Thursday, March 3, 2011


Lemon Roll at Kushiyu
Although its been almost 1 month since my birthday, my husband's awesome but incredibly busy brothers, mom and sister in law offered to take me out for a belated birthday dinner. Since I could pick where to go and what to eat, there was only one obvious choice which is Sushi. My husband is convinced that I was a shark in my past life, and if not a shark then definitely some type of sea creature whose diet consisted primarily of fish. Therefore if ever offered to be taken out to dinner and being asked to choose, I will almost always pick sushi. Unless an airplane is involved in which case we're off to Tokyo!
Chicken Kushiyaki (Ground w scallion, Chicekn bresast w yuzu)
How can I possibly admit that I have a "favorite type of food"? I love all that is food, I love all different types of ingredients, flavors, colors, proteins, vegetables, grains, ALL OF IT. BUT I really really really really am a touch obsessed with sushi, and those close to me will concur. I've been known to go on month-long obsessive episodes of wanting to eat sushi so frequently, that interventions from loved ones have been necessary. They feared my going off the deep end and turning into an actual fish. So it was no surprise to those who know and love me that I chose kushiyu restaurant in Tarzana, CA for this belated celebration.

I have about a dozen Japanese restaurants that I adore. The reason I chose Kushiyu for that evening is because they are local and have a handful of menu items I simply can't live without. Kushiyu is also known for its Kushiyaki (tasty tidbits of meat, vegetable, fish, etc. charbroiled on tiny skewers) and daily specials that include a number of fish options from Japan. For me they provide a perfect balance in my belly when I crave Japanese food. I'd like to share a few must-haves from Kushiyu with you, and I promise they will not disappoint should you decide to go and try.
A staple on their menu is the albacore sashimi with garlic, jalapeno, ponzu and a mountain of tangy red onions piled in the middle. My husband and I always start with this as he saves the sauce and dips everything that follows into it. I know, this is so not how sushi is traditionally eaten, but I didn't say I do it :) I forgive him because I will allow him anything as long as he continues to support my sushi-addiction.

Albacore Sashimi Special

Shrimp with ground chicken

Asparagus and Bell Pepper Kushiyaki

Kushiyu's menu is filled with things any Japanese food addict is sure to love. Should you decide to go, please promise to try the albacore and the shrimp with ground chicken skewers mentioned above. On that note here are three more menu items I want everyone to try at least once in their life :)

1. Chilean sea bass potato (hot appetizer) delicious! Minced Chilean sea bass covered in super thinly sliced potato and deep fried.

Chilean Sebass Potato

2. Seared jumbo scallop and see urchin. Pray that the day you go it is on the "special" menu.  

Seared Scallop with Uni
3. Aji (Spanish Mackarel) from Japan-Again , fingers crossed this is on the menu the day you go.

Overall Kushiyu is great, but if you are more in the mood for traditional Omakase/trust the chef sushi experience, then Sushi-Zo in Los Angeles is my "Omakase place of the moment". I save Sushi-Zo for date night....I am not a fan of sharing the delicacies of Omakase style dining with anyone but the father of my children. And even them I hesitate.

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