Connect with us


Who makes the best supermarket sushi in L.A.?



#grocery store #sushi

I are inclined to grade grocery store sushi on a curve. Confined in plastic containers underneath fluorescent lights in frigid deli circumstances, most packaged sushi takes all the components important to good sushi and chucks them out the window in favor of comfort. Oftentimes it may be too chilly, the fish minimize too thick, the rice under- or overdone and poorly seasoned.

That is your information to what the perfect sushi metropolis in America has to supply, from the final word California roll to spectacular omakase.

However generally there isn’t the time, or cash, for a proper sushi meal. Packaged sushi is available at nearly each market in America, and for essentially the most half it’s moderately priced.

The American packaged sushi increase most certainly began at a Vons market in Marina del Rey in 1986. That is when Advanced Fresh Concepts Corp. opened what it claims was the primary in-store sushi bar. Now, you’ll find sushi at Erewhon and nearly each American grocery chain. However for the higher stuff, you’ll want to go to your native Japanese market. Some, equivalent to Nijiya, use a central kitchen to make sushi for choose places, whereas others have in-house cooks. In case you see a chef reducing the fish available in the market, that’s signal. Nigiri and temaki ought to be eaten quickly after the fish has been sliced, the rice molded or nori folded. The much less time your sushi is sitting in that deli case, the higher.

What follows is the perfect of the premade stuff. At one market, there’s a 30-year veteran sushi chef slicing recent fish, patting the rice and providing omakase.

Saba battera at Nijiya Market, obtainable at a number of places

six pieces of sushi in a cardboard container

Saba battera from Nijiya Market.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Instances)

You don’t typically see battera sushi on restaurant menus, however saba battera ($8.49) is likely one of the staples within the sushi case at Nijiya Markets, persistently obtainable and all the time satisfying. This model of sushi includes clear wisps of konbu over shiny silver-skinned slabs of cured mackerel, shiso leaf and vinegared rice, tightly packed and molded and minimize into rectangles. Curing the fish tempers the fishiness and oiliness simply barely, holding most of its sturdy oceanic taste intact. The shiso provides a shiny pop of citrusy mint and the konbu a enhance of umami. It’s the alternative of the fragile high quality related to most prized nigiri. A snack for individuals who take pleasure in aggressive flavors and textures.

Contemporary hand rolls at Nijiya Market in Torrance

three hand rolls in a a takeout container

Contemporary hand rolls at Nijiya Market in Torrance.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Instances)

Whereas most Nijiya Markets carry the same collection of sushi, there’s a recent meals deli alongside the north wall of the Torrance retailer that provides a collection of recent hand rolls. The rolls are displayed in a big serving tray, and also you make your choice with a pair of tongs. Skip the imitation crab and search for the negitori ($2.99 per roll). The minced fatty tuna is plentiful, nestled alongside a shiso leaf in the course of the roll. It’s filling and sizable, the equal of three hand rolls at that hand-roll chain everybody likes to frequent.

Aburi salmon nigiri sushi from Marukai Market Little Tokyo, obtainable at a number of places

overhead view of 10 pieces of sushi in a sushi container

Aburi salmon nigiri sushi is accessible at a number of places of Marukai Market, together with the Little Tokyo department.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Instances)

Once I can’t resolve between a grilled salmon bento field or salmon nigiri, I attain for the aburi salmon nigiri ($16.99) at Marukai Market in Little Tokyo. The seared salmon is cooked till simply buttery, then brushed with a candy vinegar and gochujang glaze. Whereas the rice beneath is usually a bit chilly and exhausting at instances, the feel of the fish and the vinegar within the glaze save each the feel and the style of the general chunk.

