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Don't Ask for Wasabi at Loews Santa Monica's New Sushi Bar

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  Site Where: 1700 Ocean Ave. [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
September 24, 2010 at 3:34 PM | by | ()

When you dine at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel's new oceanfront sushi bar Sushi and Sunset, don't think it's a mistake that your server doesn't bring out any wasabi or soy sauce for your raw fish.

The bar, tucked inside the restaurant Ocean & Vine, specializes in pairing sushi with intricate housemade sauces, rather than the usual standbys. Executive chef Keith Roberts says soy and wasabi are way overused with sushi and that these new sauces will allow you to experience the fish a new way.

The salmon nigiri comes with a soybean miso and a Thai basil leaf. Snapper nigiri is served with Sunset Sauce, a spicy Japanese almond-lemon butter topping, to punch up the texture. Tuna nigiri is complemented with wasabi sour cream, white soy and fish stock to preserve the flavor nuances.

The restaurant also has rolled out with its own original sushi rolls. We want to try the secret sushi, an off-the-menu roll: Ask for a Sunburnt Diva and you'll get tempura shrimp with avocado and spicy tuna wrapped in a cool cucumber roll. The on-the-menu offerings include the signature Santa Monica Fog, a production of a dish that uses liquid nitrogen to emit a fog when the top is lifted.

The Blue Streak roll, named after Santa Monica's first roller coaster, is served "wheels up" with fresh sashimi tucked under the roll. The Santa Monica Farmers' Market also serves as inspiration for the Farmers' Market roll, which features carrot-infused rice, avocado, asparagus and roasted peppers.

Taste-test the fare at the daily happy hour, "6 at the Beach," which offers sushi, wines and cocktails for $6 each from 5 to 8 p.m.

[Photo: Loews Hotels' Facebook]

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