Forbes Best US Restaurant – 7 – Urasawa – Beverly Hills, CA
218 N Rodeo Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
- Tue-Sat 6 pm – 9 pm
- Good for Kids:
NoAccepts Credit Cards:
DressyGood for Groups:
- Price Range:
$$$$ Takes Reservations:
- Good For:
Beer & Wine OnlyNoise Level:
Intimate, Classy, UpscaleHas TV:
YesUrasawa is located on Rodeo Drive and Wilshire across the street from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The entrance to the valet is around the corner on Dayton. The restaurant is located on the top floor of the building all by itself – And with good reason.
For 3 hours we were treated to course after course of the “Trillest” Japanese food this side of the Pacific Ocean. Most of the fish came from Japan, and some (like the Japanese uni), are only available in LA at Urasawa. To accompany all this unbelievable food, we ordered a large bottle of Kimura sake. This sake is available only in finer Japanese restaurants, and it is light in taste making it the perfect accompaniment for the seafood that is available in summer.
Menu for Urasawa
With sea urchin sauce
Sesame-seed tofu with fresh wasabi and house-made tamari
Red snapper, sea urchin, shiitake and shrimp with mountain potato and egg white
Toro cubes marinated in soy and sake, grilled on a hot rock with tosazu dipping sauce of soy, bonito, vinegar and sweet sake
Served with house-made seaweed salt
made with koshihikari rice
Salmon eggs wrapped in nori. marinated with soy, sweet sake and bonito
Japanese barracuda seared and served with kinome leaf to flavor the rice instead of vinegar
What’s Popular Here?
Menu may not be up to date.
It has been a real struggle getting back into the groove of blogging since returning from the US – what with jet lag, friends popping over from abroad and the arrival of Easter. Today, after a long weekend of festivities (aka eating), I’ve finally sat still long enough to pen my first post in over a fortnight. As with all our trips, meals at top eateries featured heavily on the agenda and on this occasion the hit list included Providence and Urasawa in Los Angeles, and Alex in Las Vegas; all of which were awarded 2 Michelin-stars in 2009 (Michelin ceased to produce guides for both cities in 2010). Although all three boasted faultless cooking, Urasawa was the only to truly dazzle.
Considering the exorbitant $350 a head minimum, it comes as no surprise that Urasawa resides in a swanky shopping complex on Rodeo Drive, in the heart of Beverly Hills (bearing the famous 90210 zip code, no less). Finding the restaurant was a bit of a mission as it is inconspicuously located on the second floor, with only a tiny plaque next to the lift as way of signage. Once upstairs, a maze of doors and corridors led to a traditionally curtained entrance that opened up to a compact, yet airy space. From behind the 10-seater counter in pride of place, a broadly-grinning Hiro Urasawa and his apprentice (both clothed in full traditional garb), greeted us with a loud “Irashaimase!” as we were guided to our seats.
Meals here are served omakase, with Hiro-san deciding what to prepare according to what is fresh that day. Any dietary requirements are of course catered for, but he reserves the right to veto certain requests – my own pleas for no wasabi were quickly dismissed with a disapproving glare and shake of his head. Urasawa is clearly serious when it come to food but he is not without humour; in fact he is quite the showman, wise-cracking (“$10 a photo!”) and name-dropping (“I know Angelina Jolie”) his way through the evening. Meanwhile the mild-mannered Ken-san works quietly and diligently beside him, brows furrowed in concentration. He may be the sous, but having tasted sushi crafted by both Hiro-san and him (who sweetly snuck me a few wasabi-free pieces), it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that his impeccable knife skills easily match that of his master’s.
After making our choices from the drinks menu – our first choice of Dom Perignon 1999 was unavailable so we settled for a Perrier-Jouet 1998 (yeasty, toasty nose with biscuity notes translating to green apples. structured acidity, reasonable length and good balance) – we sat back and waited in anticipation of the Kyoto-inspired feast about to unfold.