We met at the Hollywood location, and when I arrived to meet my LA-based friends, the paparazzi were already swarming. I didn't know how popular I had become with this little blog. In all seriousness, the photogs were out to click shots of the star-studded table next to us (Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom) lounging with their crew in the sharp, Philippe Starck interior.
We noshed on a huge bowl of edamame while we perused the menu and allowed the helpful and knowledgable waitstaff help us to choose a number of delectable courses from the menu.
Our party sampled about seven different dishes; unlike most sushi retaurants, food is served "family style" - and the portions always included one or two pieces per person. The highlight was the crispy rice with spicy tuna, a fried rice cake (almost a bun) topped with finely chopped and well-spiced raw tuna. It was really a unique taste and texture. We also had a nice albacore with crispy onion topping; a refreshing yellowtail with a mint, cilantro and cucumber combination; and a crab roll (which was my least favorite of the meal, decent but too salty). My other favorite dishes included the creamy shrimp tempura (an awesome crispy fried rock shrimp with a smooth, creamy sauce reminiscent of Nobu), the grilled halibut cheeks, which were very firm with good flavor and the kobe beef with foie gras (delicate and smooth).
I will definitely return to this excellent (if a bit overrun by stars) sushi spot in LA.