Sushi Hanada Closing
One of the BEST sushi restaurants is closing today.
Sushi Hanada was a hidden gem in Port Hueneme (Oxnard) where some of LA’s top sushi chefs would drive over an hour to get to on their days off to eat here.
YES, it was that good!
Not because they received top notch quality seafood from Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo, but just the opposite. Sushi Hanada used a lot of local sustainable seafood and the preparation was the real secret. Chef Yuki Hanada was the master at bringing out the flavors of local ingredients.
Sushi Hanada served Edomae-style sushi, made from seafood caught in Tokyo Bay. Small fish, Japanese tiger prawns, clams, sea eel, etc. were cured or lightly cooked before serving. 200 years ago, it wasn’t about toro or uni in sushi, you needed to know what to do with what you could get your hands on and how to bring out the flavors.
Chef Yuki did all of those things and more. The 3 or so times I’ve dined there, he never disappointed and each time I had different seasonal Omakase dishes. When he served local tuna, he marinated it in seaweed to give it another dimension. He wasn’t afraid of aging fish to bring out more flavor and he created his own sauces for menu items like Squid, Cherrystone Clam, and Sea Eel sushi.
Since it had been awhile since I last dined there, I was trying to plan a sushi night on one of my return trips home from No Cal. But my return trips usually fell on the days they were closed. Unfortunately, Chef Yuki passed away about a year ago and I never got a chance to see him again.
He had a different thinking, not only to keep traditional edomae-style alive, but to use locally sustainable seafood. We’re lucky to live in California where we have excellent sweet shrimp (amaebi), sea urchin (uni), and sardines, just to name a few. Because most of his ingredients were local, his Omakase was very reasonably priced, but always amazing.
I’m saddened by their closing after 25 years, but grateful to have met Chef Yuki and dined at his sushi bar on a few occasions. I send my best wishes to the family.