Sunday, March 2, 2014


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. 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:

I never eat grilled octopus. My fear always is it'll be chewy and one of those suckers will adhere to the roof of mouth. Not so here. It was delicious.
The grilled salmon, no lie, was like butta. Unbelievable. One of the best things I've ever eaten. So tender, melts in your mouth, and this nice smoky little touch. Oy gavult konichiwa!
Of course the shrimp was lovely, so fresh I think it was wiggling and I ate it just as he served it, straight up, no extra sauce or b.s. mishigas. Oh and check out the generous ginger. Ike don't skimp.

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 sauce. Oh my God. I didn't picture it. I just ate. I was starving, it had been a long time, I'm sure you understand.

Here's the menu in case you want to have the chef choose for you:
It'll probably look something like this:
But Chef Ike, he knows me. He knows I don't eat everything. I'm very picky, not that adventurous. I like what I like.

I recommend making reservations and there's a parking lot right underneath (this is at the Del Mar Metro Station). So you can park for 90 minutes free, walk upstairs, fish it up and then go home sated, sake'd and stoked.

Ike-san! I salute you!
Kimagure is at 220 South Raymond, Pasadena, CA 91105. Park underneath in the Metro parking lot. 90 minutes free parking. To make reservations: 626-535-0880.