Inn Ann OOE Omakase with Mori-san (Collaborative Review)

This is another collaboration between @PorkyBelly and me in the name of research. :thinking:

Mori-san’s role at Inn Ann: There will be no rotation and Mori will be the executive chef at inn ann for the foreseeable future.

Mori-san’s Philosophy: “Nothing farmed!” He only wants wild fish but that comes with its own set of issues in regards to the tuna pieces below.

Service: Friendly but undertrained. Throughout the night, the servers were seemingly confused about the type of fish sitting on sashimi platters or which table they should go to.

Rice: It’s very much in the mold of Mori Sushi (Duh!) and a touch less vinegar-y. Its fragrance and satisfying toothsome texture, however, is unmistakable. As expected of Mori-san’s skills, packing of the shari is also excellent with plenty of air and I can easily discern individual grains of rice. On the other hand, Mori-san did note that he’s no longer using rice from Uruguay since its been bought out by a big company. He’s now using rice from Japan and plans to start his own rice farm, managed by his friend, near his birth place.

Thoughts on meal:

mb: It’s good but somewhat of a letdown given Mori-san’s pristine reputation and FTC cult-status. Since he has to handle all nigiri and sashimi at the restaurant (6 counter seats plus ~35 dining room seats), he’s essentially in the weeds all the time! What happens when Mori-san’s in the weeds? His standards drop…3 of our pieces were served too cold and the sashimi platters that went out to the tables came straight out of the fridge (not a good sign?)… $180 pp later…I have to say that my experience at Shin Sushi, aside from the rice, was better than at Inn Ann.

pb: i agree mori-san was spread too thin on this particular evening (prime-time saturday), i believe the dining room was completely booked for the first time. i would still recommend inn ann, but go on a weeknight if you can.


mb: rice, buri, kohada, mirugai, akagai, santa barbara uni, hokkaido uni, kanpyo maki, hojicha ice cream

pb: sayori, buri, shima-aji, kohada, mirugai, akagai, santa barbara uni, hokkaido uni, kanpyo


mb: akami, chu-toro, saba, tako, ikura, tekka maki

pb: agree

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

The vase is of Mori-san’s creation.

homemade tofu with cherry blossom, dash-ponzu, cherry blossom salt

Light and refreshing. The tofu is a bit more firm and savory than the ones served at Mori Sushi.

pb: agree with @onelabneh, this was good, but i prefer eating this with mori’s delicious shoyu and wasabi instead.

More of Mori-san’s creations

1. karei (spot flounder)

2. tai kobujime (japanese sea bream cured in kombu)

3. sayori (japanese halfbeak)

4. buri (winter yellowtail)

5. shima-aji (striped jack)

6. akami (lean big eye tuna)

mb: Since wild bluefin is so hard to find, Mori-san went with wild big eye and herein lies the problem…it has very little flavor :frowning_face:

pb: this is a tough one, source wild big eye or farmed bluefin? i would have preferred farmed bluefin given those options.

7. chu-toro (big eye tuna)

mb: Same thing. It’s got everything from texture to fattiness except flavor. :roll_eyes:

8. saba (mackerel)

mb: It’s served too cold.

pb: unfortuantely this was cut and served straight out the fridge.

9. kohada (gizzard shad)

pb: delicous

10. tako (octopus)

mb: Very little flavor and chewy

11. mirugai (geoduck)

mb: sweet with great crunch

pb: great

12. akagai (ark shell)

mb: more great sweet/crunch combination

pb: higlight alert, so rare to find this in the states.

13. engawa (flounder fin)

mb: Anyone dig this texture? I do! Rich, oily, crunchy, chewy in a good way.

pb: i didn’t, a bit too chewy for me, like the tako.

14. kamasu (barracuda)

15. ikura (salmon roe)

mb: Too salty. Too soft. They lack the popping sensation that I crave in ikura.

16. santa barbara uni

mb: Pristine. Sugar sweet.

pb: flawless uni, great flavor and crunch from the japanese nori


17. hokkaido uni

mb: Creamy AF

pb: usually i prefer santa barbara uni but this was just as good.

Miso soup

18. anago

19. himokyu maki (ark shell mantle, cucumber)

20. tamago

mb: A very fine and juicy specimen that was served straight out of the fridge. TOO COLD!

21. kanpyo maki (dried gourd)

mb: Kanpyo is soft, chewy, mildy sweet yet flavorful.

pb: great version, not too sweet or overly seasoned with a nice chew.

