In Los Angeles, sushi has become so popular that it is practically a fast food business these days. Customers go in, get served within 20 minutes and leave. Obviously, it helps to be fast at preparing food when the food doesn’t have to be cooked, but in dishing out food at such a rapid rate, many sushi restaurants are forgetting the sanctity of a sit-down meal. 

However, at Slow Fish sushi the owners have deviated from the rushed sushi approach and placed more emphasis on individual flavors and the complete dining experience.

Executive chef Sean An has made a menu that is different from other sushi restaurants. The menu is extremely diverse, incorporating ingredients from the land and the sea, cooked or raw. It includes some traditional sushi items, but also offers options that are healthier and more complex, such as the spicy ahi salad or the grilled shishito peppers with Korean spicy soy marinade. 

Another unique item on the Slow Fish menu that is used in multiple dishes is black rice. We all know about white rice and brown rice, but what is black rice? According to the Slow Fish menu, black rice is high in fiber and rich in iron and it has preventative powers against illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease. Though the health value of it is very impressive, the best quality of black rice is the taste. Unlike brown or white rice, black rice actually has flavor. It has a nuttiness to it that adds more pizzazz to the dishes. 

Speaking of pizzazz, one of the dishes at Slow Fish is a sashimi plate including hamachi toro (yellowtail belly), New Zealand snapper (served with yuzu koso paste and sea salt) and live sweet shrimp. That’s right --the shrimp is alive.

It's so alive that it’s head and little legs move and shake at the softest touch of a chopstick. This is not a dish for a picky eater. It’s not even a dish for a normal eater. It is only for those truly adventurous eaters out there who can handle staring at the moving head of a shrimp while eating its body. And for the truly adventurous eaters, Slow Fish will take the live head, deep fry it and serve it for you to enjoy, legs and all.

Before chomping on shrimp legs, a nice way to start the meal at Slow Fish is with the spicy ahi salad, which includes spicy tuna, creamy yellowfin tuna, Fuji apples and mixed greens all drizzled with a tangy lime ponzu sauce. Though all of the dishes at Slow Fish look like miniature works of art, this salad is the most colorful dish on the menu. It’s so pretty you won’t want to dig your chopstick in and destroy the masterpiece. The dish is fresh, crisp and delicious, and the apples add a refreshing crunch. 

One of the tastiest items on the menu is the pink albacore special that includes fresh albacore from Fiji topped with kaiwari sprouts, scallion and mustard ponzu sauce. This albacore tastes so fresh and light, you will be amazed at how much of it you can eat. Slow Fish prides itself on having the freshest fish available (though for most people the live shrimp might be a little too fresh), and they do not disappoint. 

But it’s not just the raw things on the menu that taste good. Slow Fish also has items like the lightly fried sweet jumbo scallops covered in an orange Miso sauce, which melt in your mouth. 

For the more traditional eaters, there are cooked fish items like the Miso cream seabass with shitake mushroom and garlic cream sauce. In this dish, the cream complements the mild and flaky fish and also seeps down onto the black rice. 

Not big on seafood? The slow beef tender ribs do not disappoint. They braise the beef for hours, making it unbelievably tender. When it is served, it looks as if they plated two large pieces of beef on the plate, but in actuality one of the two pieces is a block of black rice that provides a nice side for the flavorful meat.

What better way to finish a delicious meal than with a drunken orange panda? At Slow Fish, they carve an orange into a panda bear and pour some plum wine over it for a cute and healthy dessert. It is the perfect way to finish a meal filled with fresh fish, delightful flavors and adventurous cuisine.

Slow Fish is located at 5406 Wilshire Blvd in L.A. For more information, call 323-930-0170 or click here.