Sunday, February 18, 2007

Perfect Lunch Special — Sushi Go 55

Sushi Go 55
333 S Alameda Street, Suite 313
Los Angeles, CA

Sorry for the absurdly long delay in posts; Thanks for keeping me in your RSS feed and your thoughts. Aside from surviving the holidays, sticking to New Year's resolutions, and finishing revisions to a novel and a play, I also spent a lot of time working on a longer foodie piece about all the streets in Los Angeles named after U.S. Presidents. It includes notes on Tito's Tacos, Mel's Fish Market, and a few other choice spots; you will also find out just what culinary delights Bush Way (yes, it exists) has to offer. Please check it out, and comment on it, lest NFT think I have no readers!

I also lost a couple of weeks to the Performance of my Civic Duty, serving on a criminal trial jury downtown. I got the dubiously warm holiday fuzzies by sending a kid -- who I'm quite sure was a gang-banger, but was clearly NOT proven guilty by the overworked and under-resourced DA -- back home to his momma for Christmas. I also had the perfect opportunity to sample the delights of nearby Little Tokyo.

It's a four-block walk from the courthouse to the heart of downtown's Japanese enclave; just far enough to work up a bit of an appetite. Since I was stuck on a two-week trial, I determined to try a different place for lunch every day. On Day Two, (after yet another mediocre experience at Suehiro -- some people like it, I think it's pretty skanky, and not in a good way) I was going to splurge and take myself to food crazy favorite Sushi Gen. Think a-gen! The line out the door was absurd. So I kept walking. There is, after all, a lot of raw fish in Little Tokyo. I found myself in the odd, sleepy quintessentially Japanese indoor mall on Alameda between 3rd and 4th. The third floor is a veritable Pacific Rim of restaurants, including a couple of excellent ramen houses. But it was too hot for soup that day (one of those 85 degree days in December. Curiously, I blame Al Gore). So I took myself to Sushi Go 55.

Never more I will never darken the door of Sushi Gen. At least, not for lunch. Sushi Go 55 -- aside from its oil saving, global-warming stopping name -- serves possibly the best value sushi meal in town. I know, I say "sushi lunch special" and you think, yeah, all the cuts of sushi I really don't like -- lox, a rubbery shrimp, a bite of an omelette, some flavorless tuna, a soggy California roll -- for $14.00. Not here. At Go 55, ten bucks -- that's right, $10 U.S currency -- gets you one piece each of tuna, albacore, yellowtail, salmon (okay, there's salmon), and snapper (the last three with a brush of light and delicious ponzu sauce, the yellowtail with a bit of wafer-thin shaved onion), a blue crab handroll, miso soup, a wee cucumber salad, and a couple of even wee-er side dishes. And the quality of the fish isn't "value" at all. It's fresh, perfectly chilled, and tender... a delightful antidote to a blazing hot winter day in L.A.

I went back to a couple of times for the very same meal. Each time, it simply, reliably, and cheaply kicked ass. Between Go 55 and my discovery of T.O.T. the following day (more about that in my next post!), I never actually made it to any other lunch spots.

Seriously, Little Tokyo is almost enough to make me want to serve on a jury again.