I don’t know why I even bother to try new places when I’m not on the clock. I suppose, as a food writer, I have an inherent guilt if I don’t give something a go. Something on a whim, that I’ve never heard about from friends, family or Yelp. Sometimes this works out…as it was with the case of Santa Monica based tapas joint Bar Pintxo, which I wrote about in the August issue of The Place Los Angeles.
So I found myself in the Santa Monica area once again. I was a little woozy with the ninety-five degree weather and decisions about anything, let alone food, were difficult to contemplate. Did I want to eat at Bar Pintxo, some place safe, trusted, and delicious? Or did I want to try something new, perhaps something a little lighter? (Although, in hindsight, what the hell is lighter than tapas?)
My mum kept hard-selling the gourmet health-conscious food court on the roof of the Santa Monica Place, but when we got up there none of them looked appetizing. Off to the side of the food court was Ozumo and suddenly sushi sounded like just the refreshing food for an unbearably hot day.
As soon as we went in we were greeted and sat at the more casual, lounge/bar area. Until I used the restroom I had no idea just how expansive the restaurant actually is. It’s very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing with wood chandeliers, private rooms, and an especially long sushi bar. I was kinda bummed we weren’t sitting in the dining room.
Order: Sekiwake: spicy tuna roll with hamachi and salmon, tobiko and tempura flakes.
Verdict: While good, not wholly worth the $14 price tag. The tuna was minced to bits and tasted rather cheap. The hamachi and salmon was sparingly used. Had it been cheaper, I’d have an easier time paying for it.
Verdict: Fairly tasty, but salty as hell and left my mother’s mouth burning for hours.
Verdict: The sunomono was rubbish, but the sashimi was exactly the refreshing flavor I was seeking and the miso soup was like the soup of the gods. The mini cheesecake was a fun, tasty bonus. If they worked on the sunomono, it would be well worth the $14
Would I return to Ozumo? Not on my own dime.
Santa Monica is one of those places in Los Angeles you need treat with a grain of salt. It caters to the nouveau riche, power lunch professionals, Hollywood suits and wealthy tourists that think food can only be good if it has a hefty price tag. This is a regularly featured Southern California scam and I’m ashamed I fell for it.
395 Santa Monica Pl
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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