Monday, May 20, 2013

Osawa Upgrades Old Shaab Location in Pasadena

When Shaab shuttered it left Pasadena devoid of shabu shabu. Now Osawa has taken over the exact same spot, serving shabu Shabu, sushi, and otsumami (small plates). Osawa is owned by Sayuri Tachibe, the wife of Chaya's corporate chef, Shigefumi Tachibe.


I went with Wandering Chopsticks who I know doesn't drink much so I ordered something sweeter that she can enjoy, a yuzu sake called Aladdin. Definitely easy to drink.
There's also blood orange lemonade for those who don't drink at all.
We started with some otsumami. I had been eyeing the beef tongue with Furofuki daikon radish and shaved kelp ($11)
I wondered if this was a common combination. I've never had shaved kelp (as opposed to dried) and like bonito flakes, when they get wet they clump together making it hard to separate with your chopsticks, but overall I liked this interesting dish. The beef tongue was quite tender and I'm partial to daikon.


Seafood Cigar with To-Ban-Jan Mayo ($8)
Shishito Tempura Stuffed Spicy Tuna with Sweet Soy ($8)
yep, stuffed with spicy tuna

We also tried the chicken karaage, which was alright but nothing special.

I was already getting wagyu and since I was there for a comped dinner I didn't want to be too greedy so for sushi initially I only ordered some uni. Because I have to have uni. Normally they have Santa Barbara uni but I got lucky because they actually had Hokkaido uni that night!
Hokkaido uni is so sweet and the one they had here was excellent!

The shabu shabu is served with a bowl of vegetables, udon, and glass noodles. They don't give as much vegetables as some other places and I thought the udon was kind of mushy, but the meat quality makes up for it.
The order of prime rib eye is $24, which is mid to low-range as far as shabu shabu prices in LA go.
Now, Osawa is one of the few places to get wagyu beef for shabu shabu. Sure, places like Mizu 212 serves "wagyu" beef but those are actually Kobe-style beef from Oregon. Osawa, on the other hand, serves high grade wagyu from the Saga prefecture in Japan. In other words, real wagyu.
If you want to try the wagyu but don't have the $89 to spend on an order, you can get a half order for $39 (with purchase of a full order of a different shabu shabu - which you can share with another person like we did).

Next to each other you can really tell the difference between wagyu and regular prime beef! So. Much. Fat. I mean marbling.
It may sound cliche but it really is like butter.
The prime beef was still very good, though, even after having the delightful wagyu.

Later on I couldn't resist getting toro after all, so we also shared an order. Melt in your mouth ..

There were only a couple of options for dessert, but one of them was a black sesame panna cotta
I was happy that the black sesame flavor was pretty strong.

The shabu shabu and the sushi were the stars in this meal for me. The appetizers we tried were good but did not stand out. If you can afford it, I would recommend splurging for the wagyu at least once. I only tried two of the sushi, but the two were excellent so I have high confidence that their other sushi would be good. Wagyu aside, their prices are pretty reasonable and lunch is more affordable with beef shabu for $14 and a sashimi lunch for $18. The lunch menu also has other items I wanted to try, like a cold udon with sesame dipping sauce ($10) and beef curry rice ($9).

Osawa
77 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 683-1150
http://www.theosawa.com/
Osawa on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Wandering Chopsticks

Mmm. That was such a good dinner. Thanks again for inviting me.

Foodtiq girl

Toro looks fantastic, wanting to shabu shabu after reading your post!

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