My first visit to Hide Sushi left me unimpressed and well, just disappointed. But, in their defense, we did sit at a table and not at the sushi bar. I know. I broke the first cardinal rule of eating sushi: always sit at the sushi bar. The wait for the bar was too long and I was starving. So, a table had to do. Let's just say after our meal I didn't understand the hype about this place.
However, due to a loss of a bet to J, I had to take him out to lunch. Somewhere yummy. He chose sushi. With sawtelle being our usual eating destination, we decided to give Hide one more try. And I am glad that we did. We arrived and got seated at the bar right away. Within 10 minutes, there was a wait to be seated, bar or table. I was so glad that we beat the lunch rush.
Hide gives two sushi pieces per order. The chef gave us each one piece, which was nice. My first order was scallop sushi. The portion was a good size and the scallop was fresh and sweet. Delicious.
Yellowtail used to be my favorite sushi when I was a kid and it still remains to be one of my sushi staples. I love the fatty flavor from fresh yellowtail. This piece was your standard hamachi, but generous on the cut.
This salmon was a bit softer than what I prefer, but still nice in flavor. I like a firmer texture with my salmon. No one likes to eat mushy food.
I wanted to see if they would skimp on the portion size for toro, but I was glad to see that they didn't. The generous portion continued onto the more expensive fish - awesome. I usually don't use a lot of soy sauce when I eat sushi. Since I love the taste of the raw fish, I only use very small amounts of soy sauce. For toro, I don't use any. I don't want to taste soy sauce, I want to taste the toro. And toro, I tasted! It was so tender and buttery, the toro was fantastic.
Uni, my love. My regular readers, all two of you, know quite well about my love affair with uni. This time was no different. The uni was great, cold and creamy and full of that sweet, oceanic flavor.
Another one of my favorites, the giant clam, also known as mirugai in Japanese, has a crunchy texture with a sweetness in flavor.
The yellowtail and scallion cut roll at Hide comes in 4 pieces, but was divided up evenly between the two of us. I adore the mild onion flavor from scallions, but in this cut roll I thought the flavor was a bit lacking. I wanted just a little bit more of the scallions. For this dish, a little bit of soy sauce went a long way.
Albacore sushi usually comes seared, but has a soft and almost flaky flesh. Due to the searing of the fish, some of the natural sweetness of the albacore is lost. For this reason, ponzu sauce, ginger and scallions are the normal accompaniments for this sushi. Initially, I thought the ponzu sauce was overflowing and would completely overpower the albacore. But, since the cuts were, once again on the generous side, the sauce was soaked up in the rice. Don't worry. I ate it fairly quickly to prevent the rice from falling apart.
The sweet unagi was a nice change of flavor from the tart and tangy ponzu sauce. The warm unagi was soft and flaky. I especially liked that the sweetness from the eel sauce was not overpowering the eel.
I wanted to end with the unagi, but during my last "lookover" of the menu I realized we didn't try the spanish mackerel. I love the slightly oily texture and flavor of the aji, which is easily countered by tthe ginger and scallions. J really enjoyed this, which was surprising to me because he usually shys away from somewhat "fishy" and "oily" flavors. Having had amazing aji before, I thought it was good, not great.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my sushi bar experience at Hide. The cuts are generous and for the price, a great deal. This visit to Hide just reaffirmed that I need to always sit at the sushi bar for the best quality fish. Always. There was still a line when we left, so if you decide to come here for lunch or dinner, come early to beat the rush. I'll definitely come back, but I won't wait. There are just too many great sushi options on the Westside for me to wait thirty minutes to be seated... at a table, not sushi bar.
2040 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025