This week, Besha Rodell shares her take on Soregashi, an unassuming strip mall sushi joint on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland in Hollywood. The Weekly critic puts LA’s sushi scene in context, explaining that "while L.A.'s sushi dominance is recognized as fact, our focus [...] tends to be on the very–high end [read: Shunji and Kiriko] and the sleek, populist mini chains [read: Sugarfish]. When really, the most functionally wonderful aspect of L.A.'s raw fish wealth is in our commonplace strip mall sushi joints. We may take it for granted, but quality, every day sushi restaurants are a fantastic luxury."
While Soregashi, which opened back in August, may not be as austere as a place like Sushi Park, this also isn’t the place for "crazy dynamite rolls." Here you are getting beatiful plates of "dobin mushi, a light, steaming dashi broth flavored with shrimp and ginko," and izakaya-like dishes that include housemade silken tofu and shrimp shumai. Of course, you’re really here for the quality sushi:
Each night the specials menu lists the less common fish that Kawada and Sugishita have found that morning at the market, and if you order the sushi omakase, you'll get a taste of most of them. (If you're looking to avoid bluefin tuna, you should mention this before the omakase begins, as it will undoubtedly feature the endangered fish if you don't.) During one such meal, I had some of the mildest, most supple shima-aji I've ever encountered, and a bite of aoyagi clam that popped with soft sweetness. [LAW]
Ultimately, Soregashi really speaks to the nature of LA’s incredible sushi scene:
There's so very much amazing sushi to be had in Los Angeles, and I'd be lying if I told you that Soregashi was among the most thrilling Japanese restaurants in town. Yet the food here is carefully and seriously prepared, and far more affordable than omakase available at the temples of sushi we all tend to lionize. Those places are wonderful, and I'm immensely grateful that we're rich in our choices at the high and low end. But access to the unassuming but serious middle is one of the great joys of living in Los Angeles. Soregashi is a particularly fine example of that wonderful, immutable truth. [LAW]
Soregashi receives two stars.