The truth is, I have been able to find good Japanese food, but not good sushi. I've been to several restaurants so far and many of their sushi rice lacked flavor. It is almost like just plain japanese rice, without a tinge of rice vinegar or mirin. The problem is not with the ingredients, but mostly the rice itself. I'm not sure if I am just too used to the way we Singaporeans have our sushi, but I was certainly disappointed. After several failed visits to different restaurants, I decided to make my own sushi rice at home (which is another story/recipe altogether).
However, my dismal feelings about the state of sushi in LA ended when I visited Kabuki. I first read about this restaurant in the newspapers, where it was voted by readers as the best japanese restaurants in Pasadena. When I saw that, I just had to give it a shot. I tried their special (picture above), which is a spicy roll topped with seasonal raw fish, and this is the first restaurant I've been to that actually sold decent sushi! Their roll was tasty, and it had a good crunch when I bit into it. The toppings were fresh, though I would have liked it even more if they came with uni and hotate.
|Salmon and tempura lunch set.|
One thing worth noting about Kabuki is their value for money set lunches. For $10.95, I can have a set meal, choosing between chicken, beef or salmon teriyaki and tempura complete with rice (you can opt for brown rice), salad and miso soup. Their miso is mediocre, but I love their salad dressing, which is sweet, salty and tart all rolled into one. They have other items on their set lunch menu too, such sushi and chirashi set meals.
I ordered the beef to be cooked to medium, which is the way I like it, with a nice pink centre. The beef tasted not bad, though the texture was a little too sinewy for me. My friend thought her salmon was ok, but would have preferred a bigger slice. Other than those slight misses, Kabuki is a place I'd return to because it serves good food with affordable prices. They also served us a side of edamame beans before our meal, which is a nice bonus.I hope their other sushi, besides their special roll, is equally good because I'd be coming back to try them again!
88 W Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105 Tweet