The Truffle Guru (and Sushi Master) - Shunji Japanese Cuisine [Thoughts + Pics]


Just my two cents: for the places I really care about, I try to buy sake bottles from them to go, even if I may not drink it right away, even if I still have many sake at home, and if not everytime (some sake can just sit in a dark cool place and doesn’t have to be refrigerated, you just drink a glass a day). And you can just pick something that you can’t buy anywhere else or something lower end that’s delicious that you also like. It’s not about enjoyment for me at this rate, but to support the neighborhood restaurants and owners, and also the sake industry which is going to tank if we don’t do anything. That’s just me though, because I have friends up here who sell/distribute sake and they are hurting too. If restaurants don’t make sales, they won’t restock…it’s a food/sake chain/ecosystem, and everyone tanks. Buy a bottle of sake, restaurant makes a modest profit depending on the markup, maybe they will order more from wholesaler (or they won’t). Food sales alone, the profit margin is very very small unless there’s a lot of volume…and takeout can only earn (or net) so much.

I know this will hardly make a dent in the overall scheme of things even it were just me doing it at a couple restaurants during these hard times, but if none of us try at all, then we are just facilitating all of the downfall, and we don’t want that to happen.


Agree with you 1000000000000%.

I HAVE to buy sake from Shunji- Iazakaua Hero and - eventually - Sugarfish/KazuNori (if they will sell it).

C’mon - a glum/sullen @Chowseeker1999 absolutely NEEDS this type of pickup - takeout- falldown!


From their social media

“Enjoy with your food!! All Sake is special price now :sake:

Ichigo - our original sake! $65.00

Seiden, Gangi, Hassen $60.00

Kuroushi, Fukujyu $60.00

We have more! Please let us know what you like. Our Sake sommelier will pick one for you :ok_hand:

A few comments corrections:

Ichigo is supposed to be a Junmai Ginjo, brewed by Suehiro (that makes Ken Daiginjo and Suehiro Daiginjo) exclusively (and world exclusive too) just for Shunji. It was magnificent when I had a taste of it last September from an already opened bottle. Their signature sake.

Seiden is a JUNMAI GINJO (not Junmai Daiginjo) and the rice used to brew is Omachi. It is a secondary label from an Akita brewery that also makes Dewatsuru. Seiden also offers two other Junmai Ginjo brewed with Yamadanishiki and Gohyakumangoku (my favorite out of the three), but I think Omachi is the only one Shunji carries.

Hassen is actually Mutsu Hassen. It is kind of like a Denshu competitor, the brewery is about 2 hours away from Denshu/Nishida Brewery in Aomori prefecture. That pink bottle might be a Ginjo (not a Junmai Ginjo)…unless the brewery changed the label.

Kuroushi is a Junmai Ginjo and the rice used is Omachi.

Very reasonable prices/markup!

Yuko san can pick for you if you are not sure which one to get. My personal favorites would be Ichigo, Mutsu Hassen, and Gangi Junmai Ginjo.


Hi @beefnoguy,

Thanks. It’s a good point, you’re right, even if we don’t end up drinking it immediately, if we can give back in some way to our local favorite spots, buying a bottle definitely helps. From a previous visit to Shunji, I was going to ask you about these, but what do you think of:

  • Akagisan Junmai Daiginjo
  • Kaori Tsuru Junmai Daiginjo
  • Myoka Rangyoku Grand Cuvee
  • Myoka Rangyoku - Heavenly Flower - Junmai Daiginjo ($500)
  • Gensai Daiginjo
  • Chiyomusubi Daiginjo Shizukushu
  • Yuki Yuzawa Junmai Daiginjo Shizukushu (“Kimura Shuzo’s masterpiece”)
  • BORN Chogin Junmai Daiginjo

Thanks~ :slight_smile:

The only ones I’ve had were Gensai (made by Suehiro) and Myoka Rangyoku (non Grand Cuvee) but at the time I did not have an appreciation for them. Kaori Tsuru I think @CiaoBob had (never tasted it before) and might be the most affordable of the lot. I think I tasted Akagisan Daiginjo at the 2nd to last Sake Day and found it quite remarkable but at the time I also had tasted a lot of other sake and wasn’t thinking about food pairings with it then.

