Valley sushi superstar Mark Okuda has some things to prove on the Westside.
“People see Valley sushi as more like rolls,” says Okuda, who’s working to open a Santa Monica outpost of the Brothers Sushi in October. “I want to show them that we use fresh, seasonal, and dry-aged ingredients.”
In 2018, Okuda took over the Brothers Sushi in Woodland Hills and transformed a neighborhood restaurant into one of the city’s top spots for serious omakase. He believes Santa Monica and the surrounding areas have an even larger appetite for blowout meals, so he’s looking forward to showcasing super-premium ingredients like hairy crab, king crab, and abalone.
The Santa Monica restaurant will serve à la carte sushi and family-style shared plates in its 40-seat dining room and on its 12-seat patio. There will also be a six-to-eight-seat counter for omakase, which will cost about $180 for four or five cooked dishes, ten to 15 pieces of sushi, and dessert.
As he was coming up in the sushi scene, Okuda remembers mentors telling him to focus on getting the best ingredients from Japan. But what he’s learned over the years is that he should just get the best ingredients he can find, no matter their provenance. At the Brothers Sushi, Okuda is dry-aging Ora King salmon from New Zealand, and he’s serving it with local arugula and Italian truffles. He’s so devoted to procuring superior ingredients that he regularly drives to the Saturday farmers market in Torrance, more than 35 miles from Woodland Hills, to buy produce such as berries, ice plants, and Japanese green onions.
“I’m pretty picky,” Okuda says. “If you’re going to spend this much money, I want to provide the best ingredients possible.”
The Brothers Sushi, 1008 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.
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