SGV: Omakase at Z Sushi

keep the sake coming

For years I have wanted to try Z Sushi in Alhambra. I would see it as I would make my way slowly by streets from Alhambra to Pasadena. A couple of weeks ago, I made plans to try their omakase. We sat at the bar and ordered Harushika sake to drink. Enough is poured to overflow the small glass and into the wooden sake cup. Following my friend’s example, I drank out of the small glass and then refilled it from the wooden cup. But you could also drink directly from the wooden cup.

We decided in a mix of cooked food and sushi for omakase.

daily specials at Z Sushi

 

salad

 

We started with a simple crisp salad.

sea bream

 

Next we had sea bream sashimi with a bit of roe and seaweed. The fish was very delicate, a good way to begin a sushi meal.

salmon nigiri

 

Raw salmon is one of my favorite things to eat. I liked this piece and looked forward to the next few nigiri which were coming at a rapid yet still manageable pace.

yellowtail nigiri

 

Yellowtail is another favorite of mine. In a blink, this was gone as well.

seared halibut fin

Next I had something I don’t believe I ever had before- seared halibut fin or engawa. Yes, I’ve had halibut but not the fin which is considered a delicacy as it’s fattier.

shrimp rolls

I was delighted with the shrimp and tofu rolls in rice paper. They reminded me of Vietnamese rolls  in style yet didn’t have the pungent dipping sauce.

Spanish Mackerel nigiri

 

Our sushi master started asking what we liked. I murmured the Spanish mackerel. It was exquisite.

pork cheek & beef tongue

 

Then he grinned and gave us skewered pork cheek and beef tongue that had been grilled. The magical green sauce was very addicting. I couldn’t decide if I liked the pork cheek or the beef tongue more. The tongue had the texture of heart– toothsome but not chewy.

octopus

 

We also had octopus which was so tender. I really enjoyed these pieces and hoarded each bite.

fishcakes (seaweed, curry)

 

Generally I’ve never been a fan of Japanese fishcake in soups (such as the slices found in udon) but these grilled pieces were covered in seaweed or curry. Both were delicious.

seared albacore

 

Our chef asked if we were still hungry. Yes and no. Yes because I wanted to try some more but I was getting somewhat full. He gave us the seared albacore with garlic. I didn’t quite like this as much. While I did like the garlic, it was very powerful.

uni

 

Uni can be hit or miss and this was a miss for me. It wasn’t the freshest.

giant scallop

 

Things turned around with the giant scallop. I love scallop and this was very fine.

toasted dried sting ray

 

As we thought about whether or not we were still hungry, the toasted dried sting ray made a good snack as we finished off our sake. It is served with a Japanese mayo, Kewpie.

crab & salted plum

 

And lastly, we had the crab and salted plum roll which turned out to be another favorite. I feel this combination is very Japanese and takes a certain palate to enjoy it.

Overall I really enjoyed the experience.  It is more affordable than say Sushi-Gen (though not as inventive) and a good alternative to what seems like a dearth of good sushi restaurants in Pasadena. The sushi rice could have been better and I will have to stop myself from eating too much next time. Although I would like to try more skewers and get more of that great fish cake.

 

Z Sushi

1132 N Garfield Ave., Alhambra, CA 91801 — (626) 282-5636

© The Minty 2012