Got Sushi: A Culinary Gem Sure to Surprise

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BY DANROCHELLE YUMUL

A sushi bar nestled inside a hamburger joint? And a really unique one to boot? That’s the case at Got Sushi which sits inside King’s Burgers in Northridge.  Open just about a year, Got Sushi’s Chef Jun Young took root at Kings which has been owned by his parents for nearly 20 years. Whether this is called fusion or an identity crisis, I don’t know, but it’s already created quite a following. It’s one of those small culinary gems that might otherwise escape you unless someone tells you it’s there (and it’s located in the same parking lot as another MDF fave, Get Shaved).

Chef Jun Young worked at Katana, Sushi Roku, Nobu, Katsu Ya, and Roy’s before opening Got Sushi. Photos: Danrochelle Yumul

Sitting at the small sushi bar one evening, Chef Jun shared how he grew up eating good food with his family, reminiscing how his father, a fish distributor, always brought home a variety of fresh fish and seafood. What stands out in his memory is the simplicity of the meals: a plateful of sashimi and rice, and shrimps cooked in the fryer, seasoned with only a sprinkling of salt. The recollection of these moments brings a smile to his face.

Poke salad

It is those memories that serve as his inspiration as a chef — making good food and sharing the culinary experiences of his childhood. For Chef Jun, good food is the combination of high quality ingredients and the skill it takes to prepare said ingredients into a dish. This is exactly what you can expect from this pedigreed sushi chef, whose credentials include working at top restaurants such as Katana, Sushi Roku, Nobu, Katsu Ya, and Roy’s.

In his hands, ordinary sushi transforms into the extraordinary. An order of salmon sushi is never just salmon over rice. He adds his own personal twist to it–the salmon, albeit a softer, juicier piece, is still over rice but it is topped with shavings of red onion, a dollop of caviar, and a dash of his special garlic sauce mixed with truffle oil. The result is an instantaneous burst of textures and flavors. The salmon melts in your mouth and joins with all the other ingredients, harmoniously enhancing the flavor. It makes for a singularly, unique sushi experience—turning a common sushi dish into something that magically caters to ever taste bud in your mouth. That’s just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.

Black Snapper

Every dish on the Got Sushi menu boasts of a multitude of textures, flavors and high quality ingredients. Variety and originality is at the heart of every dish. It’s never a one note flavor of spicy or tangy or sweet. It’s always a cornucopia of well-balanced flavors. As a general rule, never ask what’s good on the menu. Chances are Chef Young will tell you that everything is good. And that’s the honest truth.

Uni

Omakase, or chef’s choice dining, is available for those who want to have an authentic experience in Japanese cuisine. Most of the items are off the menu and it’s a chance to taste some of  Young’s more original creations such as the albacore belly with shitake mushroom and truffle soy sauce, halibut crudo with lemon oil, hokkaido scallop with uni shuto, ikura with bonito flakes and okra, salmon sushi with melon, squid with spicy mentaiko, and yellowtail sashimi wrapped around arugula and black truffle paste. Of course, this is only to name a few. Remember to call at least a day in advance to make reservations, allowing preparation time for this special meal.

Premium salmon with caviar, onion and truffle oil.

“I find lots of happiness when my customers are enjoying my creations,” said Chef Jun, who trained to become a sushi chef at the age of 17. He derives his sense of pride for his work to his long years of training in Japan.

If you enjoy sushi, Got Sushi is a little gem worth savoring. And just think, if your dining partner isn’t a sushi fan, there’s carnivore, and even some vegetarian, options available too.

GOT SUSHI 9345 Reseda Blvd. Northridge (818) 885-6456. Prices: Sushi $4-10; specialty rolls $8-15; other dishes $5-15, including teriyaki bowls, tempura and asparagus wrapped in rib eye.  Omakase reservations should be made one day ahead.

Danrochelle Yumul is a freelance journalist always on the look out for stories that inspire people to pursue their passions and follow their dreams. Currently, she writes for the Examiner.com as their Burbank Restaurant examiner. She also contributes to the Studio City Patch and writes reviews for Yelp.com on a regular basis.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.