Restaurant: Sushi Kaneyoshi [1, 2]
Location: 250 1st St B1, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 277-2388
Date: September 24, 2021
Cuisine: Omakase Sushi
Rating: Lean mean and awesome
Our Foodie Club “Sushi Series” continues with not one but two visits to LA Omakase newcomer Kaneyoshi. This dinner was sort of a half “Foodie Club” and half Sage Society dinner (in my mind). Mostly it’s just my serious sushi friends which happen to overlap into those two realms.
Kaneyoshi is tucked away in the basement of a Little Tokyo mall/garage building. It’s fairly hard to find. The first time we located the sign but it took us 15 minutes of hunting around to actually find the restaurant (you go up a sketchy stairs, enter a lobby, ask the bored guard, take an elevator down to…
This glamorous “service corridor” — they don’t let anyone in early.
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)
Belt fish Tempura, Salt and Caviar.
1997 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut. BH 95. An elegant and very fresh but distinctly yeasty nose of stupendous breadth leads to incredibly intense, pure, detailed and vibrant flavors that possess superb depth and simply knockout length. This is a powerful Salon and even though it doesn’t have the solid acid spine of the very best vintages, this compensates by its approachability and terrific mouth feel. This could be drunk now or aged, depending on one’s preference. If you can find it, I would lay in a case and drink it selectively over the next 20 years.
Chawanmushi with Japanese Hairy Crab and Kani Miso (crab brain).
Japanese Kinki (Rock Fish) Shabu Shabu with Monkfish Liver Sauce (beneath).
2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé La Grande Dame (from mag). VM 94. Vivid orange-pink. Seductively perfumed aromas of ripe red berries, Asian spices, rose and smoky minerals. Densely packed and palate-staining, offering vibrant red and dark berry flavors, along with floral pastille and buttered toast qualities. The strikingly long finish repeats the red fruit and mineral notes and lingers with serious tenacity.
1996 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé. VM 95. A head-turning beauty, the 1996 Dom Ruinart Rosé boasts gorgeous, resonant fruit to match its considerable structure and intensity. Although quite pretty and expressive, the 1996 has enough balance to develop gracefully in bottle for years to come. (Drink between 2014-2024)
The next dish is presented like a magic trick.
Smoked Skipjack Tuna with Onions. Lovely smoky flavor.
And the prep for the next.
Sea perch. Torched. In nori. Bit of shiso. Kaneyoshi uses some really stunning nori, particularly crunchy. They have this sort of “open hand roll” too.
1990 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut. BH 97. 1990 is one of my favorite vintages ever for this storied cuvée because while the vintage was on the riper side the high yields allowed the fruit to retain a very good level of acidity which made for balanced and ageworthy wines. While I have had the pleasure of tasting the ’90 on a number of occasions since its release, the last time was alongside the 1985 and the 1988, and as admirable as those two vintages are, the 1990 is head and shoulders above them to my taste. The fantastically complex nose is comprised of an abundance of yeast and toast characters that don’t completely dominate the essence of apple, pear, citrus, spice, acacia blossom and discreet orange peel scents. There is equally good depth to the delicious, full-bodied and powerful flavors that possess a lovely sense of vibrancy thanks to the still firm but fine mousse that shapes the delineated, delicious and impeccably well-balanced finale. In my view 1990 is one of the greatest vintages for this wine of the last 25 years and one that is still drinking well. While there is no additional upside development to be hand, neither is there any rush to drink up as this should continue to hold effortlessly for years to come. (Drink starting 2015)
From my cellar: 1969 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. VM 97. The 1969 Dom Pérignon (Original Release) is fabulous. Aromatically, this bottle is perhaps a touch advanced, but the wine’s inner sweetness and textural depth more than make up for that. In the glass, the 1969 is ample, creamy and incredibly inviting. Hints of orange peel, crème brulée, hazelnut and honey blossom in this super-expressive Champagne. The bubbles have mostly receded, and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced. (Drink between 2017-2022)
More delicate work.
Ankimo Monkfish Liver, Salted Santa Barbara Uni, and Sweet Shrimp cured in Kombu.
2011 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc. VM 95. Light yellow. Intense scents of nectarine, pear skin and lemon curd, with complicating floral and mineral notes gaining power with air. Broad and fleshy but tightly focused, offering vibrant orchard and pit fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter note of citrus pith. Dry and nervy on the penetrating, powerful. sharply focused finish, which leaves sexy honeysuckle and ginger notes behind. I suspect that this wine will age gracefully on its tension and balance.
Seaweed and Melon. Very dashi!
1999 Domaine Jacques Prieur Montrachet. BH 93. Young Montrachet can often be quite austere yet this is forward and flashy with expressive aromas of oak spice, orchard fruits and a background note of acacia blossoms followed by large scaled, relatively dense flavors of remarkable complexity and a fine minerality that continues on into the intense and remarkably powerful finish. A very impressive effort. (Drink between 2009-2020)
2015 Domaine Michel Niellon Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 93. This too was quite heavily reduced and again I strongly recommend allowing this 30 minutes or so in a decanter first if you’re going to crack a bottle young. The powerful and impressively concentrated broad-shouldered flavors brim with both sappy dry extract as well as plenty of minerality that suffuses the wonderfully complex and persistent finish. I wouldn’t describe this as a typical Niellon Chevalier but it is certainly a dramatic and high-quality wine. (Drink starting 2021)
2011 Louis Jadot Montrachet. BH 94-97. Here the nose is notably more reserved with aromas of citrus zest, spice, wood toast, fennel and spice hints. This is also a very imposingly-scaled wine with its big, muscular and wonderfully complex flavors that culminate in a long, focused and explosive finish of breathtaking length and intensity. This overtly powerful effort should reward at least a decade in the cellar and drink well for another. A ‘wow’ wine. (Drink starting 2023)
Black Perch with a bit of char.
Japanese Jumbo Clam.
Scallop with eel sauce.
Da da! This is one aged block of tuna.
Aged Maguro. Spectacular.
Aged O-Toro. Even better.
Hokkaido Sweet Shrimp nigiri.
Same uni, but as a tiny baby nigiri.
Monkfish liver and cucumber hand roll. Super crispy nori. Very lovely interplay and unusual too.
Red Miso Soup.
Futomaki. I haven’t had a real Futomaki in years and I have always loved it. Although oddly, this is what passes for dessert at Kaneyoshi.
The chef enjoys some wine.
The sushi at Kaneyoshi was really awesome. They specialize in a style of “cured and aged” sushi and it’s all very straight up showcasing the fish. The flavors are subtle and spectacular. It’s not particularly stunty or overdressed at all. And service is really good. The space, while far away and hard to find, is quite lovely once you get inside. We had the whole place taken over of course. The food is light, however, and by the glutton standards of Erick and I this is definitely a “second dinner required” meal.
Our wines were curated by Liz and therefore amazing as always :-). The company was great too.
Like almost all high end Omakase places Kaneyoshi isn’t cheap. The base was $250 back then (it’s now $300 as of May 2022). They charged a lot of corkage too. Probably at least $100 a bottle. The total was hefty.
Erick and I rolled off in search of second dinner. Annoyingly on this particular night I had the super hiccups which just kept on going and going for about 4 hours!
We found a little izakaya type place.
Regular miso soup.
Chicken Katsu Curry with egg.
Pork Katsu Curry with egg.
BBQ Eel box. Needed some fat and carbs!