Author: Linni Kral
Eagle Rock, a modest neighborhood in northeast L.A., wouldn’t immediately strike you as the place to go for a glamorous sushi experience. That’s the beautiful thing about Los Angeles, though-like a tree that grows in Brooklyn, you can always count on the City of Angels to sprout elegant eateries in the most unexpected parts of town.
Enter Mia Sushi, nested between a liquor store and law office on the Taco Truck-laden Eagle Rock Boulevard. You’ve probably passed it hundreds of times, pondering its legitimacy, but many have yet to muster the culinary bravery to actually go inside. Here, you’ll find a place soaked in swank, with a waterfall in the outdoor section, chrome and wicker seating arrangements and warm orange lamps that add an irresistible glow to the dark red and tan walls. Students and your friendly neighborhood trendsters flock to Mia. Even stray business folk line the contemporary tables and I can’t help but wonder how they found this place.
I came with a large group of eight people and we were late, but the hostess was nothing but pleasant as she seated us. The equally agreeable wait staff brought out drinks and edamame in a timely fashion, considering the large Friday night crowd they had. The bar offers all the regular nigiri and sushi, but also has an extensive list of specialty rolls, each paying homage to local attractions and street names. From this list, we sampled the Colorado, Oxy, Highland Park, and Eagle Rock rolls. The Colorado, named, of course, for Colorado Boulevard, featured salmon, cream cheese, and avocado, fried with a crunchy tempura exterior and drizzled with creamy lemon sauce. The tempura was fantastic, as was the presentation. The roll itself was a little bland and the lemon flavor was almost nonexistent, but it was almost too pretty to notice those things.
The Oxy roll showcased salmon, shrimp, white fish, avocado and cucumber baked in Mia’s special sauce. I don’t know what that special sauce involved, but this creamy masterpiece basically exploded in my mouth with the perfect combination of ooze and flavor. There was definitely arguments over who got to finish these. The Highland Park roll was a basic California roll topped with baked scallops in eel sauce. This tasted great, but the scallops did not hold together or stay on top of the roll. I pride myself on chopstick skills, but the dexterity of my American fingers was no match for this slippery sucker.
The texture whirlwind sped right along as we sampled the octopus, which was plated beautifully with each piece sandwiched between lemon slices. Their chefs are certainly in love with citrus, as further evidenced by the last of the specialty rolls we tried, the Eagle Rock roll, made up of spicy tuna and asparagus with a tempura coating and lemon sauce. This was more flavorful than the Colorado, probably due to the spice of the tuna and the crunchy asparagus, but unfortunately, the lemon flavor was still missing in action.
For dessert, we were given their Strawberry and Banana Tempura on the house for a birthday in our group. This was served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and tasted incredible, despite each morsel of fried fruit tasting not unlike fried chicken gone horribly wrong. Sit with your curiosity for a few minutes, though-the strawberries have maximum tongue-burning potential.
The ambiance was great-everyone at nearby tables seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their dining experience in this oasis of laidback trendiness. It managed to exude a vibe of modernity without going over the top. While the sushi may not be the best I’ve ever had, Mia certainly provided a pleasurable evening-the hostess even hugged our birthday girl on her way out. This place has a lot of promise and I can’t wait to try some more of their specialty concoctions.
This article has been archived, for more requests please contact us via the support system.