Kogane (Alhambra): A Pictorial Essay

The guild of sushi chefs in Los Angeles is a relatively close-knit one. It’s always heartening to see a familiar shokunin open a new restaurant. Chef Fumio Azumi may not yet be household name, but L.A. food enthusiasts will likely recognize his friendly smile from Sushi of Gari, Marino Ristorante (where he was helping with Chef Sal’s crudo program), as well as his brother Taketoshi Azumi’s Michelin-starred Shin Sushi in Encino. However, Fumio-san’s latest sushi stint was in Hong Kong, where as Executive Chef, he was responsible for the opening of Sushi Zo at Tai Kwun. Now back in the states, Fumio-san is teaming up with Kwan-san (previously at Sushi Sasabune) and Jon-san (previously at Mori Sushi) to debut Kogane in the West San Gabriel Valley.

Kogane’s dining room, with a beautifully sleek seven-seat sushi bar and two four-tops along the back wall, welcomes guests with its clean lines and soft wood panels. This new Alhambra restaurant occupies the space previously held by Aku Poke - the old signage is even still up!

Let the inaugural omakase commence! Itadakimasu!

Simmered awabi in kimo sauce… A decadently gorgeous first bite. This really set a great tone for the rest of our meal. Huge bite!

Owan: Kinmedai clear broth with snow pea… Meditative, with meltingly tender fish.

Neta display…

Cutting the sashimi…

Sashimi: Buri, toro zuke, umibudo (sea grapes)… Loved the textural interplay of all these elements.

Shoga…. Fumio-san presents really remarkable pickled young ginger in readiness for the nigiri courses - It ranks amongst my favorite gari in SoCal. The nigiri courses comprised the majority of my inaugural omakase at Kogane. The plan is to evolve the menu as the restaurant gathers more steam.

Kasugodai… Just terrific.

Sayori… Luscious hikarimono.

Buri… So perfectly fatty right now, in the depth of winter. Huge bite!

Akagai…. At the height of its season right now!

Ankimo, two-ways…. Steamed, and marinated with sweet soy. Both were tremendous. Huge bites!

Honmaguri akami… From off the coast of Mexico.

Otoro… Appropriately melt-in-your-mouth wonderful!

Slicing the next interlude…

Otoro, aged 2 weeks… Fumio-san admits this is a work in progress, but I thought the taste was fabulous!

Shime saba (cured mackerel)… Eye-opening. The oiliness totally set this apart from your usual saba - Truly a “Holy Mackerel” moment. Huge bite!

Doling out the next serving…

Ikura… Highest quality. Nice.

Goma tofu, dashi, uni… Wow! Top grade uni, and housemade sesame tofu of a firmness almost akin to mochi! Huge bite!

Goodies from Japan, freshly grilled, and piping hot…

Kuruma ebi… Cooked so delicately. Damn tasty. Huge bite!

Kwan-san applies the white binchotan to the next dish…

Nodoguro seared… The smokiness brings out the flavors in this blackthroat perch.

Uni on uni gohan handroll… Blending uni into the shari, and then also topping it with even more uni provides an especially luxe twist on this crowd favorite! Premium nori really brings this over the top in my book. Huge bite!

Anago… Fumio-san says this is one type of neta he completely enjoys preparing. It’s a lot of trouble – over two hours of work for a single sublime bite – but it’s totally worth it. This pillowy, fluffy and dreamy sea eel is among the best I’ve ever had. Huge bite!

Whoa, a flat tamagoyaki emerges…

Kasutera-style tamagoyaki…. Joking referred to as “pancake” tamagoyaki by its creator, this is Kogane’s signature way to serve this iconic meal-ender, and it is splendid.

Bonus rounds! Fumio-san takes the time to teach me more about his sushi meshi. He uses two very distinct types of shari throughout the meal.

Kohada… Because I love hikarimono. This did not disappoint.

Akagai kimo… I have never had this particular nigiri before. Cool!

Kogane brings serious another contender to the realm of top-tier omakase in Southern California. The inviting sushi bar, depth of offerings, deft execution, and professional service are all already there on my first visit – Wonderfully impressive! Fumio-san and the Kogane team are crafting excellent experiences already from Day One. The only thing missing is the alcohol license (this is coming soon, I’m told). I foresee Kogane quickly becoming an omakase destination, especially for denizens within the San Gabriel Valley. Gochisosama deshita!


Kogane ( 黃金 )

1129 S. Fremont Ave., Suite C
Alhambra, CA 91803
Instagram: @kogane_la


Damn, this is a must try before it blows up. The knife work alone looks damn near perfect.

Thanks for the pictures and report.


Great to see that they started out with a bang and that Alhambra is finally getting some love! What’s their pricing structure for omakase?


The inaugural omakase is currently priced at $250 pp (before bonus rounds). This does not include gratuity.


I think this is the best looking omakase I’ve seen on this board, ever.

I was surprised to see Mexican bluefin though, especially this time of year when the North Carolina bluefin and the Japanese fish are catchable and at their peak. That makes me suspect it’s a pen-raised fish, which are usually smaller and lower in quality than a standout wild fish. Did he say anything about the fish? The o-toro from the 20day aged fish looks different than the otoro nigiri. Were they the same fish? Doesn’t look like it

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I had also asked Fumio-san about the provenance of the akami. He said apologizingly that it was a one-time fluke, since his latest tuna shipment didn’t come through last-second. The aged otoro was indeed a different fish.


woof! that’s hefty.

Most excited I’ve been for a new spot in a while. In Alhambra of all places.


Better get in now before the mainland ballers take all the spots. I am serious. This is probably easily the best sushi in SGV.

Lots of perfect bang bang potentials as well.


Any word on whether they do some sort of takeout? This looks way good.

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Fumio-san hinted at a chirashi to-go maybe in the near future…


Thanks @J_L , heading there Tuesday.

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Say hello to Fumio-san, Kwan-san and the team! And please report back if you like. Enjoy!

Wow, that looks really cool.
I can’t wait to visit there. Thank you so much sharing the all the pictures and your review.


Welcome @Sennnnnn!