Location: 1553 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024. (424) 832-7284
Date: October 16, 2021
Cuisine: Japanese / Sushi
Rating: Great neighborhood sushi
At one of our endless expensive sushi places Joe and Bonnie insisted that we try Asuka, which is a Westwood “local” or neighborhood sushi place they feel has really good quality. So of course we took them up on the offer.
2002 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. VM 99. The 2002 Cristal is now entering its first plateau of maturity, which makes it a terrific Champagne for drinking now. Hints of apricot, brioche, lemon confit, honey, hazelnut, baked apple tart and spice give the 2002 striking layers of nuance. Rich and generous, the 2002 show plenty of the natural opulence of the year and yet retains terrific freshness as well. As always, Cristal is a blend of Pinot from Ay, Verzenay, Verzy and Beaumont sur Vesle, and Chardonnay from Mesnil, Cramant and Oger. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. This is the original 2010 disgorgement. What a wine. (Drink between 2019-2039)
2005 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. VM 94. Bright yellow-gold. Heady floral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with smoky mineral and floral overtones adding complexity. Velvety and chewy in texture, offering deep, juicy orange and poached pear flavors and suave honey and chamomile nuances. Blends precision with power, finishing with a distinct mineral quality and excellent persistence.
2008 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. VM 99. The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. “We learned from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. “In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.” (Drink between 2020-2050)
2012 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. VM 98. The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It’s as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal. (Drink between 2022-2052)
Oyster with yuzu-kosho. Great.
Duck and monkfish liver. Both great.
Tofu with uni.
Eggplant. Not my favorite.
Popcorn shrimp tempura. We ordered again it was so good.
1992 J.M. Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet. BH 87. Fat, rich, generous fruit laced with notes of botrytis followed by big, intense flavors that show good breed but not much cut or acid balance and as such, this has become a bit top heavy.
1990 Paul Pernot et ses Fils Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet.
Sashimi (toro, scallop, red snapper).
Crab Chawanmushi. Lovely.
Chilean Seabass. nice.
Octopus. Way too charred.
Red Snapper (tai).
Clam miso soup. Very nice.
2008 Louis Latour Romanée St. Vivant Les Quatre Journaux. BH 93. A subtle touch of wood sets off a strikingly elegant and very pinot nose interlaced with spice, violet and soft earth notes that can also be found on the complex and youthfully austere flavors that possess really lovely finishing balance and excellent length. This is not especially dense yet it actually is relatively powerful for RSV plus there is a beguiling sense of harmony and completeness here. (Drink starting 2013)
1964 Joseph Drouhin Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. BH 91. Sweet, pure, elegant and remarkable spicy with rich, round, moderately full flavors that have not lost their focus or precision and a long, rich, velvety finish that has a bit of acid poking through now. The tannins are not fully resolved and give a certain edgy quality to the flavors though not to the point where the overall balance is seriously compromised. Drink up. Note: another recent bottle was completely oxidized and essentially undrinkable.
Spicy tuna on crispy rice.
King salmon. Ikura. Uni.
Macha custard. Lovely.
The quality here WAS really good. Service was great, and while they have a big menu everything we had, particularly the sushi was quite good. It’s not quite at the level of the mega high end places — nor does it try to be — but it’s a “real” Japanese place with very solid sushi, way better than the likes of Kantana or Roku. Very enjoyable and quite reasonable for what it is.