Archive for November, 2005

Urasawa (LA) – Delicate & Exquisite

There are a small handful of masterful Japanese restaurants in the US – temples where you surrender choice & freedom to the chef. True, there are thousands of sushi restaurants and “ethnic” (re: cheaper) places in strip malls across the country, but there are very few restaurants that demand, and deserve, awe.

Urasawa in LA has positioned itself to be one of those few restaurants, serving a kaiseki meal that consists of up to 30 courses with a 3-5 hour duration. Urasaw also trained under Masa when he operated Ginza-ko Sushi in the same spot before his Masa enterprise in NYC. Urasawa is now mentioned in the same breath as Masa (NY) in quality and some long-time patrons says the student has surpassed the master. Could this be true?

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Il Grano (LA) – Pasta not Crudo

Il Grano has a weird Jeckyll & Hyde reputation among online food reviewers – some love it, some have less than pleasant experiences. The chef puts an emphasis on market cuisine and shops daily at the LA fish market. The latter was the key draw.

Stopped by Il Grano last Thurs for lunch, asked them to let the chef feed us, put an emphasis on fish, but that was our mistake.

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Bastide (LA) – Redux

(Note: Bastide has closed since this review was written. Stay tuned for Ludo’s upcoming restaurant.)

Ludo – master of flavor, texture, and temperature – 3d dining. My first meal was as exciting as any i’d ever had. 3 days in LA – Urasawa, Secret Beef, and yet Bastide was the one i looked forward to most. There could be nowhere to go but up, right?

The Usual Suspects
The foie gras lollipop steal the show – light, airy foie covered in almonds and a balsamic that could be confused w/ chocolate. The mac & cheese is too cold – they should experiment w/ temperature for that one. The chicken cromesqui has nothing on Manresa’s corn version.

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