Restaurant: Maru Sushi
Location: 12400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025. 310.820.7240
Date: September 6, 2013
Cuisine: Modern Sushi
Maru is a new addition to the excellent Westside sushi scene. It melds traditional (or at least mostly traditional) sushi with a “market menu” of interesting hybrid East/West dishes.
The big interior used to hold Sasabune.
They have a giant mid restaurant table.
2005 Marisa Cuomo Costa d’Amalfi Furore Fiorduva. An enjoyable wine, with minerality and stone fruit on the nose, good body, a nice mid-palate and length. Flavors included lemon, menthol, slight cinnamon and ginger, persimmon, mango,some oak, and simple syrup.
Heirloom Tomato Salad. An assortment of vine ripened heirlooms in a sherry vinaigrette w/ a shiso pesto. Popular with the nightshade fans.
Roasted Beet Salad. With lolla rosa lettuce & a sherry vinaigrette. Topped w/ Red Wood Hill Farm goat cheddar cheese.
Hamachi Kama. Broiled yellowtail collar. Lots of cartilage, but a nice flavor.
Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice. crispy rice topped w/ spicy tuna & jalapeno w/ spicy mayo & eel sauce.
Crispy Duck Risotto. Our famous duck confit & risotto sautéed crispy on the outside. With an herb salad & tomato-truffle oil sauce.
This is one of the restaurant’s signature items. It was good, but the risotto itself didn’t have the ultra creamy quality that great risotto should.
Scallop Ravioli. Mascarpone, morels, tahitian vanilla bean, balsamic sauce.
Really nice. Soft with an interesting blend of richness and that hint of vanilla.
From my cellar, 2006 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis. Burghound 88. A very clean, fresh, bright and airy nose that offers good Chablis character on the white flower and green fruit nose that introduces energetic and mineral-infused flavors that are both delicious and deliver fine finishing volume. Good quality at this level.
Alaskan Black Cod. Half brown rice, bloomsdale spinach, meyer lemon broth.
Nice and light.
Pork in Puff Pastry. braised shoulder, local asparagus, gruyere, soy reduction.
The inside. This was darn tasty.
Curry Lamb. Colorado lamb loin roasted med-rare. Served over a bed of crispy-shiitake rice and marinated onion with cilantro and a Japanese style curry sauce. Excellent with the Soter Cab Franc or the Groth cabernet.
I liked the curry sauce.
Steamed scallop tendons in ponzu.
The meat of the Japanese scallop, server nigiri style and as sashimi. Yum!
A bit of sushi. In the back, toro, the in the middle salmon and kanpachi (young yellowtail). In the front, tamago (omelet).
Here in the back, some BBQ freshwater eel.
Ice cream sandwich of valrhona chocolate chip cookie with chocolate, vanilla, and mocha ice cream.
Rice pudding. Lemon grass infused, wong farms mango, key lime drizzle.
Subtle and refreshing, with nice exotic flavors.
Peach cobbler. organically grown, tahitian vanilla ice cream.
Overall, newcomer Maru Sushi boldly melds Japanese flavors with Western dishes and a bevy of local ingredients. As a seeker of new culinary experiences, I have to admire this. The results aren’t entirely even, with some dishes working well and others a little quirky. The menu is big too, which is probably a little confusing to the uninitiated. It presents a greater challenge in constructing a harmonious dining experience. I’m not entirely sure I succeeded. The sushi at the end was good, but didn’t marry totally successfully. This is difference than at the Nobu/Matsuhisa restaurants where the dishes don’t introduce as many dairy or heavy animal fat notes. After these, the sushi seems a little odd.
Service was nice, but they brought the “market” dishes too rapidly in a big group. I would have preferred them one at a time.
Still, I enjoyed the experience, and a number of the new dishes were excellent and interesting. I’ll have to give it another try and see how it holds up.