Urasawa (LA) – Better than Ever with Real Kobe
I’ve reported on Urasawa before – it’s one of the very best restaurants in the country. Los Angeles might be a superficial slum to some, but more integrity and soul go into each Urasawa dish than any restaurant I’ve visited. Each dish is meticulously crafted and lovingly served. Urasawa almost transcends its restaurant digs – it’s more of a temple for food.
Grilled Shitake Sushi
Here are the photos from my meal last week. The first few courses are usually the same, ingredients and variations changing with the season. Then the usual onslaught of sushi arrives.
This meal was easily my best Urasawa meal – everything was hitting on all cylinders – it gets a spot in my A1 Best Meals section. The beef, pictured below, prepared 3-4 different ways, was incredible. The toro, the rare item of his I find not always up to par, was excellent – fatty but it still had a fairly intense taste. The abalone was perfect. The (many) live prawns & lobster – sweet. The uni was very firm, foie-like creamy, and quite sweet.
If you’re in LA and skip Urasawa, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
Kobe Beef “A10″ – There are 12 grades of kobe beef 1, A12 being the highest, but the chef said A12 is too fatty for more than one bite. The A10 was a good compromise for serving across several dishes. I’ve never seen more marbled meat. For those that say “you haven’t had Kobe til you’ve had the real thing” – they are absolutely correct. This would put any “wagyu” you find in top-tier American restaurants like The French Laundry to shame.
The meat was served in a variety of ways – cubed and grilled, sliced for shabu shabu, and thinly sliced and grilled for sushi. The grilling was done for a few seconds – enough for a char. The piece of sushi was the best preparation where the intensity of fat may have been a bit too much in the cubed and grilled piece.
A10 Kobe beef
Egg Custard with Ikura
Toro, Kanpachi, and Uni sashimi
Abalone and Uni
Shabu Shabu with Foie Gras
There is no recommendation high enough for this restaurant and it’s a must-visit for Los Angeles.
1 – Here is an excellent grading tutorial on wagyu beef: http://www.vantageusa.net/reference/JapanseMeatGrading.pdf