Interesting, since I had his sushi at lunchtime. Now I’m curious about the shari consistency at dinner service.
Just had another good meal at U-Zen. A few apps, ~14 courses of nigiri, a hand roll, and a bonus round or two: ~$135/head.
In West SGV, I like the old-school Taihei in Monterey Park on Garfield. Reminds me of small mom-and-pop places I’ve been to in Japan. I’m no sushi expert by any means but their chirashi, uni, etc. all very fresh and reasonably priced. Cooked items also very good too
The first place I ever had sushi. And the first place I had ikura. I remember the chefs clapping when I popped it in my mouth as a kid. Thought it was SOOOO gross.
Kiriko Sushi - Sawtelle
Somehow the words “budget” and “Kiriko” don’t seem compatible and that’s because of the superior offerings. Helmed by itamae, Ken Namba, Kiriko is a no fuss, no pretense charmer with a pleasing price.
Menu only notes the brand/brewery, Hakkaisan, with a description (dry and a bit spicy with subtle flavors of stewed apples, lightly toasted nuts and wood). It was recommended as a favorite and quite complimentary to Kiriko’s offerings.
Tempura & Sashimi… because hubs cannot live on lunch omakase alone. I think he ordered 2 tempura.
Salmon, Yellowtail, Albacore
9 Piece + Handroll Lunch Omakase (now $60)…
Salad & Miso Soup
Toro, Bluefin Tuna & Snapper
King Mackerel & Golden Eye Snapper
Halibut & Needlefish
Halibut was my least favorite, texture & flavorwise.
Smoked Salmon w/Caviar.
Caviar wasn’t super bursty, but the flavors together made it a great bite. We immediately re-upped.
À la carte Ikura
Nice touch is you get a choice of the day’s seafood offerings for your handroll. The list was rattled off pretty fast and not wanting to ask for it to be repeated I chose toro, but something with a little more texture would be good too.
As we’ve discussed about restaurants and sushi-ya in general they were understaffed and had a “hiring” sign on the door. All part of the post-pandemic dilemma, so. The service was charmingly harried and diners were enjoying themselves. If we lived in the ‘hood Kiriko would definitely be in the regular rotation.
Happy Best Budget Sushi Eating!
Not really a restaurant, but budget wise, can’t beat Yama in San Gabriel for price point? I’d even go as far to say impossible to find a better price point for quality sushi for any establishment period. They’ve made some changes so it’s not as agonizing as a line now, and are really good at keeping items stocked and have more people working there now.