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Kiriko or Sushi Zo?

t
ThatPat Oct 2, 2006 07:51 PM

Couple of friends want to try an omakase this week. From reading all the endless sushi posts, these two stand out. At the risk of starting another war, which would you recommend for an omakase? From reading recent posts, it looks like at Zo there is not a set price for the omakase. Is that correct? What about at Kiriko? Can you choose quantity/price? Thanks!

  1. jcwla Oct 10, 2006 06:29 AM

    After all the raves (including my own first experience at lunch early on), I went back to Sushi Zo for omakase before "49 Up" tonight -- great film, BTW.

    Here's what he gave me:
    -- miso soup
    -- spanish mackerel "tataki style"
    -- Kumamoto oyster
    -- toro
    -- yellowtail
    -- amberjack
    -- rock snapper
    -- ono
    -- ankimo
    -- butterfish (much prefer Sasabune's version of this)
    -- sweet shrimp
    -- scallop
    -- jumbo clam w/shiso
    -- uni and roe
    -- sea eel
    -- blue crab roll
    -- the yuzu juice thing, nice but I'm not feeling the rapture

    One piece of each of the nigiri.
    I had a Diet Coke. Bill was $61.17 -- seemed low until I remembered it was just one piece each.

    Overall: Good quality fish, nice people, I would put this in my "Tier 3" (or maybe "Tier 2.5") of nice neighborhood places. Do I consider this on the level of Urasawa, R-23, Hiko, even Kiriko? No -- there I get special tastes that I don't regularly find elsewhere, such as the albacore and the special dishes at R-23, the baby tuna sashimi starter at Hiko, the house-smoked salmon and house-made sesame ice cream at Kiriko. There is no _magic_ to me at Zo; the space is pedestrian and the sushi, while good, just doesn't quite sing.

    1. t
      ThatPat Oct 10, 2006 05:32 AM

      We told him when we were full. I guess you didn't!

      1. t
        ThatPat Oct 5, 2006 07:42 PM

        Well, we (3 women, sushi eaters but not "aficionados") loved Sushi Zo last night. And...we must be tiny eaters, because with 2 beers and a cold sake, the total for 3 of us (minus tip) was $142!! (One of us thought that maybe he mistakenly undercharged us!) But we felt very well fed, I can assure you. Two of us ended with a divine blue crab roll. I had the toro, which Keizo-san said was in between chutoro and otoro. I thought all the fish was exceptionally fine. The last omakase I had was at Irori several months ago, and certainly Sushi Zo is several notches above IMO. All three of us adored our first course of _______jack sashimi (what's it called?). The oyster was magnificent. And yes, the little vial of yuzu hit the spot. (I never write things down and am bad at remembering details; I just like to eat, so sorry I can't be more detailed). I could see myself eating there waaay too often. Now maybe we have to try Kiriko and Mori. (Urusawa will have to wait for the lottery.)

        10 Replies
        1. re: ThatPat
          t
          ThatPat Oct 5, 2006 07:50 PM

          Maybe I have the wrong total at $142--probably more like $149, but still very cheap. We left good tips.

          1. re: ThatPat
            t
            ThatPat Oct 5, 2006 07:54 PM

            Oh yeah, I remember, amberjack. What a wonderful delicate taste!

            1. re: ThatPat
              Dommy Oct 5, 2006 07:59 PM

              So glad you enjoyed it! :)

              --Dommy!

              1. re: ThatPat
                r
                revets2 Oct 5, 2006 09:06 PM

                Note in the margin: Mori can be pricey.

                1. re: revets2
                  t
                  ThatPat Oct 6, 2006 01:32 AM

                  Like what--twice what we paid at Zo? Worth the extra money? (Of course that's a loaded question but I am curious since even Urusawa-san told my friend to go to Mori).

                  1. re: ThatPat
                    r
                    revets2 Oct 6, 2006 06:14 AM

                    it varies, but i'd say twice for omakase would be close.

                    been to mori a handful of times. it's very good, but twice as good as zo?

                    i'd rather have two meals at zo than one meal at mori.

                    i know there will be many on this board who love mori and will feel differently than me.

                    you should try it and see for yourself. it's good, if not great.

                2. re: ThatPat
                  e
                  epop Oct 8, 2006 01:32 AM

                  went back for 2 and left w/o having overdone it and it was 185 dollars not including the sake.
                  i'm not sure why but i think my appetite takes me to double the bill of most of the others posting on Zo

                  1. re: epop
                    r
                    revets2 Oct 9, 2006 07:31 AM

                    geez...what were you served. how many courses?

                    1. re: revets2
                      e
                      epop Oct 9, 2006 04:13 PM

                      the usual there, including abalone, sea urchin, live shrimp, black snapper, ono, lots of toro, oysters, yellowtail, amberjack, blue crab roll. his prices are fair and while i was told omakase would be around 60 my bill was double that even though i hadn't said anything along the way.

