Location: 2006 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025. 310.231.1177
Date: August 30, 2017
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi
Rating: Classic Fish
A couple core members of my Foodie Club who all like White Burgundy and Champagne enjoy periodically doing great sushi with the aforementioned wines. This time Tsujita Sushi came up as it’s great and easy to book (I think it’s secretly a loss leader for their noodle chain).
This is just a small event with Foodie co-chair Erick and regular Fred. But we brought good stuff, just opened it all, shared with the chef, and chowed down.
Fred brought: NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 164eme. JG 95. The 164th Edition of Krug “Grande Cuvée is absolutely brilliant and one of the best iterations of this iconic wine that I have ever had the pleasure to taste. This is not surprising, as it is from the base year of 2008, though the team at Krug utilized reserve wines all the way back to 1990 in this version. The final cépages is forty-eight percent pinot noir, thirty-five percent chardonnay and seventeen percent pinot meunier, with the wine spending eight years in the Krug cellars sur latte. The beautiful bouquet wafts from the glass in a blend of apple, white peach, fresh-baked bread, very complex soil tones, white flowers, incipient smokiness and just a hint of the caraway seed to come with bottle age. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and seamlessly balanced, with a great core, utterly refined mousse, superb focus and grip and a very, very long, complex and zesty finish. The vibrancy of the exceptional base year of 2008 is very much in evidence here and this is destined to be one of the all-time great Grande Cuvées.
From my cellar: NV Drappier Champagne Brut Rosé. JG 90+. As I noted in the past, the Drappier Brut Rosé is one hundred percent pinot noir from the estate’s own Aube vineyards and is produced by the saignée method, so that its lovely cherry color is from skin contact, rather than by adding a bit of still red wine to the blend. The cuvée is aged two and a half years sur latte prior to disgorgement and has a dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. The current release in the market is really pretty and stylish on the nose, offering up a vibrantly complex mix of strawberries, a touch of blood orange, chalky soil tones, rye toast, woodsmoke and a hint of clove in the upper register. On the palate the wine is brisk, full-bodied and focused, with a good core, frothy mousse, lovely minerality and a long, nascently complex and still quite tightly-knit and youthful finish. I was surprised how youthful the structure still was here, given how open the nose is at the present time, but it is certainly approachable today and should really blossom with a year or two in the cellar.
From my cellar: 2001 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet. VM 95. Even though the 2001 Chevalier-Montrachet is five years younger than the 1996, it comes across as a bit more forward, evolved and open-knit, but that is not at all a bad thing, as the 2001 is more enjoyable to drink now. Layers of creamy, tropical-inflected fruit flesh out effortlessly in the glass. Scents of marzipan, chamomile, apricot, lemon oil and light, floral-infused honey all add further shades of nuance. Wonderfully complete and seductive, the 2001 Chevalier is a great choice for drinking today, although I would not push my luck too far beyond another handful of years at most.
Fred brought: 2004 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 94. As one would reasonably expect, this is more elegant with a stunningly pure nose of white flower, citrus, orange peel, acacia blossom and the barest hint of wood spice that seamlessly introduces refined, complex and beautifully defined flavors that are tightly wound and impressively vibrant, particularly on the powerfully long and chiseled finish that cuts like a knife. This will be a long distance runner and will require plenty of patience.
Erick generously brought: 1996 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Auxey-Duresses Les Boutonniers. 96 points. Amazing! Fred writes: Well hot damn if this didn’t run circles around the 01 Levlaive Chevalier Montrachet and 04 PYCM Chevalier Montrachet tonight. This was in impeccable balance between the acid and fruit. A much more precise wine than either Chevy tonight. My WOTN easily.
For food, we ordered the larger omakase (with more cooked dishes) and then added on pretty much every nigiri we didn’t get in the omakase.
Toro tartar with caviar. The Matsuhisa classic.
Not only is Tsujita pretty spectacular, but for high end sushi the price isn’t too bad — i.e. it’s expensive but you get a lot relatively. I enjoyed the variety of fish and particularly the highly marinated ones. The cooked apps are very good too with a lot of flavor without heaviness. They emphasize fish and other proteins too avoiding that “veggie + dashi” thing you sometimes get with Kaiseki dishes.
Also, it should be noted that they have great lunch bowls — I go all the time.