Los Angeles, CA 90064
LA Weekly's Description
Kiriko may still be the great undiscovered sushi bar in Los Angeles, and Ken Namba's traditional yet creative sashimi surpasses most of what is sold at three times the price. Namba smokes fresh Copper River salmon over smoldering cherry wood, slices it thick and wraps it around spears of ripe mango: The sashimi is soft and luscious, salty and sweet, penetratingly smoky yet delicate - one of the most magnificent mouthfuls of food imaginable. There is Spanish mackerel dressed with grated ginger and ponzu, and mackerel as rich as ripe Brie. The sea bream pulled out of Japan's Inland Sea is almost gooey in its extreme freshness, dusted with the zest of a tiny yuzu, served with a tiny dish of salt grated to order from a pink, quartzlike stone. One of the gifts of a great sushi chef is nonchalance, and Namba has it to spare, the ability to appear casual, unhurried, processing the food for an entire restaurant while looking as serene and unbothered as Fred Astaire.
Tips from foursquare
Featured in LA Weekly's 99 Essential Restaurants!
The great specialty is cherrywood-smoked Copper River salmon with mango, a dish that certain local sushi masters would rather die than serve. (It's their loss: The dish is stunningly good.)
Instead of the full omakase, sit at the bar and ask for 10-12 pieces of sushi, whatever the chef likes. AMAZING. Buy the chefs a beer, too.
Great sushi but horrible service. 2 hours to get 3 small servings of sashimi?
Leave you dinner fate in the hands of Ken-san, Tomo-san, and Shinji-san (omakase!), and you'll be taken on a magical sushi ride.
More Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles
Reviews and News
Our 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants issue came out recently, and we're highlighting a few categories drawing from the list. Today: Japanese... More on Kiriko Sushi »
Ken Namba's 14-year-old sushi restaurant may look nondescript from the outside, wedged as it is into the ground floor of a mall at the corner... More on Kiriko Sushi »
Where the Chefs Eat is an ongoing series in which we ask a local chef to give us his or her favorite dining options. This week, we talk to... More on Kiriko Sushi »