Sashimi platter and spicy tuna California roll from Little Tokyo Market Place

overhead view of a platter of raw fish

A small sashimi platter from Little Tokyo Market.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Instances)

The seafood division takes care of the sashimi platters on the market, slicing recent fish and arranging it in neat rows fairly sufficient to serve at your subsequent home occasion ($34.99 for a small platter). At this particular location, you’ll additionally discover a small deli that prepares varied maki and nigiri. It’s technically a separate vendor who rents the area, so that you’ll pay for this sushi on the deli earlier than you attain the market checkout line. The standout is the Carolina roll ($15.50), a minimize California roll with heaps of spicy tuna on prime. It’s your customary California roll with imitation crab, however the rice has not one of the ammonia style or odor generally related to grocery retailer sushi. If you would like one thing resembling the eel sauce-topped maki at a strip-mall sushi restaurant, that is the roll.

Negitoro hand roll at Mitsuwa Market in Torrance

hand roll in a plastic container

Negitoro hand roll at Mitsuwa Market in Torrance.

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Instances )

Head to the rear of the shop for a large collection of rolls and nigiri. Probably the most compelling are simply the negitoro hand rolls ($3.49), every snugly packaged in a slender plastic container. The ratio of fish to rice is sort of 1:1, the center full of fatty tuna and loads of diced inexperienced onion. The wrapper lacks the crack and crispness of recent seaweed, however you possibly can chunk via it simply and the toasted nori taste remains to be current.

California roll and tekka don at Seiwa Market

Sushi items from Seiwa Market

TORRANCE, CA – APRIL 18: Objects from Seiwa Market, together with: clockwise from backside proper, Seiwa Premium Nigiri, Blue Crab Roll, Nigiri with Spicy Tuna and Kaisen Donburi sushi from Seiwa Market on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 in Torrance, CA. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Instances)

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Instances)

Seiwa Market is house to the perfect packaged sushi I’ve discovered outdoors of the stuff I ate in Japan, because of a sushi chef behind the deli counter who has been making sushi for greater than 35 years. On the rear of the Torrance retailer, Shin Nagata, who works as a sushi chef at Kagura in El Segundo within the evenings, prepares the nigiri, poke bowls and sushi platters for the market. 4 days per week (he’s off on Wednesday and Sunday), he arrives at 5 a.m., slices the recent fish and makes nigiri utilizing seasoned koshihikari rice. If he has time, he’ll make omakase. Simply let him understand how a lot you need. His colleague Sachiko Mori helps put together the maki. The blue crab California roll ($8.99) replaces the usual imitation crab with shredded blue crab alongside blended greens and chunks of avocado.

Portrait of sushi chef Shin Nagata, 65, inside Seiwa Market.

TORRANCE, CA – APRIL 18: Portrait of sushi chef Shin Nagata, 65, inside Seiwa Market on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 in Torrance, CA. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Instances)

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Instances)

The tekka don ($13.99) options evenly minimize slices of tuna, yellowtail and salmon draped over rice that’s cooked completely and nicely seasoned, with kernels that don’t fuse into a tough clump. Look out for Nagata’s particular kaisen donburi, which usually options tuna, yellowtail and salmon with a rotating collection of no matter else he has on supply, together with saba he cures himself, shrimp, tamago (additionally made on the retailer), uni and ikura. The value is all the time $14.99. “In case you eat this on the restaurant, $30, $40 or extra,” he stated. “I feel it’s a really precious sushi.”

Los Angeles Times Food columnist, Jenn Harris, highlights the Kaisen Donburi sushi from Seiwa Market.

Jenn Harris highlights the Kaisen Donburi sushi from Seiwa Market in Torrance, CA.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Instances)

The place to get grocery store sushi

Saba battera, a number of places of Nijiya Market,
Contemporary hand rolls, Nijiya Market Torrance, 2121 W. 182nd St., Torrance, (310) 366-7200,
Aburi salmon nigiri, a number of places of
Sashimi platter and spicy tuna California roll, Little Tokyo Market Place, 333 S. Alameda St., No. 100, Los Angeles, (213) 617-0030,
Negitoro hand roll, Mitsuwa Market, 3525 W. Carson St., Suite 164, Torrance, (310) 782-0335,
California roll and tekka don, Seiwa Market, 21815 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, (310) 802-6220,