When you think of kosher food, what comes to mind? Probably not sushi — but that’s exactly what we decided to eat for our next Nosh or Noise food review. Izzy and I headed to Meshuga 4 Sushi’s West Pico location in Los Angeles to find out how kosher sushi stacks up with, well, non-kosher sushi.
Okay, so first of all… What makes sushi kosher? Well, Meshuga 4 Sushi doesn’t use dairy, shellfish, or meat. That means you can pick out anything from the menu without worrying if it’s kosher or not. Aside from that? It’s basically sushi but made in a kosher kitchen by Jews.
The founder of Meshuga 4 Sushi is Yankee Bloch, who has professed he goes “crazy” for fishing. The guy loves fish — both catching it and eating it — so establishing two sushi places in Los Angeles definitely makes sense. Bloch has caught several yellowfin tuna in Mexico that are over 120 pounds with help from his son. The two just can’t seem to get enough of sushi and the restaurant opened in 2011.
We arrived at Meshuga 4 Sushi with Izzy’s goy friend and immediately enjoyed the atmosphere. The bustling street is full of tasty Jewish eateries, including Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory. There’s sidewalk eating up and down the street, giving it a very busy vibe. The restaurant itself seemed to always have a line. You could go in and see the sushi chefs at work, including Lost Tribe’s very own member ItsArnan#2404.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what we got.
I decided to go for a healthy roll to switch it up. The one I got had cucumber instead of rice, a good chunk of avocado, and a really generous portion of salmon. Salmon is my favorite sushi of all time so I had high expectations. This roll was quite difficult to eat but the satisfying crunch of the fresh cucumber was definitely worth it. The salmon wasn’t the highest grade I’ve had but was definitely good, especially dipped in their kosher spicy mayo concoction.
I also got a very heavy and completely opposite sushi roll, which had crab inside and tempura corn on the outside. The sauce and texture were out of this world for me. I loved the soft inside blended with the crunchy topping. There was just the right amount of sauce. This was definitely a very satisfying roll that I’d definitely go back for any time.
Izzy’s friend got a giant tuna burrito. What’s really neat about the sushi burritos at Meshuga 4 Sushi is that they can be completely customized. You can pick up to two types of fish, a handful of toppings, multiple sauces, and even some extra add-ons for flavor and texture. They were massive.
It’s easy to see why this is Izzy’s go-to at Meshuga 4 Sushi. The large burrito is the size of about three rolls or more. The portion of fish is wildly large and the toppings made the burrito massive. The rice had a great texture and provided some balance to all of the flavors within the burrito.
I should note that Izzy possibly broke the ordering machine inside the restaurant by making his custom burrito too complex. It possibly wasn’t able to handle the amount of customization that went into this delicious sushi mutant.
Review By the Numbers:
Ambiance — 6/10
The restaurant itself had no indoor seating and the tables outside were not decorated in any special way. Still, the experience of eating outside on a bustling street full of Jewish establishments was quite fun. It felt laid back until a giant group of kids sat next to us, lowering the score for me.
Taste — 7/10
The healthy roll wasn’t a mind-blowing experience for me. While you may blame that on the healthy factor, I should say that I’ve eaten plenty of healthy rolls in my years as a foodie in Los Angeles. This one didn’t meet my high standards for salmon. But that corn-topped roll? I dream of it. I close my eyes and see the perfectly coated corn. If I ever looked spaced out during a meeting, I swear it’s because I’m thinking about dipping a piece of this sushi into their perfectly blended sauces.
Portions & Prices — 6/10
This isn’t the cheapest sushi you’ll have but it’s on par with many of the Japanese restaurants in the city. If you’re looking to get full, your best bet is the burritos. Those looked massive. I can see why they were so satisfying.
Izzy’s burrito — 7/10
His go-to thing here. Large and customizable.
Experience — 8/10
I had a great time at Meshuga 4 Sushi. We saw a Lost Tribe member, a bustling Jewish street full of awesome eateries, hung out and laughed on a chill sidewalk on a comfortable summer day, and had some delicious sushi. I think if you’re looking for a fun kosher meal this is most definitely an experience you don’t want to miss.
TOTAL SCORE: 7/10