18 March, 2009
It's been open for almost a year already (hard to believe the time has gone by so fast!), but if you haven't heard of it yet, you need to hear about it. This Manhattan Beach gem will give you a new reason to venture to the South Bay apart from the great beaches. Sashi Sushi has quickly made its mark as a high standard for an ambient and equally satisfying dining experience. Managed by former Katsu-ya Brentwood, Chaya Brasserie and Takami/Elevate Lounge alum Leonard Matsumoto, this new hot spot is definitely in great hands. Be it lunch, dinner or appetizers and drinks, Sashi has been added to the growing roster of great and notable South Bay eateries.
Just about every seat is a great seat, whether the temperature is warm enough to entice you with outdoor dining or the cool dimly lit interior tickles your fancy. Sashi's chic decor paired with the warm welcome of the chefs working behind the bar who joyfully greet you as you walk in make for a great start to your meal. The attentive and very well informed staff will walk you through your first trip on the menu, an extensive collection of cold and warm starters, specialty rolls, traditional sushi and sashimi, robata (traditional Japanese grilled plates), and entrees. Today's lunch was kicked off with a number of appetizers, including Shishito Peppers in Ponzu and a Miso "Awase" Soup. The peppers are not hot in spice, but they are quite full of flavor, grilled lightly in ponzu sauce to seal in the flavor. The miso "awase" soup ("awase" is Japanese for blending or joining) is light and fresh, with large tofu pieces and chopped scallions, which do come together well in a delicate balance of flavors.
The main entrees were a combination of both robata and sushi. At our waitperson's recommendation, we ordered the special, a Waygu burger paired with truffle fries, the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna Roll and a good ol' regular Spicy Tuna Roll (for good measure). Where to begin... the Waygu burger is best described as amazing. Cooked and seasoned perfectly with a light smokey flavor, it is served in a cocoon of butter lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a fried egg. The icing on this cake is the side of truffle french fries, which are absolutely irresistable. Just enough truffle is sprinkled on the fries to cause an immediate addiction to them. The Yellowtail Sashimi is fresh and thinly sliced with just enough bite from the jalapeno slice to bring out the wild side to a subtle fish flavor. One of the best Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna rolls is served here. This mini-brick of goodness features sticky fried rice topped with a dollop of creamy spicy tuna. You will need to eat this in two bites, and you'll savor each of them. Finally, the traditional Spicy Tuna roll does not disappoint, and with perfect proportions, you aren't left feeling like you had way too much rice and not enough protein in your lunch or dinner.
As a final note, the service at Sashi is quite exceptional. We ordered a third appetizer which was also quite tasty, Shrimp Spring Rolls in a Mustard Sauce, but we were so full that we couldn't finish them. The sous chef, noticing the almost full plate of rolls, came to our table to make sure there was nothing ill-tasting or disatisfying with the rolls. It is this level of concern for patrons and the high expectations of the chefs that is greatly appreciated by customers. For this reason, as well as the delightful food served, Sashi will be a favorite of many, including myself.