DTLA: Art, Food and Japanese Whisky Tasting at Mrs. Fish
I checked out Mrs. Fish recently for the art, Japanese food and whisky. Mrs. Fish has been open for a few years but only recently transformed to a Japanese restaurant. I would also call it an art gallery with all the cool and fun art adorning its walls. I’m glad they also kept the large fish tanks in this multi-level restaurant.
Speaking of the art, you can find all the artists here.
LA has a non-stop appetite for great fresh fish. The sushi was really good and I liked pairing with whisky. Who says you need sake with sushi? Of course, you can get whatever you want as Mrs. Fish has a good sake, beer and wine list as well.
This Ohishi sherry cask is beloved by many at Mrs. Fish. I do see why the lighter Japanese whiskys work well with food.
A gem salad I loved! For a while, everyone had a little gem salad on their menu in the early 2010s. Don’t get me wrong, I love salad and little gem lettuce is great but it was all the same everywhere. Not so at Mrs. Fish which adds in silken tofu and avocado. The tofu almost reminds me of burrata in its creaminess.
At the downstairs bar, we tried a couple of cocktails. This Teien was a little bit sweet for me but my friend enjoyed it.
Teien – Sipsmith gin, St. Germain, Yuzuri liqueur, watermelon, cucumber, lime
The renkon (lotus root) chips comes with an addicting curry Kewpie mayo based sauce.
I loved the senbei (edmame) dip topped with ikura and served with big white chips that reminded me of shrimp chips though not as seasoned as such.
The Director of Operations, Alex Reznik, whom you may know from shows as Top Chef and his restaurants Ditmas and La Seine, told us this wonderful story of when he was in Japan eating at a spot that did hay smoked bonito. It’s a bit difficult to recreate such a dish with a giant fish here in the States but they did a credible job with the albacore.
Vegetarians never fear, there’s something for you too! I enjoyed the vegetable curry udon. There were plenty of veggies and it’s quite filling.
The Kurobuta pork was the most interesting dish with bitter melon, pickled daikon, duck fat panko and soft scrambled eggs. The above is not the full sized version but my fun sized bite was just enough for me. I’d love to come back to try this complete dish. I bet it goes well with rice.
I tried the downtown garden roll and was surprised how delicious it was. I don’t usually go for veggie rolls but I enjoyed this one with asparagus.
The golden yuzu roll with cucumber and gold flakes really wowed the crowd.
As mentioned, we tried a couple of cocktails. I did like the refreshing Tsuma with vodka and ginger.
Tsuma – Grey Goose vodka, ginger elixir, passion fruit, strawberry, yuzu
I enjoyed the Tai snapper with bamboo in broth. This dish was so comforting with all the veggies. All you need is a little rice to soak up all that soup!
The star dish of the night was the uni pasta with lobster. The noodles were nicely al dente.
If you want to learn about Japanese whisky, Mrs. Fish is a great place to start. Head upstairs to their Japanese whisky bar. They have a collection of over 40 Japanese whiskys. Some new to me ones were The Tottori. We tried both the blended and the blended in ex bourbon cask. I preferred the ex bourbon cask.
I love whiskys from Chichibu and if you’re getting into Japanese whisky, Ichiro’s Malt and Grain is interesting to start with. Pretty soon, you’ll want to explore the malt whisky from there! I’m partial to On the Way from Chichibu which Mrs. Fish has it at a fairly reasonable price.
One of the most famous Japanese whiskys out there is Yamazaki from Suntory. On this night, we had the 12 but I’m interested in the 18 in the mizunara cask. Mizunara is Japanese oak.
Suntory also has another whisky called Hakushu. It’s a single malt like Yamazaki. We tried the 12 and I do prefer Hakushu over Yamazki though in general most people like the Yamazki more. I was a little surprised they were both the same price at Mrs. Fish even though the Yamazaki tends to retail for almost twice as much as the Hakushu. So great deal there.
And the last Japanese whisky we tried is the Nikka Yoichi. It’s been a little while since I had this one so it was nice to revisit.
If you don’t know the Japanese whisky connection to Scotch, pull up a barstool at the whisky bar and ask away. The bartenders love to talk all things Japanese and whisky.
I’ll be back for more food including that fab sushi and to take a closer look at some of the art upstairs.
© 2018 The Minty