I'm no connoisseur regarding sushi. I just know I fell in love with the cuisine when I moved to LA. I used to go to a fun place called Sushi 101 in the valley in North Hollywood. The chef there, Toshi, was a great guy and those were the halcyon days of sushi, shrimp heads, sake and Sapporo. It was a wonderful introduction. But then I moved and when I did, someone, at some point, introduced me to Ike on Hollywood and Gower. Not the nicest section but man, did I chow down.
Oh how I loved Chef Ike - he always bought the freshest fish and always kept the rolls pure. But then he left to go to Japan. Eventually I heard he opened a new restaurant, Kimagure, in Pasadena on Raymond. I wanted to go but didn't make it there. Money got tight. We moved ourselves. Life got busy. It was as if I forgot sushi even existed.
Then yesterday for some weird reason I said I wanted sushi. Every now and again it's a part of living in LA: you have to go out for sushi. It's a treat, to be certain, but it's as much a part of the LA experience as going to the beach once in awhile or getting an In and Out Burger.
Oh my God. Had I known I live only 15 minutes from Kimagure I would have gone much sooner. I might go to the beach twice a year but I'll sell my kidney for every other weekend at Kimagure.
Here's some photos. I went a la carte, as I always do:
That being said, check out the generous ginger. Ike don't skimp and I like a little palate cleanser from dish to dish.
Much is not pictured. I was busy eating. Chef Ike made us a nice tuna roll, a kanpyo roll which I'm sure very few people get but I kind of like it for my last thing. It's a gourd soaked in sweet stuff and then wrapped in rice, of course. But the thing he started me with - and trust me - this guy and I go waaaaaaaaaaay back, is my favorite. Halibut sashimi with his perfect semi-sweet silky sauce that is so bright it almost has a hint of citrus. I never asked.
Here's the menu in case you want to have the chef choose for you:
Ike-san! I salute you!
Kimagure is at 220 South Raymond, Pasadena, CA 91105. Reservations recommended: 626-535-0880. Park at the Del Mar Metro Station. First 90 minutes are free.