Location: 8385 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. 323) 653-0470
Date: May 10, 2019
Rating: Very good, and interesting, but expensive
Erick, Larry, and I kept hearing through the rumor mill that Matsumoto in Beverly Hills had one of the best Japanese Omakases in town so of course the Foodie Club had to saddle up and go.
We had prearranged this giant special menu! It was so long, they refused to start dinner later than 6:30!
From my cellar: 2006 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon. VM 94+. The 2006 Rosé Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon is powerful, intense and also classically austere in its make up. Crushed flowers, mint, red berries and cranberries are all finely sketched. The 2006 finishes with striking mineral-driven precision, and while it doesn’t have the opulence or exuberance of the 2002, it is still a very pretty and appealing Champagne. The Elisabeth Salmon is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, with about 8% still Pinot Noir. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.
1995 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut. VM 94. The 1995 Krug is gorgeous. I chose it because one of my guests loves Krug and I thought the 1995 would have the right amount of complexity to pair beautifully with the smokiness in Saison’s caviar. Although the 1995 Krug is not a truly epic wine, it is in a sweet spot right now. (Drink between 2018-2023)
Uguisu Tofu (back left). Sugar snap pea tofu.
Hotaru Ika Sumiso (lower right). Cooked firefly Squid (seasonal) with miso vinegar.
Nasu Agebitashi (back right). Eggplant cooked in sweet soy and dashi.
Wagyu Miso Zuke Negi Maki (left). White green onions wrapped with miso marinated wagyu beef.
Hotate Ebi Satsuma Age (front). Light fried fish cake made of scallop and shrimp.
Ama Ebi Ceviche (center). Diced Sweet Shrimp with home-made yuzu salsa.
From my cellar: 1993 Robert Ampeau & Fils Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. BH 92. A fully mature and expressive nose of elegant secondary fruit and floral aromas introduces intensely mineral-driven, pure and beautifully well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess excellent depth and fine length. This is drinking perfectly now and should continue to do so without effort for at least another decade. Tasted only once recently.
2015 Bret Brothers Viré-Clessé La Verchère. VM 88. Pale, bright straw-yellow. Ripe peach, orange zest and passion fruit on the nose, with a touch of leesy complexity. More exotic than the Les Crays but less harmonious today, showing a more glyceral texture, then surprising acidity. The stone fruit flavors convey very good depth, plus a slight mineral edge.
Soup (Suimono). Hama Sui. Cherry stone clam in clear soup.
Sashimi (Otsukuri). Hon maguro (blue fin tuna), shima aji (striped jack), aji (Japanese grunt), sakura masu (wild cherry salmon), hotate (scallop).
Notice the fin beneath the fish.
Grilled (Yakimono). Hokke Matsumae Yaki. Grilled atka macherel marinated with kelp (overnight).
Fried (Agemono). Chi-ayu tempura & Soramame Kakiage. Deep fried young sweetfish w/ Sansho Pepper sea salt & depp fried fava beans with sea salt.
Side Dish (Naka-Zara). Kani Miso Cheese Koura Yaki. Hairy crab innards (mixed with crab meat, egg & scallions) grilled with cheese in the shell. This was a unique prep of crab guts — awesome and slightly like a Japanese crabby tuna melt.
Uni Flight. Three kinds of uni. I think all Japanese.
1987 Cellier des Samsons Fleurie!
Small Dish (kobachi). Mushi awabi. Tender cooked abalone with okra.
1978 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Grèves. BH 89. Mostly bricked through. The expressive and attractively layered nose is composed of full-on sous bois, earth and herbal tea scents. I very much like the complexity to the well-delineated and punch middle weight flavors that exhibit a subtle minerality on the linear finish that displays an acid-tang that is enough to mildly dry the finish. This is pretty and very ’78 in character though the balance isn’t quite perfect. Drink up.
We added a wagyu sushi flight.
Pretty bowl for:
Steamed (mushimono). Kinki and kabu nibitashi. Rockfish steamed with sake and turnip cooked in light soy and dashi.
And because that giant menu wasn’t enough we added some more meat — I think this was duck.
Then the sushi (shokuji) started to come:
Sumi ika (squid) and kegani (hairy crab).
Nodoguro (seared black throat perch) and toro (supreme toro).
Kuruma ebi (prawn).
Hokkaido uni (sea urchin).
Plus we wanted MORE. A final flight of sashimi!
2005 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Clos Häuserer. VM 90. Pale straw-gold color. Aromas of orange liqueur, white flowers and minerals. Vibrant and clean, with ginger and nutmeg spice notes contributing energy to the peachy fruit. I find this brighter and more precise than the Clos Windsbuhl. It’s sweeter but also livelier, thanks to a juicy sugar/acid balance.
Bessert (mizugashi). Baked sweet potato cake and fruits.
Overall, Matsumoto was really good and we had an epic meal — their super sized omakase + a bunch of extras. Certainly we were full. The courses were all extremely well prepared, but it is a very pricey place and leans toward a highly traditional Japanese taste tonality that isn’t that splashy. Newer style places like ootoro are more flashy and crave-worthy — and Hayato, which is also very traditional, is somehow more refined and modern at the same time. So Matsumoto ends up being a lot of money and very good, but you can get more bang for your buck elsewhere. Certainly glad I tried it though.
Afterward, we stopped by Kim’s resteraunt, Khong Ten and kept drinking — combining with the sake to make me very slugging in the morning.