Who would have thought that tiny pieces of uncooked fish on sticky rice with a little salty sauce, sinus-clearing paste and a few other, largely decorative, flourishes could taste quite so very good?
Here's my gripe: why is it that in California, a huge roll or the best quality sashimi will come to a price comparable to a standard take-out nigiri in the UK. Almost, at least. Clearly, the West Coast of America is closer to Japan, with a larger Japanese population, but it's not as if sushi is flown in. Britain may not have a lot of things, but a coastline is one thing we do have. We're an island! We have a lot of seafood and a big (sometimes environmentally dubious) fishing industry. The ingredients can't weigh in at much more of a cost! I would start a campaign for cheaper good quality sushi, but I really wouldn't know where or how to begin.
A special mention here must go to Sushi Spot, on Ventura Boulevard, in the depths of the Valley. Tiny and unassuming, located in the corner of a mini strip-mall, it served up quite possibly the best sushi that I have ever tasted. I was in and out in less than three-quarters of an hour, but that is one meal that I will remember when I'm old and grey. The slithers of toro literally melted on my tongue, a lingering culinary ecstasy that required not a single bite or chew. The prawn and crab tempura roll was huge, fresh, warm and succulent, rich and creamy without being overpowering. The unagi could have been caught five minutes ago and wouldn't have tasted better. Angelenos do not know how lucky they are to be blessed with this place.