Osaka-A Memorable, Luscious and Delicious EscapeRestaurant Row — By Tania Anderson on October 26, 2011 at 8:27 am
By Tania Anderson
Osaka, a new restaurant and club venue, opened its doors the week of October 10th, 2011 and we had a chance to experience its cuisine. We decided that Osaka presents a memorable, luscious and delicious escape from ordinary dining.
The ambiance is set the minute a patron glides through the entrance to Osaka, as they walk on step-stones over a small pond embraced by more water cascading down both sides, perhaps a metaphor for cleansing your palate. Designed by Spacecraft, an innovative organization that is at the forefront of restaurant design, the decor is creative, modern and enticing.
Long-stemmed fresh bouquets of flowers and a modern bar then greet the visitor. Place settings were perfectly lined up along the sushi bar, looking like soldiers in formation.
Elegance abounds in Osaka, which opened recently in Hollywood featuring an exotic Peruvian-Japanese culinary fusion on an extensive menu with dishes ranging from octopus, tuna ribs, sea urchin and eel to Kobe beef and confit Nippon duck. We had the fortune of sampling their delightful menu.
The first course consisted of a tiny Peruvian potato the size of a nickel placed in a sauce created from mild yellow peppers from Peru. A sampling of creamy wasabi ceviche tasted extremely fresh, right out of the ocean. As you navigate the appetizers with chop sticks, your palette is tantalized, craving more. And it was definitely on the way.
A round of Osaka’s drink specialty, Pisco sours, was ordered to help wash down the delectable cuisine. Made from Peruvian grape brandy and dating back to 1900, this cocktail adds a dash of lemon juice and sugar to enhance the flavor.
Delicate crab with shiromi (white fish) causitas then arrived along with an adventurous treat – if you think of it that way – a small skewer of Kobe beef heart anticuchos. Perhaps there is a psychological aspect to consuming heart once you know what it is. However, it was interesting to sample and had a chewy consistency to it.
If you didn’t care for the heart, there was more Kobe to try – the miso truffle Kobe skirt steak. Now that was more like it! Very tender, it tasted as if it had been marinated for a long time. What was the secret marinade? Made with miso puree and truffle salt, from the wok with seared shiitake mushrooms, the dish was exquisite. Delicate, tiny slices of crispy, crunchy potatoes tried in vain to escape probing chopsticks.
Hot skillets of fresh spicy lemon shrimp were served in a dramatic presentation and the sizzling went on for some time. It seemed as if the dishes were becoming hotter as the evening progressed, but just an excuse to request another Pisco sour. With the arrival of the shrimp, essentially we were dining on a delicious and exotic version of surf and turf.
Sakan Ishiyaki, a seared and tender white fish sashimi with special herbs was also included in this course. Again, the freshness of the dish and its healthy benefit was apparent immediately.
Tro, our server, was particularly adept at describing menu items in great detail, to the point that it almost sounded like a class in another language. For guests who have allergies, she was very accommodating with alternate dishes. The chef seemed to instinctively know exactly what would be amenable for the sensitive palate. They seemed to have it down to a culinary science.
A welcome pause in between courses allowed us to engage in lively conversation, encouraging guests to savor each course without the feeling of being rushed.
Great imagination has also gone into creating their scrumptious desserts. An all-natural ice cream from Peru called lucuma was served, reminding one of crème caramel with its natural caramel flavor. More popular than chocolate or vanilla in South America, it is made from an unusual fruit from the Andes. Small banana spring rolls were accompanied by lychee suspiro, made from the popular far eastern fruit.
The funny thing is that in the beginning the delicate small portions make you think you might be hungry afterwards, but just like sampling puu puus in the South Pacific, you will definitely be satiated at the end of the meal.
Osaka’s extensive menu has something for everyone – for those who are familiar with foreign cuisine to those who eat all American, since great care has been taken to include a wide range of dishes for every palate. Just reading the dessert menu clearly illustrates the detailed thought used to create all these dishes which morph into edible art.
Osaka is a memorable, luscious and delicious escape. For more information on Osaka, visit www.osaka.com.pe.
6327 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028