Shunji Japanese Cuisine, L.A., the 5th Anniversary Celebration of So Much Winning

I have no clout, but luckily I knew somebody who did (Matsuki’san), and he was able to get us in for Shunji’s 5th year anniversary.

As far as restaurants go, Shunji’s has got to be in the top five or three in Los Angeles. If you want to know what I mean, skip to the bottom to see the countless accolades and media coverage Shunji has received over the last 5-years.

Shunji is a Michelin Star sushi restaurant that was located in Los Angeles, but in 2020 moved to 3003 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica

These pics were shot at their old location in the iconic Chili Bowl.
Shunji “Japanese cuisine,” so don’t expect just sushi.

I should point out that this visit happened waaaaaaaaaay back on Thursday, March 16th of 2017 (I’m a little late in posting).

We went really early before it got too busy.
Itadakimasu (the meaning is rooted in Buddhism which is said as an appreciation for the food you’re about to eat)

I think I didn’t post because I drank to the point that I didn’t take the notes I needed to write up a useful post, but hey at least there’s some good pics to look at.

Ok, dig in, let’s eat (that saying is rooted in, I’m hongry, and I need to eat).

If you’re not familiar with LA, Shunji is located on Pico Blvd in West LA which is only about 7 minutes away from the Sawtelle Little Tokyo neighborhood.

This looks to be like something in a cup (you’re welcome for my insightful descriptions).
Owner and chef Shunji Nakao

We were lucky enough to be able to be sat directly in front of Nakao’san.

If you’re mindful enough, you will pause to take in the beauty of the plating, so that you can decide how to take a truly Instagrammable worthy pic. #IGworthy
Yes, the one thing I can recognize is the hotaru ika or firefly squid with what is most likely sumiso (vinegared “su” miso).
Round orangish yellow orb inside of a square.
Mushrooms of sorts in a dashi of sorts.
Exactly what you think it is.
Uni (sea urchin gonads) paired up with artichoke, and I think that is nori no tsukudani (I grew up eating this).

Uni is one ingredient I love to try the different ways in which it is prepared or paired, but I just realized how I haven’t had nori no tsukudani in years (I miss it)!

Sashimi on a really big cool looking plate.
It looks like hon-maguro, kanpachi, and a couple other shiromi.
I wonder if I ate this flower, I may never know.
This is a signature dish, it’s the tomato tofu
Cooked fish with a dashi and yellow and red pepper.

Many of the flavors are very Japanese which are very subtle or in the umami realm (savory).

Squid with squid ink, uni, and a truffle “shuffle” with a quail egg.
The standout here is the sushi shari (rice).
Kinmedai or “golden eye snapper” is also known as “splendid alfonsino” (I’d want to name my kid that).
Awwww yes, nigiri sushi….. with Gandalf’s staff laying on top of it.
Hmmmmm, it looks as though Nakao’san is slicing things.
Couldn’t help but notice the Bvlgari Diagono? watch.
Somewhat of a close up shot.
Except I like things all up in my face, so here’s an even closer shot to take in the sushi shari (rice).
One of Nakao’sans favorite knives is an 8-inch deba filleting knife by Nenohi that he got from his dad as a gift prior to coming to the United States.
More slicing.
That looks like kanpachi.
Exactly what I thought it was.
Katsuo? (bonito)

How did I do with my descriptions?

The interior is very nice, but it’s even cooler to know that this building had been around since the late 1930’s.

I tend to drink when I eat, so my bill was well over $200 although if you are not a drinker, it’ll be sub 200.

I had to include this picture because it’s a pic of the exterior from of when it was a Chili Bowl chain of restaurants. Photo by Herman Schultheis

Media in the Last 5-Years

LA Times Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2016; No19
LA TIMES | 2016

LA Times Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2015: No7
LA TIMES | 2015

LA Times Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2014: No4
LA TIMES | 2014

LA Times Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2013: No10
LA TIMES | 2013

LA Times: Where to dine in Southern California if you love tasting menus 2017
LA TIMES | 2017

LA Weekly: 7 Essential Japanese Restaurants in LA 2017
LA Weekly | 2017

LA Weekly’s 99 Essential Restaurants 2014 – 2017
LA Weekly | 2017

LA Weekly 10 Best Sushi Restaurants in LA, 2015
LA Weekly | 2015

LA Weekly, Best of LA – Best Sushi 2016
LA Weekly | 2016

LA Weekly, Best of LA – Best Sushi 2014
LA Weekly | 2014

LA Weekly, 20 Best Restaurants in LA 2014
LA Weekly | 2014

LA Magazine 2013 of Best of LA: Best New Restaurant
LA Magazine | 2013

LA Magazine, LA’s 75 Best Restaurants, 2014
LA Magazine | 2014

13 Must try Dishes From LA’s Top Sushi Restaurants, 2016
LA Magazine | 2016

LA Magazine, LA Chef’s Reveal Their Favorite Knives, 2017
LA Magazine | 2017

LA’s Top 8 Tasting Menus by Chef Josiah Citrin, 2016

Chef Ludo L’s Favorite LA Eats, 2017
S.Pellegrino® Taste Guide | 2017

Night + Market Kris, 2016
How You Glow | 2016

Kiernan Shipka’s Interview, 2016
What are your top LA restaurants? Shunji
LA EATER | 2016

OAD Top 100 US Restaurants 2016 No64
OAD | 2016

OAD Top 100 US Restaurants 2015 No71
OAD | 2015

Foodie Top 100 restaurants US 2016
Foodie Top 100 restaurants | 2016

How to Wrap Up a Year of Obscene Eating?, 2014
EATER | 2014

Discover LA’s Best Sushi Deals
DISCOVER Los Angeles | 2017

Japan Connections Interview

We Love Japanese Food: 10 Best Japanese Restaurant in LA
We Love Japanese Food | 2017

Shunji Japanese Cuisine

12244 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

(310) 826-4737
Tues-Fri: 12-2:00pm, 6:00-10:00pm, Sat: 6-10:30pm, Sun-Mon: closed


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