun, consisting of
Ikura mixed with pickled vegetable
Abalone and mushroom in abalone shell
Seaweed in dashi
Herring Roe with strips of Kelp (Kelp is associated with joy. Herring roe symbolizes the wish for many babies. I was fearful of eating this…)
Daikon and pickle inside carved out persimmon
Sweet Black Soybeans (Associated with good health)
Hamachi Sashimi on Ice
Nimono, Assorted boiled or stewed vegetables that reminded me of Oden. I think they were cooked in dashi. The yam paste and the lotus were my favorites.
Fried lotus root
gingko nuts in shell
Roast Black Angus Beef
Whole Grilled Shrimp
Roasted Tai (Snapper) (Symbolizes a good omen)
Tempura snow crab with matcha
Kurobata Shabu Shabu
Not pictured above are both the noodles (chukasoba – symbolizes long life) and the broth that went with this Shabu-Shabu dish. Again, the portion above was per person. Veggies and tofu skin was on the side.
Dessert was a hand-made red bean mochi in a red bean sauce. Unfortunately, the picture did not come out.
Considering our typical checks at Yuzu are much higher, we were delighted to only pay $60/pp for this fabulous 6 course feast. But I doubt they made much (if any) money on this dinner, I think it was done as a thank you to the local Japanese community for their continued support.
1231 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance, CA 90501