Little Tokyo: Omakase at Mako Sushi
A friend offered to take me out for my birthday recently and I gave him a choice of sushi, meat, Ethiopian or meat. We narrowed it down to sushi and I picked out Mako Sushi in Little Tokyo since I’ve never been. It’s in the same shopping center as Tang, Tangerine, Kinokuniya; the cute Japanese bookstore and Murakai market.
Mako offers two types of omakase. The first is a mix of cooked dishes and sushi. The second is all of the above plus a plate of sashimi. We didn’t think we would need sashimi so we skipped it. But who are we kidding, we are so sushi greedy, we should have taken gotten the sashimi as well.
We knew we would get quite a bit of cooked stuff but couldn’t resist adding a few appetizers to start. My friend suggested the seaweed salad and ankimo; monkfish liver. The seaweed salad turned out to be huge. It’s not overly dressed and a bite here and there clears the palate.
The monkfish liver was served ice cold. My friend didn’t like the texture. I found it was better after it warmed up a bit.
Our first course for the omakase was grated raw mountain yam, raw sliced okra and raw quail egg. It’s dressed with soy sauce and wasabi. If you don’t like the slime of okra then this is not a dish for you. But I loved the textures with the slightest crunch from the veggies. I freely mixed in all the wasabi but I suggest you show more restraint if your sinuses aren’t clogged.
Next we had crunchy jelly fish and wonderfully cured salmon roe. The sushi master says its his own cure recipe. The roe remained plump, not mushy.
Next came the fried octopus. Sadly this seemed to have sat for a while so it wasn’t very crispy. The octopus itself was good though.
Then we had oysters two ways. I struggle to say if raw or fried oysters are my favorite. I settle for saying I just love oysters of any kind or any manner of cooking. These were fresh from Japan.
I did enjoy the fried oysters quite a bit at Mako. They were perfectly creamy and crunchy at the same time.
We loved the sizzling scallops display. The fresh scallops from Japan were seasoned well. We even fought over the last bits of mushroom and green beans.
We each got 7 pieces of sushi. Of all the nigiri, I enjoyed the uni, tuna and gizzard shad the best. The salmon roe and toro were also great. I would come back just for the sushi.
After a brief respite, we had miso soup. It was a great miso soup but what came next blew it out of the water.
I love the eggy custard known as chawanmushi. Usually it’s made with bits of seafood. Mako’s contained succulent pieces as well as a dried scallop. It was a bite of umami with each spoonful.
We were then asked if we wanted ice cream or melon. I try to avoid melon since I’m allergic to honeydew but apparently I had no reactions to this Japanese melon.
I also loved that there was warm mochi with the green tea ice cream.
Mako isn’t open for lunch but I wish they were so I could have sushi during the day. Luckily there are no shortage of sushi spots in Little Tokyo that are open during the day.
Mako Sushi123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 — (213) 613-0083 © The Minty 2014
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