Monday, August 20, 2012

Omakase at Sushi Kimagure (Pasadena)

I used to complain that there was no stellar sushi in Pasadena, but that was before Sushi Kimagure moved in. The man behind Kimagure is Ike-san from the beloved Sushi Ike that was in Hollywood. The day he decided to shutter his Hollywood spot and open up in Pasadena was a good day for us.

Dining at the sushi bar at Kimagure is by reservation only, and considering our 7pm party did not leave until near closing time, there's probably only one seating per night.

It was my long awaited first visit so of course we had omakase. We didn't get Ike-san as our itamae that night but our meal was still excellent.

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It was impressive to watch how fast these sushi chefs were working, especially considering their age!

To start, a vegetable potato salad
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Most places may save toro towards the end of a meal, but here they dive directly into bluefin tuna (maguro) and toro as your first pieces.
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The toro was superb
Sushi is not just about the fresh fish, but the rice as well, and here at Kimagure they are both excellent. It's not the warm rice of Nozawa (which I sometimes think is too warm and detracts from the fish) but it still melts in your mouth.
Next was another one of my favorite cuts, hamachi belly
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amberjack
Salmon tataki, beautifully seared on a grill
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To break things up a bit, asari (clam) miso soup
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At some point the sushi chef started cutting the sushi in two pieces for me. For the ladies, maybe? 

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Albacore
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Snapper with shiso leaf
Crab leg sushi, which is served a lot at Kimagure. Ike-san apparently also uses crab leg for his crab hand rolls as well.
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Ikura and uni, of course. What's a sushi meal without uni? The uni was incredibly creamy. We might have asked for seconds ...
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We saw another customer getting chawanmushi and it looked so good we had to ask for one too, and we're sure glad we did. Fish, shrimp, and chicken were buried under the chawanmushi.
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Instead of the usual crab or uni hand roll to start finishing off the meal, we had tuna hand roll.
Toro Hand Roll

The anago (seawater eel) is only lightly brushed with the sauce so as not the overpower the flavor of the fish itself.
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Usually they would finish off the meal with the anago, but when our chef asked us if we wanted more, we decided to get some amaebi (sweet shrimp), which I forgot to take a photo of. Usually with amaebi sushi restaurants will either fry the head or put it in miso soup, but here they remove the head from the shell and grills it.
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Fresh fruits for dessert:
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Our meal at Sushi Kimagure was definitely stellar, and if I remember correctly it came out to around $100 per person including tips, which was quite reasonable for what we got (especially compared to its westside counterparts of similar quality). Sushi Kimagure has definitely brought a whole new level of sushi to Pasadena, and I hope it's here to stay!

Sushi Kimagure
220 S Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 535-0880
Sushi Kimagure on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

Rachael

Thanks for all of the details, including price. As a SGV resident I have been lamenting the lack of quality sushi in Pasadena for some time now. Time to save my pennies and head out to Kimagure <3 You're right, too; no sushi meal would ever be complete without uni!

kange

Looks delicious! Can't wait to try it.

Gastronomer

NICE!! Looking forward to finally getting dinner here.

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