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Say Goodbye to Otom

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I am terribly saddened to report that my most favoritest sushi restaurant in Los Angeles will be closing its doors on December 31st. I've been going here regularly for 8 years now and I am devastated to see it go. For those of you who love Otom Sushi the way I do, hurry your way over there as you only have a week left. For those of you who have never been there, I'd suggest trying to squeeze in a visit before it closes. 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Otom Sushi has two things going for it. One, they have amazing food and two, they have an all-you-can-eat special. This is no buffet-style Todai-like food-under-heat-lamps mediocre-fish wanna-be all you can eat for amateurs. This is all-you-can-eat, made-to-order, sitting-at-the-sushi-bar, try-to-contain-yourself fresh fish goodness and if you don't keep your eyes open, you could find yourself under a mound of uni, sweet shrimp, and scallops trying to fight to keep up with the sushi chef, and all for one low price (was $32.50. In the last few months it's gone up to $38.50). You can in fact, get uni, toro and all of the good stuff (in limited quantities) with the all-you-can-eat plan, as well as a few chef's specials that are nowhere to be found on the menu.

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One night of all-you-can-eat for $32.50: toro, hamachi, albacore, spicy tuna, spicy whitefish tempura, sweet shrimp heads, salmon, sweet shrimp, chilean sea bass, seared and peppered tuna

If you're not particularly hungry, you can opt out of the all-you-can-eat special and order by the piece, as the prices are very reasonable (averaging around $4-5) and the fish is delicious. The owner and head sushi chef Katsu goes downtown every morning and hand picks his fish, and he'll tell you exactly what is good that day (one time he realized this was a mistake, as we managed to eat 8 orders of yellowtail in the span of 20 minutes) and what isn't. He also has a number of special recipes which have since become signatures, like his famous spicy whitefish tempura roll, the fried green mussel appetizer and a magical Chilean sea bass prepared with scallions, tangy ponzu, and a few other secret ingredients. The first time I tried the sea bass, the couple next to us accused me of having an orgasm at the sushi bar. Well last I heard, that's not illegal, is it?

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fried green mussel, chilean sea bass (cooked) with ponzu, spicy lobster sushi

Katsu is closing his doors after his years of fantasmic sushi making caused a wrist injury that required surgery. He says, however, that after 3-6 months of rehab he will be back to open a new restaurant which he will name KATSUNOVA. Hell yeah. His other sushi chefs, Poncho and Taka, will be going their separate ways and we can only hope they will reunite once again.

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Albacore and seared tuna with ponzu

If you have a chance in the next 10 days, swing by. Talk to Katsu. You will not be disappointed.

Otom Sushi
3936 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City
(310) 391-8011

All photos by malingering just prior to devouring all items pictured