Sunday, April 02, 2006
Hi, My Name Is Daily Gluttony, And I Am A Sushi Addict: Sushi Komasa, Little Tokyo
Thanks alot, Kirk. Thanks alot for fueling my sushi addiction so badly with your post on Sushi Gen that I couldn't stop thinking about sushi for the last three days. What can I say, I'm a sucker for peer pressure.
Except I wasn't get my fix from that sushi dealer. A short supply of seats, it seemed. I called at noon to find out they only had a 5:30 pm reservation available. And we all know what the wait is like at Sushi Gen without a reservation.
By the time evening rolled around, my mind instantly went into search mode, and with shaky fingers I started dialing frantically to find someone nearby who would be able to accomodate me. "Hi, do you have a wait right now???" my voice cracked as I dialed Izayoi, and was told we'd have to wait about 15 minutes. So I had to get my goods from a lesser known, less refined and more inconspicuous guy located down the street who just happened to say they'd be able to take us right away.
The thought of going to Sushi Komasa was like the thought of going to Van Nuys instead of the Hollywood Hills to score. There's nothing to this small, older storefront located on Second Street in Little Tokyo except for a lighted sign on the sidewalk. Its windows are covered with paper screens and though I'd passed by several times, I've never been able to get a good glimpse of anything going on inside. The only clue that maybe they've got decent goods is the constant small crowd of people waiting outside. Oh yeah, that and a positive post from Kirk, our local sushi peer pressure pusher. My skepticism about the place was somewhat quelled by stepping inside the restaurant, which was a rather teeny tiny space with a small sushi bar and about five tables. It wasn't so much the atmosphere because, well, there really is none, but more so because the place was pretty full for a weekday night.
Like the restaurant itself, Komasa's sushi list is pretty no-nonsense, and as is the case with many sushi bars, there were no daily specials that we were aware of. A simple, but comprehensive list was what we got, and we filled it out quickly. Besides sushi, Komasa has a menu of other selections such as appetizers and bento combinations--we chose to try some chicken karaage and fried oysters to go with our sushi.
Feet tapping nervously with sweaty hands clasped under the table, we studied the several seafood posters they had on the wall in order to distract us and make the time go by faster as we waited for our fix. "Hmm," I thought to myself, "now I can be an expert at the different types of crab, and red fish, and shellfish, and...WHAT?? WHY ARE ALL THE FISH NAMES IN JAPANESE??? AND WHY IS EVERYONE AROUND US CHINESE?" At that point, I knew I really needed help. Is there such a thing as S.A.--Sushi Anonymous?
Not very addict-friendly reading
But finally, they delivered the goods. As the waitress placed a round lacquered box of pristine looking nigiri in front of us, self control was key...we want to get the most out of this sensory altering experience, but at the same time, we wouldn't want people to think poorly of us, would we? So with sound body, but very unsound mind, we carefully picked up our first pieces of nigiri, dipped it ever so slightly into our soy sauce and took the first bite. Total euphoria ensued and self control went down the drain.
Komasa deals some good stuff...
Komasa's fish was extremely fresh, breaking into buttery softness with each bite. My favorite was probably the hamachi (yellowtail) whose seductive mellowness reeled me in from the first bite. Thinly sliced scallion and grated ginger atop our seared albacore nigiri as well as the slightly smoky flavor of sake (salmon) sushi provided an interesting edge to the meal. My only complaint was that our maguro tuna was a little too much on the cold side, but with the overall excellent sushi high we were on, it wasn't that big of a deal.
Perhaps it was because we were already in fantastic altered states, but although the dark meat chicken they used to make their chicken karaage was a bit on the dry side, its crispy marbled- looking batter coating had a nice milky saltiness to it and gave it somewhat of an addictive quality. The fried oysters we ordered, however, were just not good--obviously from a jar and a little tough in some parts--and would not be forgiven in spite of our state of mind.
I think they put drugs in this too
Sushi high or not, these sucked
Sushi Komasa is not the clean cut, yuppified sushi dealer that many of us feel more comfortable with based on looks alone; he's is the older guy whose place you have to walk to the back of the 1970's fourplex to get to and that's OK. Because the older, unrefined guys have some pretty good stuff too. And this older guy charges less too...about $50 after tax and tip for all this food. Oh, and one more thing: don't expect to find any of that trendy, designer sushi here, either. Sushi Komasa deals in the traditional stuff that is tried and true. As always, you just have to trust your gut.
I just wonder when the withdrawal is going to kick in.
351 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012