Monday, July 29, 2013

A Sacred Meal At Shojin

It had been so long since I had eaten at Shojin (2 years!), so I was stoked to be able to dine there during my mom's visit to LA. We arrived just as they were opening and the well-dressed waitstaff smiled and greeted us as we opened the door to the quaint, sophisticated restaurant. As we took our seats on the large cozy pleather seats, the waitress unfolded the cloth napkins, placed it on our laps and put our purses in the bins below. The whole experience made me feel like royalty. A few moments later, the waitress returned to bring us a fizzy, fruity welcome drink and a complimentary appetizer.

This was scallions dressed in a lovely miso sauce. The bitterness of the green onions was enhanced by the saltiness of the miso sauce.

We began with the Osaka Ablaze ($14).

I am not much of a fan of brussel sprouts, so I was worried I wouldn't like this. The strong flavor of the ginger sauce and the various seasonings did a great job of disguising the brussel sprouts and I found that I barely noticed they were there. The sushi was so soft and had a slightly fishy flavor, which I actually enjoyed.

Next, we had the Pirates of the Crunchy ($14).

I have had my eye on this sushi roll since Shojin launched it last year and had been dying to try it. It was definitely worth the wait! This sushi was fantastic and truly was the standout of the meal. The tempeh was fried to perfection and seemed to mimic salmon really well. The corn flakes added a lovely crunch and a subtle sweetness. I normally detest mayo, but Shojin's homemade version was so creamy and scrumptious, I found myself licking the plate. I would order this dish again in a heartbeat. 

Finally, we had the Orange "Chicken" Seitan ($19).

This dish was delicious. The seitan had a wonderful chewy texture and was very meaty. The orange sauce had a spectacular balance of sweet and spicy. The vegetables were lightly seasoned and roasted, making them easy to chew. The tofu slabs were also very good and complimented the dish very well.

Overall, the food was amazing. Everything was tasty and had the perfect combination of seasonings and spices. I also love that the ingredients were all organic and macrobiotic, so I didn't feel weighed down by the food, as I typically do after eating Asian cuisine. The service was also impeccable. I appreciated that we were given some "freebies", ending with a complimentary cup of tea to end the meal. Since I am a subscriber to Shojin's e-newsletter, I received a coupon for a free sushi roll. The week we went it was a complimentary Osaka Ablaze roll, with the purchase of any entree. Thus we ended up saving $14, which was pretty significant. I cannot wait to return to Shojin again soon.

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