West LA: Omakase at Hiko Sushi
I’ve declared it’s the Year of Omakase**. Every couple of months, I will be exploring a different sushi omakase. I started a few months ago at Mako in Little Tokyo then I visited Shunji in West Los Angeles. After that meal, my noodles partner let me know she was up for an omakase meal. One of our previous meals a few years ago at Sushi Gen is still one of my favorites. We went back and forth over all the so-called best of lists and picked out Hiko, an unassuming place in West LA.
They warn you at the door that there are no crazy rolls here. That’s perfect because all we want is sushi (nigiri). The sushi chef never spoke to us even though we sat at the bar. We interacted with the staff for the most part. After confirming we wanted omakase, we got a starter in the form of tuna sashimi. The diced tuna in ponzu reminded me a bit of Sugarfish.
Then the nigiri came fast and furious. We were given two of each piece. The noodles partner and I agreed we rather have had one of everything with the option to order another if we really liked it. Also we could have gotten different kinds of fish. But since I love yellowtail, I wasn’t mad at it.
Next we had toro and red snapper. The toro was excellent as you can imagine. And the red snapper was pretty good. I was beginning to hope for some sort of exotic fish I’ve never had before. Like the different fish you get at Shunji.
But no, the next one was albacore. It wasn’t seared which was a little surprising since it’s such a soft fish and generally tends to fall apart. But you know what? I prefer this super creamy texture. I’ve not been a big fan of albacore in the past because of the slightly cooked edges.
Crab hand rolls came next. For this course, we got one each. These were good but I don’t know if they were KazuNori good. Still, there was a goodly amount of crab and the seaweed was crisp.
The escolar came next and it was starting to get interesting.
Ooh, scallops! I love scallops and you get fat ones as nigiri. None of that wimpy chopped stuff.
I’m always interested in seeing how sushi chefs marinate their ikura (salmon eggs). These were a tad salty but very good.
My all-time favorite nigiri is mackerel. I love Spanish mackerel but Japanese mackerel comes in a close second. It’s not as fishy so some prefer it.
Now we’re talking– uni! The sea urchin was beautiful. I was starting to get full and the staff seemed concerned we weren’t slowing down. But we were… well, maybe a couple more things.
Here, have a tuna hand roll. Well, all right then. Like the crab hand roll, it was good to munch on as we considered our last bite.
Luckily it was salmon which I very much like but for omakase, it felt like it was slipped in last minute.
Overall, the fish is good but I didn’t particularly feel the omakase was tailored for us. I would have liked the chef to ask us what we like and we definitely would have gone with a piece each before getting two of everything.
The hunt is on for the next Omakase for the Year of the Omakase**.
Hiko Sushi11275 National Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064 — (310) 473-7688 © The Minty 2015 ** Of course I meant Forever Omakase and not a literal year. Omakase love, ftw!