sushi Archives - Page 3 of 5 - Please The Palate
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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register. What do you think about drinking when you eat sushi? Beer, sake or a crisp white wine such as riesling, gruner veltliner or sauvignon blanc? What if I said cabernet sauvignon? Yes, a red wine with sushi. After a recent dining experience, I have been convinced that it can work. But, it takes a unique kind of sushi and the right wines.
The sushi is called Edomae, which means the “style” or “the way” of Edo, the former name of Tokyo). It is a type of sushi that was popular in Tokyo in the 1800s. During this time, there was no refrigeration system to preserve the fish, so chefs marinated and seasoned the fish to preserve it safely. The fish, shellfish and conger eel would be caught and lightly processed with vinegar, salt and soy sauce and then laid on vinegar rice. During this preservation of the fish, the water is extracted, as well as the fishiness. The result is sushi that emphasizes umami flavors, and this is what pairs with wine. Edomae was how fish was eaten for 350 years in Japan. But with modern refrigeration and transportation over the last 50 years, the style has changed now we eat the fish fresh.
I love sushi and try to eat it at least once a week. It is light, healthy and flavorful, and living in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of sushi restaurants. In fact, living in West Los Angeles, near Sawtelle Blvd, known as "Little Osaka", my neighborhood is filled with sushi restaurants. Some are very good but expensive. Some are not so good and worth avoiding. But the one I love and go back to over and over and over again is Hide on Sawtelle Blvd, and that is why it is the Please The Palate "pick of the week." Hide is not fancy; it does not have modern decor or any special touches. It is straight-forward with a sushi bar that seats approximately 13 and tables that can seat about 30. They do not take reservations. When you arrive, you put your name on a white board, the number in your party and if you want to sit at the sushi bar or a table. Then you wait your turn. Your entire party must be present when a table is available and they will not seat any incomplete parties. Hide also does not take credit cards. You can pay with cash only, and there is an ATM machine inside the restaurant if you need it. Luckily Hide is not expensive. The cost is very reasonable and you can very eat well for $30-$40 per person. The menu is very traditional. There are rolls, such as spicy tuna and salmon skin, but none of those Americanized rolls, such as Philadelphia rolls. The sushi is super-fresh and the rice is served room temperature. One of my absolute favorite pieces is the albacore tuna with ponzu sauce. It just melts in the mouth.
It has been almost a year since Roku opened on the Sunset Strip. The 8,000 square-foot modern restaurant with black-and-white marble flooring, manicured Bonsai trees and a warm, sophisticated vibe has been a popular spot for celebrities. It is a restaurant that can please most palates as they offer sushi, teppanyaki, new style appetizers, inventive entrees and, of course, favorite dishes from the iconic Sushi Roku. roku-sunset With the menu changing seasonally, we went to try the new items on ROKU’s menu. Shishito Peppers - Typical shishito peppers are elevated with a yuzu miso sauce and melted Parmesan shishito-pepper-parmesan-yuzu-miso