We arrived late in the
evening to the tiny space, the stunning hostess with the lilting British accent
tittering before agreeing to seat us, my exuberant recall of our meal only two
day’s prior to her obvious amusement.
Like a beloved Elvis tune, I
just couldn’t get it out of mind.
In unison, the chefs at the
small sushi bar in the storefront, two Japanese men and one gaijin trained in Tokyo, greeted each
guest as they entered and departed. It
was traditional and it was exceptional.
My dining companion’s disdain
for sake bought him my ridicule and two bottles of minerally Falanghina.
Black truffles and meaty mushrooms
floated in the steaming miso broth.
tempura of Dover sole was paired with a lemon cream touched with chive and made with Sanbokan lemon, an ancient
The medium-fatty toro was
extremely fine, needing not even one accoutrement.
Scottish lobster and Welsh wagyu made appearances on the carefully curated carte, as
did Cornish crab and Scottish scallops and shrimp from Santa Barbara.
The Hirame was 86’d but the Hamachi
belly, just barely seared and brushed with yuzu-kosho, tasted of a fish that
had dined his entire life on early spring wild flowers.
It was the sea bream, however, for
which I’d returned.
With none of the oiliness of its salmon
or mackerel brethren, but every bit as rich and toothsome, the firm raw Tai was
topped with shaved black truffle and cubes of ponzu gelée.
One life. One liver. One stomach.