Restaurant: Inn Ann
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (323) 677-5557 (inside Hollywood & Highland)
Date: November 19, 2019
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi
Rating: Great sushi, hard to find
We Foodie Club guys always like to try great sushi, so when we heard that Mori — founder of Mori Sushi — had taken up in Hollywood, off we went (took a bit of rescheduling too).
Translating to “hidden retreat,” INN ANN offers a high-end, seasonal Japanese tasting menu dining experience within JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, evoking a serene sanctuary on the fifth floor of the bustling Hollywood & Highland. Bringing a taste of Japan to Hollywood, the innovative new dining room fosters discovery and curiosity, showcasing Japanese culture, traditions, and rich heritage through the lens of its cuisine. Rooted in the revered Japanese culinary philosophy, the menu incorporates local ingredients embracing Californian farmers’ market elements.
They weren’t kidding about the hidden retreat — Japan House is located in the deepest hardest to reach bowels of the top floor of the super annoying to reach and park at Hollywood & Highland. Past the junk shops and box stores and Forever 21, way up top, behind the elephants.
Then you must progress down a service coordidor into a realm you suspect that no one but mall staff ever go, beyond trash dumpsters to your sanctuary.
And while the build out is gorgeous, spacious, and sports a lovely Hollywood view there isn’t even a bathroom. You have to hike back through the strange Japanese library in Japan House proper. Very weird.
But it is chic (although not crowded. haha).
An esteemed sushi master, Chef Mori Onodera once told Los Angeles Magazine, “Rice is 70 percent, fish is 30 percent,” highlighting the importance he places on the quality of the rice he serves. He grows his own short grain rice in partnership with Tamaki Farms in Uruguay, further establishing his renown as a rice connoisseur. Chef Onodera also meticulously sources fresh fish for his signature sushi, placing a major emphasis on sustainable seafood. At INN ANN, Chef Onodera brings his expertise in sushi and rice to the table, as well as a singular “mobile” sushi cart of his own design.
The menu is omakase. We just told Mori to bring us everything!
Erick brought: 1993 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. JG 92+. I have drunk a few magnums of the 1993 Dom Pérignon to start off tastings in the last handful of months and this is at a lovely place in its evolution at age twenty-five. This is not a great vintage of DP, but a very good one that has retained a nice sense of its “good green” personality, as it offers up an aromatically complex mix of green apple, menthol, stony minerality, lime peel and plenty of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and still quite steely in personality, with a good core, elegant mousse and lovely grip and cut on the long, complex and energetic finish. This was a slightly leaner vintage of Dom Pérignon in its youth and it has retained this personality as it has started to blossom, but it remains a fine drink with a long future ahead of it. (Drink between 2018-2040)
Tofu and wasabi.
Then covered in special soy sauce. Simple, but scrumptious. Gorgeous soft tofu texture.
Japanese seaweed, Japanese sunchoke, Pumpkin, Mountain peach, blanched peanut, chestnut, burdock, eggplant. The giant bowl of Japanese veggies. Kinda nice and very Japanese tasting.
Sunomono. Red clam. Cucumber. Japanese shallot. I always love marinated stuff, particularly with the sweet rice vinegar typical of sunomono.
Sashimi. Buri. Japanese mackerel. Saba. Maybe some clam thing.
Dobin mushi. Seasonal soup. Harvest season. Matsutake mushroom. Fried shrimp ball. Rock fish. Mitsuba. Ginko nuts. Slightly Smokey. This was one of those really like Japanese mushroom broths with a bit of seafood flavor (from the shrimp ball) and a good dose of Japanese citrus.
Larry brought: 2000 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut. BH 96. A wonderfully layered and nuanced nose features an intense yeasty character to the maturing fruit that displays interesting phenolic characters, in particular petrol, along with aromas of apple, pear and soft citrus hints. In contrast to the nascent maturity expressed by the nose the flavor profile is still tight and backward with a genuinely gorgeous texture, all wrapped in a strikingly persistent and highly complex finish. For my taste the 2000 Brut is at an inflection point as the nose does offer enough maturity so that it’s really quite pretty whereas the palate impression is substantially younger. As such it really just depends on how you prefer your Champagne because I suspect that the nose will be very mature by the time the still very youthful flavors attain their majority. For my taste preferences it would be no vinous crime to begin enjoying this now but be aware that this will age for a very long time. The best approach is probably to buy 6, or even 12, bottles and enjoy them over a longer period of time.
Grilled King crab. Grilled Yellowtail. Wild arugula.
Tempura. Abalone. Abalone liver. Shisito. Baby corn. Mission figs. Matcha salt. Very rich and delicious.
The Matcha salt and tempura sauce.
A5 wagyu. Wasabi. Purple Okinawa. Homemade radish pickles. 2 year old yuzu kosho. The yuzu kosho and wasabi stands in for “mustard” with the beef.
Erick brought: 2008 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes. BH 94. Readers may remember that last year the ’08 Combettes had not even started its malo at the time of my February visit (more than 16 months after the harvest!) and thus it was not rated. Well, I am very happy to report that it has turned out marvelously well with an ultra-fresh nose of mildly exotic yellow orchard fruit aromas trimmed in floral and wood components. There is excellent richness, size, weight and punch to the medium weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract that both coats the palate and buffers the very firm acidity on the driving, even explosive finish that is stunningly long. This is quite simply an extraordinary wine and it is not an exaggeration to say that the ’08 is the best young Leflaive Combettes that I have ever seen.
Really good homemade ginger.
Tai snapper. Sea bream from Japan. Wasabi.
Needle fish from Japan.
Aji. Spanish Mackerel.
Marinated tuna from New Jersey.
Ikura (salmon eggs).
From my cellar: 2008 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. BH 91-94. A subtle touch of pain grillé highlights citrus notes that, like the Pucelles, exhibit hints of honeysuckle and fennel nuances that complement perfectly the textured, rich and sweet medium plus weight flavors that are quite supple yet remain detailed, energetic and strikingly long on the explosive finish. This is a relatively powerful Bienvenues. In a word, terrific. (Drink starting 2018)
Santa Barbara Uni (sea urchin).
Golden snapper. Seared skin. Nice smoked seared taste.
Special sea eel.
Contains miso soup. Nice dashi flavor.
Clam and Cucumber roll.
Dashi whitefish shrimp tamago. Salty version, not sweet at all.
Chu toro again. How could we not.
Buri belly from Hokkaido.
This pair of gelati I made for my son’s birthday:
House favorite and my son’s birthday pick: Triple Chocolate Cloud – As usual the base is made with Valrhona 62% Satilla Chocolate and then layered with Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Ganache and the rotating ingredient is crushed Oreos — 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 #Valrhona #chocolate #creamcheese #ganache #icing #Oreos
Strawberries and Cream Gelato — A dairy strawberry base with Avignon Strawberries plus Strawberry Jam Ripples and Strawberry Wafer Cookies — 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 #strawberry #cream #jam #wafer #cookies
Hard to find place, but outstanding sushi. Some of the best classic sushi in LA. Pricey, as it always is, but worth it. Mori is one of the local masters.
NOTE: apparently as of 12/31/19 Inn Ann is now closed. Perhaps the ridiculously weird location didn’t help! I’m glad we got to go!