Ah glorious Sushi Gen.
When I first moved to Los Angeles to pursue my career in food, Cameron would take me to another great Sushi spot in little Tokyo called Hama. This was when I discovered the wonders of real authentic Sushi, not deep-fried and filled with imitation crab, which is what I was used to. One night, when Hama was completely booked we decided to check out Sushi Gen, which thankfully had room for two at the bar. Little did we know, it would soon become one of our favorite spots.
Sushi Gen offers what I think to be the best Sushi . We have been to Nobu in New York, and Sushi Nozawa in LA, both very highly regarded Sushi restaurants, and both agreed that Sushi Gen takes the prize. The fish is extraordinarily fresh and the rice is flawlessly prepared.
The standouts are: the Spanish and Japanese mackerel, both unique in their own flavors and are served with a dash of ponzu sauce and a little sprinkle of scallions. The sweet shrimp, which is raw and takes some time getting used to the texture, is served plain on top of the rice and comes with either the fried head, or a miso soup with the head. The sardine,which has a beautiful phosphorescent color and a mild saltness. The scallop, which literally melts in your mouth and has a unique sweetness to it. The snapper, which is served with a little sliver of lemon and a hint of salt. The salmon skin hand-roll, picture salmon jerky wrapped with warm rice and pickled vegetables, one of my personal favorites. The salmon roe, which pop in your mouth and pair excellently with the rice. The list could go on and on; there are so many different types of sushi and requires that you go in with an open mind.
The service is extraordinary. Once you become a regular, the guys working at the bar will greet you as if you were one of them. They really take care of you and have some of the most skilled hands I have ever seen. I highly, highly recommend you check out Sushi Gen, and if you have to wait for a seat, go have a beer at Bar C, which is just a couple doors down.