9229 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA
Cross Street - Doheny
7.25.06 - Tuesday, 6:30 PM
Moi + Val
I've said it before - I like a good helping of raw fish. I've hit a bazillion sushi joints in this town (barely a dent in those available), and this has been on the list for a while - the place that dares to call themselves "to die for." I was willing to take my chances.
Val, the incredibly hunky friend I call my "Promises Partner", met me in this WeHo hottie spottie recently for dindin. I got there first, and had the supreme (ahem) pleasure of dealing with the too-young, too-arrogant Can I help you? blonde bitch that gave me tons of 'tude for no apparent reason and sat me in Siberia, even though the place was near-empty. Great start. Then she sat a table of four RIGHT next to us just moments later - with the place still full of chirping crickets. Oh, poo on that.
The place is lovely - dark, incredibly comfortable benches line the long back wall and are scattered with bright, cushy pillows. The sushi bar sat empty all night, even though the dining room filled-up substantially - I found that sad. I wanted to go over and say hi and keep them company. Oh, and I did spy a very young femme sushi chef, which gets the place high marks. I like a little variety. You know, equal opportunity roll-making.
Our server, by the way, more than made up for the angsty hostess by a mile, but she had way too many tables hit all at once, and didn't take very good care of us. She tried, she really did, but blondie triple downed her, so I had mercy.
OK, now on to what really matters:
They have exclusively Japanese beer, so Val had a Kirin and I had *gasp* Diet Coke. They have a full bar, however, but I wasn't in the mood.
Pyramid of Tartar
* A trio of bigeye tuna, Atlantic king salmon and avocado with sweet ginger soy
This was purrrty; a literal pyramid starting with the tuna, then the salmon, followed by the avocado. All the ingredients were mushy-fied, however, and they suggested we pour the accompanying sauce (too sweet) over the artwork and mix merrily. We did - this was tasty. Oh, and lest I forget, it was served with house made criss-cross potato chips. Well played on that one.
* Albacore tataki with marinated Japanese cucumber and sauteed red onions and a ponzu dressing
I apparently can't read well and was expecting more greens with this, but it was lovely - almost primarily a sashimi dish, the ginger and ponzu weren't at all unusual, but the whole combo was very fresh and tasty.
* This was a gorgeous display - served in a basket with layers of crushed ice, there were something like 14 pieces of fish in this puppy, and all were top quality.
Animal Style Roll
* Spicy tuna, snow crab, red onion and shrimp tempura wrapped in soy paper
This tasted good, but was too finally chopped and full of mayo - I wanted the fish to shine through more, and it didn't have a prayer.
* Dark chocolate truffle cake, white chocolate and dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate ice cream with an almond biscotti cookie
All right, let me break this down: Biscotti=boring. Truffle cake= oh hell yes but way rich. Dark chocolate mousse = surprisingly velvety and good. White chocolate ice cream = white chocolate? Really? All I taste is vanilla and sugar.
So, all in all - so-so. Wouldn't order again.
The damage for one beer, one soda, one appetizer, one sashimi omakase, one roll, and one salad was about $90 before tip.
RESTAURANT REPORT CARD
Ambiance - B-
Service - C
Food (Taste) - B-
Food (Presentation) - A-
Wine/Drinks - B-
Value - C+
Vibe/Energy/Scene - B+
Overall Experience - B-
Final word - Oh, it's not so bad. Just bypass the hostess and head straight for the bar!