For those of us who can’t get to downtown for lunch…
Replacing the short-lived Sheng Ramen in the corner of the 7th St/Vermont plaza, Kimuro Sushi offers a welcome replacement of the perennially awful, now-closed Wasabi Sushi as a japanese lunch option.
This is not to say that the fish here is particularly good - it is, at best, middling, even for a lower-tier sushi shop like this. However, there are some decent options here.
The Unagi bowl is fairly standard, but at the same time a very decent QPR (it’s hard to find any Unagi bowl for $8.89, let alone a decent one). Accouterments vary, but generally consist of some combination of pickled vegetables, kastuboshi, chopped shiso, and seaweed salad. The sushi rice is decent (appropriately vinegared, not hard/gummy, not cold).
The Beef bowl (now steak bowl) was a pleasant surprise. Unlike the usual “thinly shaved scraps of meat cooked extremely dry”, the beef here was relatively thick-cut, tender, cooked a nice medium, and, dare I say it - beefy. This is a solid step above any generic beef bowl you tend to find at low-budget sushi places. Topped with pickled ginger and green onions, comes with tamago, bamboo sprouts (?), and chopped lettuce on the side. The only real compliant was that there was a little too much fat/tendon left attached to some of the pieces, but it was fairly well rendered, so not a big deal. Rice was fine. Same price as the Unagi bowl.
All lunch items come with a complimentary miso soup, which is actually a little better than average (but not extraordinary).
698 S Vermont Ave #106, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Recently opened on the corner of 6th and New Hampshire comes a new concept eatery - Tokyo Hamburg. I did not actually try their flagship item - the cook-it-yourself Hamburg - but the Chicken Katsu lunch special.
Accompanying rice and miso soup were nothing special. Miso-cabbage and corn-macaroni salads were… serviceable? I’m afraid I don’t have a good baseline to judge these on - they were fine, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for them. Thankfully the chicken katsu itself was very good - well-battered, thick, and juicy, this is a clear indication that somebody in the kitchen knows what they’re doing.
The pricing here - and quality - mark it as one of the few remotely upscale options we have in this area. I’m going to have to come back to try the hamburg, and maybe the desserts too.
600 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005