Andy Matsuda became a master sushi chef just when sushi’s popularity began to take off around the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Up until that time, the palates of most Americans had not reached the point where they could fathom eating raw fish, no matter how fresh it was.
With the advent of fusion sushi cuisine, i.e. the California Roll, Western tastes became acclimated to sushi. Thirty years later, the traditional Japanese cuisine grew into an industry that grossed $2 billion in annual sales with sushi restaurants spreading to nearly every major city in the United States.
Every year, it is my absolute pleasure to plan the Holiday Party for our workplace, Rolling Hills Country Day School. This year, we kicked off the holiday season with a celebration at Sushi Sen Nari in Gardena, California. If you are within driving distance of Gardena and you love sushi, put Sen Nari on your list. From the traditional to the exotic, Sen Nari delivers!
Voted the Best Sushi
Sonny is the owner. He and his wife and the entire staff could not be more hospitable. Sonny and Carol’s daughter graduated from Rolling Hills Country Day School in 2002 so it was especially neat to hold our party in their restaurant. Many photos were taken of Jennifer’s old teachers to email back to her while she studies in Japan.
Otokoyama has been making sake for over 340 years on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, which has ideal climate and water conditions needed to make superior sake.
There are five elements involved in brewing sake – water, rice, technical skill, yeast, and terrior. More than anything else, sake is a result of a brewing process that uses rice and lots of water. For a terrific lesson on all things sake, please visit esake.com.
It is customary to pour sake for one’s table companions. Here it is served from this nifty vessel with ice in the center. As with wine, you don’t want the sake too cold, or the delicate fragrance and flavors will be masked.
A floral nose with hints of jasmine tea and just the tiniest hints of fresh pink bubblegum. It is smooth and extremely silky in texture with lovely acidity and a floral, rainwater quality that makes for an incredibly clean experience on the palate.
Otokoyama, translation “Man’s Mountain,” is one of my favorites.