3.20.2006

Yanusa - To Go Please!

sashimirice
hwae-dup-bap ---> sashimi rice

I love sushi and sashimi and am willing to pay a chunk of change for pleasures at a sushi master's domain. And I avoid discount or just badbad sushi places, i.e. Sushi Mac and California Roll Express, which serve highly inedible fish forcing you to buy "specialty" rolls that disguise the bad fish instead of serving it as sushi or sashimi and letting the fresh flavor of the fish play center stage. If your plate of sushi costs only a few dollars you are definitely paying for it in other ways, like freshness. But that is not to say I don't partake in less expensive, but fresh and delicious, raw fish concoctions to fix my sushi cravings.

Yanusa, located in the small front corner of the HanNam Chain market in Koreatown, is a perfect place to get an inexpensive box of spicy tuna roll, spider roll, california roll, or udon, to-go. The place is really small and in open corner of the market, which is why it's better for takeout or catering. But their fish is pretty fresh and whenever I go they have good business, which is indicative of a good turnover. It's a Korean run place, so along with the yellow pickled daikon they also give you red pepper marinated shredded daikon to act as the very necessary kimchi of the meal. I usually go for a box of filling spicy tuna roll ($7) or udon ($5?) which are both delicious and very good deals.

It's also a great place to get the distinctly Korean raw fish dish, hwae-dup-bap, which is served at many Korean restaurants, non-sushi and sushi alike. "Hwae" means raw fish, "dup" means to cover, and "bap" means rice. So it's basically sashimi covered rice, a bowl of deconstructed spiced up sushi if you will. I love love love this dish. The spiciness comes from cho-jang, which is gochujang diluted with a liquid and a tinge of vinegar. It's what Koreans usually eat sashimi with and I find it most delicious paired up with fresh cool slices of halibut.

I like to add spoonfuls of cho-jang to my hwae-dup-bap but taste as you go along so it doesn't to become too salty or spicy. With shredded carrot, crispy green lettuce, thin batons of refreshing cucumber, and a colorful mixture of fish, this sashimi bowl is one of my choice comfort foods. And of course don't forget to sip on the warm miso broth that comes with every meal.

2740 W Olympic Blvd
213.383.9919