Gu Gu Sushi and Roll, Hermosa Beach

The first time I ever tried sushi was back in the early 70’s. Some new chain, whose name escapes me, had come to Southern California and my [now ex] wife and I decided to give it a shot. I was not impressed and never returned.

Fast forward 30 years and I found myself in an industry whose members seemed to exist for sushi, so I was pretty much forced into developing a taste for it. I still would never consider ordering, and relied solely on others, as I did not have a clue what would be the best rolls. As time went on, I found myself becoming fonder of it, and I would even go to a sushi restaurant by myself. I never dared to sit at the sushi bar and relied on the recommendations of my server.

About a year ago, a good friend of mine invited me to dinner and introduced me to Gu Gu Sushi and Roll, in Hermosa Beach. I will be honest. I was paying more attention to my friend than I was to the food. I remembered there were a couple tasty rolls that I had picked mainly because of their names (420 and opium rolls). I did not even remember the name of the place.

A few months later, my assistant and I decided we wanted to go have sushi. There was a place down the street that we had gone to a few times which is very authentic Japanese. I suggested that perhaps we could try the place in Hermosa again. I called my friend to get the name of it. After a best two out of three coin toss, we ended up at Gu Gu Sushi. It was a decision I have yet to regret.

Roland enjoying rice ball hella spice

Roland enjoying rice ball hella spice

If you are into the $15, all you can eat sushi bars, then Gu Gu is definitely not for you. You can spend more than that on a single roll, but I promise you, it will be one of the best rolls you ever tasted.

So, what makes Gu Gu Sushi so special? Put it this way. They have three menus. The first menu lists their standard rolls, sashimi and the kitchen items (tempura, soups, etc). Then they have their specialty rolls which comes on a separate menu with about 30 rolls on each side (no, I never counted them). Then they have four white boards up on the wall with even more specialty rolls. I have read reviews at Yelp that suggest they have over 100 selections. Again, I have never counted, but it sounds about right. What is really nice is that they regularly change up their specialty offerings, so you can come in over and over and have something new every time.

I have a tendency to stick to the specialty rolls, because they are so dang good. I do not even need to read the menu. It does not matter what the roll is made of because the fish and other ingredients are so fresh that the rolls literally melt in your mouth. Some of their rolls, like the Rice Ball Hella Spice, are so good that I use it as a dessert!

The chefs, Song and Alex, have made me feel so comfortable there that 99% of the time I sit at the bar. Truth be told, I will wait for a seat at the bar. I particularly enjoy taking people there for the first time, as the reactions are always the same. “We must do that again.” Some have suggested that Gu Gu is a little pricey. Well, if you are accustomed to assembly line sushi, it probably is. If you enjoy quality food, Gu Gu Sushi and Roll is more than fair in their pricing.

Kumpai.

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