A couple of days ago I met an old friend of mine for sushi. I have known her since elementary school, (we were best friends back in the day) so we like to get together when I am back at home or when she is out where I am now and gossip about old times. So I was back home, and after much discussion and indecision about where to have dinner, we decided to go to Gu Gu Sushi & Roll in Hermosa Beach. She had been there a few times, but this was the first time I have been to Gu Gu Sushi.
It was really good! It’s been a while since I have been out for sushi, and seriously ages since I have sat at a sushi bar so it was definitely refreshing! We got there around 6:00 and the place was pretty much empty… it didn’t start to fill up until about half an hour to an hour later. From the start, the experience was great. The moment you walk in the door, the sushi chefs greet you and there is a waiter asking you if you would like to sit at the sushi bar or at a table. They hand you a legal sized sheet of paper with the list of maki rolls on the front, and nigiri and other rolls on the back. What a HUGE selection! Plus there was another sheet with their specials on it, AND a menu that we didn’t even crack so I can’t really tell you much about that. 😛
With so many options, it took us at least 10 minutes to decide what we wanted to order. (Of course, it doesn’t help that we both are incredibly indecisive – it took us a couple of minutes just to decide if we wanted to sit at a table or at the sushi bar!) We ended up deciding to share the Spider Roll, the Tempura California Roll, an order of inari and an order of tamago. The rolls were really good, but I wasn’t so impressed with the rest of the sushi. The inari was dry and less flavorful than what I am used to, but was still alright.
On the other hand, it took me a little while to recognize the tamago for what it was when it came out. Rather than the piece of tamago on top of a ball of rice wrapped in a thin strip of tamago (like the one seen here), we got a sandwich of rice between two pieces of tamago, completely wrapped in a piece of nori. Once I got over the oddity of the tamago, I bit into it. My friend immediately started laughing at me. The nori was very tough, and since the piece was a bit big, I couldn’t eat it all in one bite. This resulted in me squishing half of the insides out of the nori, leaving the other half of the tamago and all of the nori. She started laughing hysterically at me while I stuffed the rest of the piece of tamago in my mouth and tried to finish it without laughing too hard.
Our Spider Roll came right away – we had marked it first, and since we were taking so long ordering and there were very few people at the sushi bar, the sushi chef was peeking over the bar at our order sheet and made it before we asked him. 🙂 It was expertly rolled – fried soft shell crab and avocado (and perhaps something else) on the inside, and the rice flecked with something orange and topped with panko flakes. It was very yummy, although most of mine ended up falling apart since they were too big to put the entire piece in my mouth. (Yeah, so I have a small mouth! 😛 )
The Tempura California Rolls were not quite what I was expecting, but still were very good! I am used to seeing California Rolls covered in tempura batter and then fried (like my Crazy California Roll). Instead, these were rolled like normal inside-out California Rolls (rice on the outside), then topped with some sort of fried black thing (nori?) and panko flakes. Although I was a little apprehensive at first, they were really good! Those were gone very quickly. 😀
Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable experience. The bill came out to about $25 I think (I’m not sure… my friend paid 😀 ) which isn’t bad for 20 pieces of sushi. It had a sports bar-ish atmosphere, as they were watching the X-Games while we were eating. (Not that I minded, but seeing a skateboarder fall 40 feet doesn’t exactly encourage my appetite. Of course, not much could ruin m appetite for sushi, so it wasn’t a problem!) I had a great time, and as always it’s nice to catch up with an old friend too! I definitely recommend this sushi bar!