Hirozen Gourmet is a perfect example of why you can only find the best sushi in the U.S. in Los Angeles. Located in a mini-mall on an average corner of Beverly Blvd. (here, actually), Hiroji Obayashi’s 20 year old restaurant puts out consistently excellent food with a creative and colorful flair. I have enjoyed the delights of Hirozen many times and have never had anything but a great meal.
Obayashisan’s philosophy is “food is for the human relation,” meaning that a meal is the connective tissue of society around which one creates a gathering of people to share their lives with one another. His food expresses his philosophy in the way it surprises without demanding center stage, delights without showing off and sublimely satiates without overpowering. In a city of many options for outstanding sushi, Hirozen Gourmet enters its third decade still standing out from the crowd.
Cucumber sunomono - sliced cucumbers, seaweed and shoots in rice vinegar with lemon; a light, refreshing start to any sushi meal
L-R: Tai - japanese snapper with sea salt and mint; Loup de Mer w/ yuzu-kosho and sea salt; Dorade - French Snapper w/ sea salt
L-R: Blue Fine Tuna with soy sauce and wasabi; Hirame with ponzu and green onion
L-R: Tasmanian Sea Trout with ponzu and scallion; Aji - spanish mackerel with fresh ginger and scallion; White Salmon with scallion; the best trio of the meal, 3 smokey, creamy delicious pieces of fish
Albacore Clear Roll - albacore, avocado, mango, cucumber in clear rice paper
Another highlight, the Wagyu - grilled sake-kasu japanese beef - was perfectly cooked tender, and delicately seasoned sweet and salty
L-R: Kampachi - amberjack (or baby yellowtail) with yuzu-kosho; Mirugai- jumbo clam with mint; Yari-Ika - fresh squid with ginger; a return to light and citrus flavours
L-R: Spicy grilled yellow tail with scallion; Uni - Santa Barbara Sea Urchin; Unagi - fresh water eel with eel sauce; finishing the meal with a tour of flavors, from rich to briney sea to a savory, sweet, grilled dessert