22. tekka maki (big eye)

mb: Same old flavorless big eye. @PorkyBelly slipped up ordering this one. :wink:

pb: should have asked for some saba bozushi

23. santa barbara uni - Bonus Round

mb: Ended on a high note…but even then, I feel that this piece can be served a touch warmer to unleash the full flavor of the uni

pb: i didn’t mind that this was cold, it was a great contrast with the warm rice.

orange custard, supreme orange, candied orange peel

mb: Imminently smooth custard with varying notes of sweetness from the fresh orange segments and candied peel.

pb: like an orange flan, very good.

hojicha ice cream

mb: It’s the best green tea related ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s got deep nutty notes from the roasting and just the right amount of sweetness.

yuzu sorbet, pepper

mb: Blindingly bright flavor. Super refreshing.



forgot to mention the NSR was on point and much better than my recent meal at mori

bonus round with bonus uni aka the trump

I stopped. I stood. I photographed.


Is that Russian uni


Maybe this should be thought of like the Chris Bianco thing. He is serving sushi but it’s not a sushi restaurant.

Reviewing it that way is not really fair to Mori San.



The restaurant is now under Mori’s direction and there are only two general options for ordering as far as I could tell: tasting menu (cooked dishes + sushi platter at the end) or omakase (there are options for differing # of pieces).

Thanks for the review!

Ouch, hope he finds some help, deal breaker for me at this point.

Something I learned recently about hokkaido uni, you want the tray with uneven colored lobes. Indication of more highly prized wild variety. Can anyone corroborate?

Besides onodera, is anyone else sourcing Japanese bluefin in LA these days? I have to admit, I really enjoy the flavor of the Japanese tuna, so much more nuanced - especially the typically bland akami.

Hi @Sgee,

We just had some phenomenal Hokkaido Uni from a tray of uneven colored lobes! It was amazing and not even close to the best thing we had that night (not at Inn Ann).


Is Yoshizumi-san serving Hokkaido uni again? :wink:

Almost always (at least if you get the extended).

Thanks MB and PB for the double whammy report!

Bluefin in my experience, ultimately depends on the handling and the chef skill (whether to draw out more flavors or maximize via techniques). I’ve had minimal treated wild bluefin from Aomori prefecture in Tokyo a few times, absolutely not to my liking as the flavors were dull, a bit metallic and stronger in iron flavor for akami, and monotone for the fattier cuts (and this was at 3 non Michelin but well respected places )…sometimes a Spanish farmed bluefin could be more flavorful if treated correctly.

Probably the big eye akami and chutoro cut would have benefited from some shoyu zuke / marination, though likely won’t enhance the experience that much more. Boston bluefin is not in season, and there are not really other substitutes aroudn. Should Mori relent, there are Japanese farmed bluefin available that are quite decent (Ehime, maybe Hokkaido, and I want to say Nagasaki but not certain), and of course Spain which can be quite delicious as well.

As far as the container of Hokkaido uni in the picture, it looks like the lobes were stored/preserved in nitrogen water. I thought it was kasui / sea water at first until I saw the kanji.


Very interesting, thanks.

Just had the very best Uni ever at Tsukiji in January. At the time, I did notice these Hokkaido lobes were not evenly colored.

I’d always liked Uni, but these were way better than any before.

For all of USD$30 for the set.


Last two times I went to Tsukiji, I’d just buy 3-5 boxes of uni to bring to the nearest park and have pikiniku breakfast. They cost like $15 each box, but my God, the quality…


Bluefin always wins, IMHO. And besides, we wouldn’t want those wild bigeyes to get on the endangered list, would we?


Quite a few uni processing centers won’t go through sorting like they do for wine grapes by some wineries, unless it’s one of those super premium high quality brand name purveyors that Instagram influencers just can’t get enough of that only harvest the best.

The color or tone variations are due to the fact that sorting is not done specifically, so the darker tone lobes (male) are lumped together with the lighter toned ones (female), in general. The purveyors that put extra thought into boxing will arrange them like a pattern for visual presentation (more common for Iwate prefecture uni, according to a friend in the know).


i know i am a peasant when it comes to sushi but even past my concerns around sustainability i have to say i never found bluefin particularly interesting. bluefin chutoro and otoro in particular seem to me to appeal to easily satisfied lizard brain pleasures. the subtlety and delicacy of “white” fish seems far more interesting to pursue to me now. i do realize they don’t quite signify the same “baller” qualities.

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Hi @Google_Gourmet,

Sounds delicious! :slight_smile: I was going to ask you if you actually ate that entire box of Uni until I read @J_L’s reply… :sweat_smile:

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So that’s how you practice and increase your ability to tackle One Of Everything on a menu! :wink:


Great idea. Will be doing that, TOMORROW!!!


The dark side is strong with you. ;-D

Thanks for the very detailed report. Couple head scratchers…

Surprised the ikura wasn’t good as I’ve had phenomenal ikura from Mori-san in the past. I feel like this is something the chef really makes a difference versus just a cut of fresh fish.

The tamago being served cold is really puzzling. AFAIK, in Japan, tamago is not even refrigerated and served fresh at room temperature. Why Mori-san would put it in the fridge, beats me.