Location: 21418 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364. (818) 456-4509
Date: September 14, 2021
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi Kaiseki
Rating: Really wonderful modern style Kaiseki
This dinner is part of a “Sushi Series” (the others being here) in a vast array of epic Japanese sushi and/or Kaiseki dinners post lockdowns that all included myself, Erick, Joe and Bonnie — and often Larry, as is the case tonight. Herein we “endeavor” to visit or revisit most of the top sushi spots in LA.
Larry has been coming to Brothers for years, but in 2018 recently Chef Mark Okuda took over and totally transformed the place into one of the Valley’s — and LA in general’s — top omakase destinations. Larry took us on a foray a couple weeks ago, but we immediately set up a giant even longer one for more people a few weeks later (this meal).
But the inside is attractive and there is a large patio and this interior with an extensive sushi bar and a few tables.
1990 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame. VM 94. The 1990 La Grande Dame is a shock to the palate after all the older wines in this tasting. Candied lemon, rosemary, dried flowers and spices are all super-expressive in the glass. The 1990 retain a good bit of brightness, especially for its age. The citrus flavors have still not moved into realm or more orangish tonalities, as is likely to happen over time. The 1990 can be enjoyed now and for the next 20 years or so. (Drink between 2015-2034)
From my cellar: 1996 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut. VM 97. Taittinger’s 1996 Comtes de Champagne is another highlight. The flavors are only now beginning to show elements of complexity, a great sign for aging. Gently spiced and buttery notes suggest the 1996 is about to enter the early part of its maturity, where it is likely to stay for another decade or so. (Drink between 2014-2026)
1995 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. VM 95. Wonderfully subtle, complex aromas of white flowers, acacia honey, minerals, nuts and mushroom, with musky and leesy nuances. Oily, rich and smoky but with terrific verve and lift. Quite substantial and chewy for a young D.P. but not at all heavy. Yellow plum and strong soil tones in the middle and on the palate-staining finish. Offers a rare combination of richness and finesse. (Schieffelin & Somerset, New York, NY)
2009 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre. BH 93. Subtle wood sets off aromas of flowers, oyster shell and tidal pool that complement perfectly the racy, pure and strikingly well-detailed medium plus weight flavors that brim with minerality on the delicious, mouth coating and impressively long finish. This beautifully vibrant and concentrated effort should drink well young and age well too plus it’s more classic in style than many wines from this vintage. (Drink starting 2016)
2010 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre. VM 92. Fruit-driven aromas of peach, apricot, pear and flowers. Then juicy and tight in the mouth, with strong citrussy acidity leavening the wine’s mid-palate sweetness. The long, peachy finish shows lovely finesse for this bottling.
2011 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne. VM 96. An utterly mesmerizing wine, the 2011 Corton-Charlemagne conquers all of the senses with its grace and harmony. Lemon oil, white flowers, pears and crushed rocks are some of the many notes that are woven together in the glass. The 2011 is perfumed, sublime and drop-dead gorgeous from the very first taste. With time, though, the wine blossoms beautifully as it fills out its broad-shouldered frame with tons of style. (Drink starting 2018)
Marinated Jellyfish from Okinawa.
3 Week Dry Aged King Salmon, Marinated Tomato and Burgundy Truffle.
Sweet Corn Chawanmushi with Santa Barbara Uni and Japanese Watercress.
Japanese Milk Bread, Toro, Takuan, Sweet Onion, and Caviar.
Black Abalone with wasabi.
Risotto (with the abalone).
Monkfish Liver with a very sweet glaze.
Steamed Hairy Crab from Hokkaido.
Sweet and tangy sauce for the crab.
Fried River Crab (eaten whole).
Hokkaido scallop and shimiaji dry aged 1 week from Japan.
Japanese sea perch and golden eye snapper.
Otoro and chu toro from Spain.
Uni. Santa Barbara, Hokkaido, and Red Sea urchin from Japan
White shrimp from Japan and Wagyu.
Green tea cheesecake.
Blue Cherry Gelato – a blend of Morello Cherry, intense Amarena Cherry, and Blueberry fruit make this dairy gelato really pop — topped with Candied Amarena Cherries — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #amarena #morello #cherry #blueberry
Burnt Basque Cheesecake Gelato — Milk steeped with Tahitian Vanilla Beans and Valencia Orange Peels and then blended with Cream-cheese and Egg Yolks, layered with house made “burnt” Caramel and topped with house-made Caramel Brittle, finished with the torch! — created by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #basque #cheesecake #caramel #brittle #orange
I was really impressed by Brothers. Not only was the fish superlative and the dishes every inventive, but Mark has a really refined sense of balance to his flavors. Nothing was overly sweet, or overly salty, or overly tangy — but instead hovered in that lovely space where all of the flavors hang in proper harmony.
Bravo! I’d highly recommend Brothers as one of the best “modern style” Omakase places in the city.
This second (even bigger) dinner was just as good, if not even better, than the first visit. Really really great place. I’ve been back a couple times for lunch since but have been waiting (for six months since this dinner) for their long awaited Santa Monica branch to open!