Sushi By Scratch is part of the historic Montecito Inn and the concept of Chef Phillip Frankland Lee. It is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the area and serves an Omakase 17 courses to 10 diners three times in the evening. It is part of the Scratch Restaurant group with different concepts in cities like Los Angeles, Miami and Austin. This dining experience starts 15 minutes prior in the hotel’s lobby with a welcome cocktail. (Parking is via hotel valet or they will direct you to the self-park lot). With the meal you can order your own beverage or buy one of their pairing packages – house, sake, or wine – all $110. We took the House pairing which served a combination of sake, cocktails and beer. In hindsight, even though the pairings were well matched, I would recommend getting your own bottle of something as the pairings felt over-priced. Seating was comfortable and the 3 chefs preparing your bites were conversational and friendly. The 16 items featured are on the wall in front and #17 is dessert. Numbers by each entry are the price of each if there is time and you want another piece at the end of the meal. The sushi is all outstanding and it is a fun experience that I recommend.
Bluefin Tessin is the tail portion of the tuna and it was sided by fried nori and topped with scallion, lemon, wasabi and Kaluga Caviar from CA. The fried nori added a fun crunch to this first bite that had excellent flavor.
Hamachi was Yellowtail with house soy sauce, wasabi and corn “pudding” on top. This was even better.
Chutoro is the fatty part of the bluefin and served with a bit of cherimoya fruit and lemon ponzu. It was good.
Shima Aji or white striped Jack from Japan was topped with spiced nectarine and wasabi. The nectarine added a very different dimension for a fine result.
Scallop was Hokkaido and seasoned with house soy sauce, lemon and salt. The lemon was the strongest flavor for another good bite.
Hirame or Korean Fluke was seasoned with soy, scallion and tamarind. it was really good.
Kinmeadai is Golden Eye Snapper seasoned with salt, cherry and soy. It was excellent.
Kurodat or Blackhead sea bass from Greece was seasoned with soy, sugar and Japanesse citron and was excellent.
Madai or Japanese Snapper had soy, sesame and chili oil in the preparation. It all worked well together. A bit of apricot plum sauce was added last to move it to the great category.
Albacore was topped with house confit garlic, crispy fried onion, wasabi and ponzu sauce. It was wrapped in nori. Wonderful.
Otoro is Bluefin belly with wasabi, pineapple and a bit of brown sugar. It was torched as a finish that crisped the sugar slightly.
Ocean Trout was from Tasmania and lightly seared then topped with onion, molasses and scallion salt.
Escolar was from Korea and seasoned with molasses, nori, scallion salt and salmon eggs.
Bone Marrow was scraped from the frozen bones and topped with Texas soy salt then torched to brown it.
Unagi, freshwater eel, was topped with the bone marrow drippings, matcha salt and soy. It was delicious.
Uni was from Japan and seasoned with a bit of ponzu. It was good.
Dessert was a cube of white chocolate cake, shortbread cookie covered in matcha tea chocolate and topped with white sesame. It was outstanding, very moist and a good amount of sweet for a fine finish.