The two Myoka Rangyoku’s, the most hardcore of fans in Asia say you have to open the bottle and let it breathe an hour or two (or more) before the aromas truly come out. You could also whip out your best burgundy glass to facilitate that. The Grand Cuvee is actually a blend of multiple vintages of regular Myoka Rangyoku (which is why it is pricier).

Born Chogin is somewhat similar to Dreams Come True. Never had it but might be a bit smoother. It’s 21% or thereabouts polish.

Most baller, probably MR Grand Cuvee, Yuki Yuzawa/Kimura Shizuku, then MR Heavenly Flower and then Born Chogin. Best looking bottle, the MRs… Murano glass and the metal plate made in Germany.

You can also ask Yuko san about their hidden/special sake selection that’s off menu if none of these are part of that…


Hi @beefnoguy,

! I had no idea they have a hidden sake selection? What have you gotten from there before?

I had the Shunji bento as well. My general thoughts were: the small dishes/appetizer box was incredible. 10/10. The sushi box was honestly just okay and not better than Sugarfish. I think this is because his rice style does not keep well over time and gets a little tough and bland if you don’t eat it quickly. The crab roll was honestly borderline not good at all to me for that reason. I’ve frankly always found the dishes to be the main appeal of Shunji anyway, but the sushi in this context is not amazing.


All the more reason!


Hi @TheCookie,

That’s very true. :slight_smile: Hope you get a chance to try Shunji’s Deluxe Bento Box, and let me know if you end up picking up any interesting Sake from Shunji or other local places. Curious what good finds there are. :slight_smile:

Update (To-Go, Part 2):

It looks like Sushi Chef-Owner Shunji Nakao is doing steady takeout business these days, which bodes well for his restaurant. This week, he’s featuring a special King Crab Chirashi!

King Crab Chirashi (King Crab, Ikura (Salmon Roe), Tamago (Grilled Egg), Cucumber over Rice:

It’s a beautiful presentation, and we appreciate the hand-signed note for well wishes he’s putting on each Takeout Box you order.

He also includes Wasabi, Ginger and Kani Miso (Crab Guts / Tomalley).

Beautiful presentation aside, this was delicious, fresh-tasting King Crab. :blush: I loved the interplay of Shunji’s lightly sweet Tamago (Egg) with the salinity of the Ikura (Salmon Roe), for little pops of oceanic flavor. :slight_smile:

A couple of small hiccups: There were 2 tiny pieces of King Crab shell (it happens). And after enjoying this King Crab Chirashi, it’s clear that Dungeness Crab is tastier, sweeter, and more enjoyable than King Crab for our tastes. (Not Shunji’s fault, just something we prefer.)

Overall, a tasty Chirashi variation for takeout and for King Crab lovers this should not be missed.

12244 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: (310) 826-4737


… something that Chef Brandon Go has preached all along at Hayato.

Chowseeker sighting in the wild outside Shunji’s place! Sorry I couldn’t stop and say Hi - I was rushing in with James Sugishita (helped him score a Shunji box), and also to drop off some mulberries for Shunji-san. #sushichefsgottaeatalso


The ftc bang continues its migration west.


Great that you were able to hook Chef Sugishita up! Had a nice brief convo with him when picking up chirashi last week, so hope things are well with him.


That’s really awesome that you’re helping Chef Sugishita! So he had a Friday day off to be able to enjoy something to eat? (Which is nice.)

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Actually, James-san was handing off a chirashi box to me. Or two.


New sake at Shunji!

From Tock:

Tatsuriki Yokawa-Yoneda

From world famous Tatsuriki brewery!! Premium Junmai Daiginjo “Yokawa Yoneda”. The aroma is modest yet fruity, and the first sip conveys an incredible roundness of flavor, both contributing to the balance of this canvas of character.


Tasted this January 2019 at an event up here, very solid and it’s a high end sake that’s very approachable also, works nicely with sushi. Beautiful packaging and a wooden box inside this silver box also. Perfect for Al FrescOmakase too.