Location: 12244 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064. (310) 826-4737
Date: February 20, 2015
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi
Rating: First rate traditional sushi
I’ve been meaning for some time to come back to Shunji for a mega dinner omakase and tonight finally provided the excuse. My wine friend Sam was in town with his friend Matt and so Erick and I dragged set up some serious Shunji.
At night, Shunji offers an amazing and advanced mix of traditional and modern raw and cooked dishes.
From my cellar: 1985 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon. agavin 90. The wine started out old and oxidized, with a very sherry-like nose. But slowly over the next 4-5 hours it developed into this intriguing nutty ultra smooth beast that was really quite lovely. Given that this is a 30 year-old premier cru Chardonnay, pretty impressive.
Erick brought: 1997 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet. IWC 93. Green-tinged pale color. Classy aromas of tangy grapefruit, pear eau de vie and minerals. Dense, pure, ripe and delineated; vibrant, pristine citrus, spice and stony flavors. Firm and brisk but creamy at the core, in the style of the vintage. Palate-staining finish features almost painful grip.
agavin: mature and drinking great.
Sam brought: 2007 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Montrachet Le Montrachet. agavin 95. Like a coiled cobra. Reduction on the nose at first, then various elements of ripe fruit. Melon. Maybe even durian or jack fruit. Uncoiled slowly through the evening, but always maintained this tropical power.
Sam brought: 2009 Raul Pérez Rías Baixas Sketch. Parker 96. 2009 Sketch, an Albarino sourced from a parcel harvested 1-2 weeks later than all the other vineyards. It was fermented and aged (without malolactic) in two 700-liter barrels for 12 months followed by 60 days of aging in the bottle at 30 meters under the sea. It offers up an enthralling bouquet of mineral, saline, floral, tropical, and marzipan elements. Intense, complex, impeccably balanced, and remarkably lengthy, this is as good as Albarino gets.
agavin 96: This wine was too sexy for me! 🙂 It had this incredible bouquet like a top flight dry Riesling filled with both mineral and citrus/tropical elements. And it just sang on the tongue. Really pretty crazy.
The poor prawns are about to be our dinner.
All and all Shunji is rather fantastic, joining the large repertoire of top LA sushi restaurants. This was a really great take on sushi kaiseki style dishes, combining both innovations with a solid grounding in traditional Japanese flavors and seasonal ingredients. There was some really unusual stuff too (sperm!) and it all tasted fabulous. The nigiri was also top flight, with a lot of exotic fish and at the peak of freshness. Great great stuff. When you sit at the sushi bar like this talking to the chef, you always get the best stuff too — although the restaurant was mobbed and all the great plates making their way out into the room looked amazing.
Plus our dynamite lineup of whites didn’t hurt.