Monday, May 4, 2009

Reasonable & Chic Sushi at K-Zo

K-Zo's decor can be described as chic. Hip. It seems like there's even a bar in the front, though I do think they only serve shochu cocktails. But unlike what comes to mind when I think of "hip sushi restaurant" (*cough* Katsuya Hollywood, Sushi Roku *cough*) it isn't crowded and loud and, as K-Zo has been known for, the prices are quite reasonable.
But really, my main reason for finally checking K-Zo out is a Yelp review that mentioned their sinful molten chocolate cake. I've long been searching for a good sushi joint that also offers good dessert (I mean, beyond your mochi ice cream and tempura ice cream).

But I'm ahead of myself. Let's start from the beginning.

We started with a "seafood salad" ($16) - Tuna, yellowtail, salmon, whitefish, shrimp, and albacore on a bed of lettuce with soy mustard dressing
A bit heavy on the dressing, but otherwise good. Fish and green ingredients are good and fresh and the dressing works well for both.

Wakame (seaweed) salad - $8 (hey we wanted our greens and minerals)
Nice, light and healthy. Unlike the previous salad, the dressing here is not heavy and was just perfect.

Besides the standard sushi menu, K-Zo also has a specials menu featuring the rarer/seasonal fishies. I ordered some wild salmon.
The color is much darker than your regular salmon, and as you can probably tell from the lack of thick white stripes, this is a much leaner piece of fish. It was fresh, the fish/rice ratio was just right. The fish cuts are narrow so the portion isn't huge, but it's fair and big enough for a bite. A nice first impression of K-Zo's sushi.

As a comparison we also got the regular salmon sushi ($5/2pc order)
A fattier cut (but I like fatty too). Again, a good and fresh piece.

Speaking of fatty, I of course got my o-toro fix. I was very happy with the prices of toro here, which I think was only ~$10.
That long tail just means more fish for me ... This was a pretty fatty and smooth, melt-in-your-mouth toro. While not the best o-toro I've had, this was definitely one of the good ones, and at this price point, I was perfectly happy.

We like to end our sushi meals with some eel. This time to compare we got both the freshwater and seawater eels.
Freshwater Eel/Unagi ($5/2pc)
Seawater eel/Anago ($6/2pc)
Most Japanese people seem to prefer anago, and it is also higher priced. The unagi tends to be sweeter, which kind of provides a nice end to the meal, IMHO.

The chocolate molten cake I was looking forward to finally came. It was pretty small though! As you can see, it was only the size of an ice cream scoop.
It's small but packs a punch. Definitely rich and sinful. I also like the sesame ice cream quite a bit, but by itself. In this case the whole is less than the sum of the parts ... This small ramekin dish of chocolate cake is definitely enough. For one person, that is. As we were sharing, we're glad we had another dessert coming.

The lychee tart's portion was also pretty small.
Richer and denser than what I was expecting for a lychee tart, as it was a bit eggy. An enjoyable dessert, though I thought the taste and freshness of the lychees got lost in the rich eggy tart base.

Overall a very reasonably-priced sushi dinner with high quality and fresh ingredients. The dessert selections are much more interesting and varied than most of its counterparts (especially with the disappearance of Jinpachi's famous desserts). The dessert portions are on the small side, but might as well ... I shouldn't be eating so much anyway :P
Add on top of that free parking in the public structure right next to the restaurant, K-Zo is winning lots of points with me!

K-Zo
9240 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 202-8890
K-Zo Japanese on Urbanspoon



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4 comments:

Aaron

I feel like Urasawa mentioned K-Zo at my trip to the U. I believe he had good things to say about it.

That doesn't seem like very much food for dinner. Was it enough for you?

burumun

Ohh nice! I'm glad Hiro-san likes it too :)

I actually had more food (hamachi, hamachi belly, etc) but they were the standards and the photos didn't come out as nicely so I didn't include them.

kevinEats

From what I remember from the meal, Hiro and Keizo are acquaintances.

Pandalicious

mmm i love toro!

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