Restaurant: Sushi Miyagi [ 1, 2 ]
Location: 150 S Barrington Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90049. (323) 382-5635
Date: Spring 2021
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi
Rating: Top Shelf Omakase Sushi
Great sushi is always a good excuse to pull out the beloved Champagnes.
I went a bunch of times before lockdowns to this awesome high end place in Brentwood, and ordered takeout a couple times during, now since Erick and I have both passed our “two weeks” we decided to celebrate with that most elusive of creatures at home: freshly packed nigiri.
The space is small but attractive (these are pre covid pics).
This is chef focused serious sushi, and so we pre-ordered the largest omakase possible — Erick even egged them on to a larger than offered menu. This picture is also pre-covid, post there is a plexiglass barrier across the bar and no bar seating.
Chef Shinichi Miyagi says about himself on his website:
Born in Osaka, the art of sushi mesmerized the chef at an early age and decided to devote his life as a “Decchi” (apprentice) under Master Higuchi at the age of 16. He opened his first “Kappo” (traditional style of cooking in front of a crowd) restaurant at the age of 25, and moved to LA at 29, working in numerous well known Sushi restaurants in West LA, Beverly Hills, and San Diego.
Through managing a Sushi restaurant in Manhattan Beach (i-naba), now in present day, he found an opportunity to try his skills as an executive chef in Brentwood/Los Angeles. The chefs many years of experience in choosing the freshest fish, will surprise even the most sophisticated pallets of this beautiful city.
His methods and techniques in preparation follows the traditional Japanese style, bringing out the true flavors of the fish. The chef also prepares two styles of rice, AKAZU SHARI (Red vinegar sushi rice), and SHIROZU SHARI (White vinegar rice). The SHARI (Sushi rice) will alternate depending on the fish being prepared, and we hope you enjoy the eclectic flavors of the different vinegars being used.
Erick brought: 1975 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. VM 97. The 1975 Dom Pérignon (Original Release) is fabulous. Rich, explosive and incredibly inviting, the 1975 possesses magnificent depth and pedigree to burn. The very first hints of aromatic nuance are starting to develop in a wine that comes across as remarkably youthful. Over the course of several hours, the 1975 loses some of its intensity, but it remains superb. This is a tremendous showing. (Drink between 2017-2027)
From my cellar: 1985 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. BH 95. At 30 years of age many ’85s in fifth are now tiring but the same wines in magnum are often still singing beautifully and the ’85 Dom is just one of those beauties with its elegant and highly complex nose that displays mature aromas of yeast, toast, baked apples, citrus, spice and soft floral nuances. The delicious and equally complex middle weight flavors are still supported by a firm but balanced mousse where the mouth feel is quite fine before culminating in a long, toasty and regal finale. This has arrived at its peak and should probably be drunk up over the next decade or so absent one having a preference for post-mature aromas and flavors. That said, anyone lucky enough to have this in magnum is in for a real treat! (Drink starting 2015)
From my cellar: NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé. VM 92. A demi-bouteille of Billecart-Salmon Rosé: a safe option, but it does the job, even though I would say that a full bottle is better. (Drink between 2018-2025)
“starter plate” with Monkfish liver, Sawagani crab, oyster with caviar, firefly squid. All awesome.
Flash fried Sawagani crab from Miyazaki Japan. You pop these whole guys into your mouth and crunch. Incredible. We got more later (see below).
Trigger fish. With liver of same. Chive and roe.
Ayu fish grilled. Vinegar. Classic Japanese dish.
The special vinegar.
Red snapper shirako with truffles. The ever “popular” sperm sacks. Incredible!
Minuchi from Hokkaido. Lemon and salt.
Hokkaido scallop. salt.
Shimaji. Stripped jack.
Norwegian Salmon. There is this urban legend that the Norwegian trade board convinced the Japanese to start eating salmon. It’s not entirely true or untrue.
Spanish mackerel from Japan.
Taco (octopus) suckers, grilled.
Blue fin tuna. 5 days aged. Incredible.
O Toro. Melts in your mouth.
Seared Baby barracuda.
Sea cucumber with ponzu. Jellyfish like texture. Excellent.
Sweet shrimp from Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara uni.
Crab hand roll. I think this is where our mega omakase ended, but we weren’t even close to done after such a long time away from such great sushi, so we told him to just go nuts.
Second round of the shirako.
Black cod. Yuzu. Baby peach.
Anago liver. Shirako. Very interesting “deep” Japanese omega 3 flavor.
Marinated Sardine. Incredible.
Kinchi. Japanese rock fish.
Negi toro cut rolls (chopped toro and scallions).
Firefly squid with miso paste.
The bowl of live little crabs.
We eat went for 3 more Sawagani crab.
And another blue fin tuna.
Second o toro.
And finally some truffle ice cream, made by Miyagi (not me this time).
Sushi Miyagi is exactly the kind of sushi place I like best — all omakase and very traditional. This is some seriously good fish. Mostly just straight nigiri and a bit of spectacular sashimi and a handful of cooked dishes. This is really really good and instantly catapulted into the top westside sushi joints. Very friendly too. Intimate as well. Sushi at this level is all about the chef and Shinichi Miyagi is very talented.
Not for the sushi neophytes and roll loves, but fabulous for those of us who really enjoy great fish being showcased in a straightforward and delicious manner.
This was the perfect place to return to sushi post lockdown!