It's hard to call this post a "check in," as I've never been to Sasabune before (I know, sacrilege), but it's been around for so long, and is such a sushi institution in LA, that it's not like we're about to tell you about the new, cool hotspot. Sasabune comes from the same school of sushi thought as places like Nozawa Bar and Sugarfish; the hallmark of these places is their "trust me" omakase style service. Essentially, they put a meal together for you, serving you what they believe is the best, freshest fish of the day. If you read our Bar Nozawa post, you'll know that we're big fans of this concept. So when we came to Sasabune, we asked our waiter for omakase. The only problem was, unlike Nozawa Bar, they didn't tell us how much we were getting or what the price was, so it really did become an exercise in trust.
We ordered a bottle of their unfiltered Nigori sake, which was good, if not a bit too sweet.
The first course was tuna sashimi and albacore sashimi, which we split. Each dish was fantastic, and we could taste the high quality of the fish from the first bite. The albacore was especially buttery, and melted in the mouth. The sauce accompaniments were quite nice too.
They started in with the sushi directly after the sashimi, and everything was great. The sushi included bluefin tuna, toro, halibut, scallop, butterfish, albacore, and kanpachi. All the fish was fresh and flavorful, and each piece of sushi added something to the meal. Like Sugarfish and Nozawa bar, Sasabune also serves their sushi on room-temperature sticky rice.
Somewhere in between the sushi, they served a trio of what I think was mussels and oysters. They all had a slightly different approach; the first was served with a selection of mushrooms, another with a simple sauce, and the last was baked. They were great, and provided a hearty interruption to the light sushi.
They finished off the meal with a blue crab handroll, clearly meant as the grand finale. The roll was really nice, and the blue crab was especially tasty, but I did miss the crispiness of the seaweed that places like Kazunori does so well.
Overall, the meal was really good-- the sushi was fresh, and the quality rivals that of the other great LA sushi spots. However, though it seems like a lot of food, it really wasn't a ton, and we both left without feeling completely satisfied. Considering the price isn't cheap (it's not the most expensive omakase we've had either, but at least Nozawa Bar serves more food than you know what to do with), we definitely felt that another appetizer or handroll would've rounded out the meal. And though we're comfortable with the omakase style service, we wished that there had been more explanation (ie: you get this much food for this price) considering we made it clear to our servers that it was our first time here.