                      1. re: epop
                        t
                        ThatPat Oct 10, 2006 05:33 AM

                        We told him when we were full. I guess you didn't.

                3. e
                  epop Oct 5, 2006 12:11 AM

                  completely different? i'm not sure that is the case. i look at them as variations on a theme. maybe it has much to do with how i order, as i still haven't had anything cooked at kiriko.

                  i've had some of the best sushi in my life at kiriko though. that's why i said it was a toss-up. we're lucky here in this town

                  1. b
                    BabyLitigator Oct 4, 2006 06:10 PM

                    They are two completely different places. Sushi Zo's fish and nigiri (the suihs rice is great) is probably a bit better than Kiriko's. However, sushi and sashimi is all that Sushi Zo does. If you want a full Japanese omakase with hot dishes and salads, go to Kiriko. If you just want sushi, go to Zo.

                    1. m
                      MeowMixx Oct 3, 2006 07:02 PM

                      Kiriko is still on my "list" but I really really like Sushi Zo. I don't think there's a set price on the omakase. Everytime I've gone, it's been different, but generally stays within the $50-65 range. And you get a LOT of food! I always leave perfectly satisfied, if not at times STUFFED.

                      hmmm, I just might have to go this week..... :)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: MeowMixx
                        e
                        epop Oct 4, 2006 04:20 AM

                        mine was well over 100 dollars. guess i have quite an appetite

                        1. re: epop
                          r
                          revets2 Oct 4, 2006 05:28 AM

                          your omakase (food only) at sushi zo was $100? what in the world did you have?

                          1. re: revets2
                            e
                            epop Oct 5, 2006 12:09 AM

                            yes, omakase only.

                            abalone was expensive. i guess i just had a lot. i was surprised as well

                            1. re: revets2
                              b
                              BabyLitigator Oct 10, 2006 06:13 PM

                              A friend of mine just went and had an omakase over $100 (I had recommended it after gong a la carte).

                        2. e
                          epop Oct 3, 2006 07:47 AM

                          i prefer kiriko and Zo to mori, sasabune, even though i enjoy these places. as far as choosing between Zo and Kiriko I'd say
                          it is a tossup. both are great places where one can learn a lot. both are clean with a lot of personal attention, which are high on my list of priorities

                          1. n
                            NAspy Oct 3, 2006 02:35 AM

                            You can't really go wrong at either one. Zo is my current favorite. Kiriko can be really slow, if that's a consideration. Really really slow.

                            1. russkar Oct 3, 2006 01:45 AM

                              We were just at Kirko(L) and Zo (D) in the last 3 weeks. Both are very good but not my choice for the immediate area, excluding Urasawa which we'll be at next week with some other hounds.
                              I like Mori, Hiko or Sasebune(always sit in front of the owner) better than the above for Omakase.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: russkar
                                choctastic Oct 4, 2006 02:56 AM

                                I thought I read somewhere that you weren't a big fan of mori? you went back and reconsidered?

                                1. re: russkar
                                  m
                                  MeowMixx Oct 4, 2006 06:03 PM

                                  You're going to Urasawa? I am so jealous. Definitely looking forward to your write up.

                                  1. re: MeowMixx
                                    russkar Oct 4, 2006 06:22 PM

                                    I'm sure it will just be another boring(in a good way) 40 course dinner like we had last May? Hiro is so smooth you lose count about 10 courses into the Food Festival. I saw him last week at IMP (whl fish mkt) he's says he's really busy.

                                    1. re: russkar
                                      m
                                      MeowMixx Oct 4, 2006 06:30 PM

                                      No need to rub it in :)

                                      1. re: MeowMixx
                                        russkar Oct 4, 2006 08:44 PM

                                        Great Idea? Neck Massage after 20 courses to help get to the finish line!

                                2. r
                                  revets2 Oct 3, 2006 01:09 AM

                                  tia...

                                  it's a great question. no, you do not tip separately. there is one tip. it's on the total of the check. so, no worries. in more casual sushi places both in japan and here, we've bought our chefs a beer or sake (if they are not the owners). i've never understood why you would ply someone with a very sharp knife with alcohol. but in "proper sushi places", it's not done. not at kiriko or sushi zo.

                                  sushi zo would be a great place to go as a novice as keizo has a nice list detailing sushi etiquette and how to eat sushi.

                                  good question.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: revets2
                                    u
                                    unocal Oct 3, 2006 01:22 AM

                                    thanks for the 411 revets2...i'm sure it'll come in handy when i finally have omakase

                                  2. u
                                    unocal Oct 3, 2006 01:03 AM

                                    so i have to ask, being a sushi novice and all, you must obviously tip the sushi chef. and you tip your server as well, but not as much? i'm curious as to what you guys do...tia

                                    1. g
                                      glutton Oct 3, 2006 12:18 AM

                                      Go with Zo. The quality of fish is better, but so is the price. however, the clincher is the shot of yuzu at the end.

                                      1. jcwla Oct 2, 2006 10:43 PM

                                        Kiriko.
                                        This has become a regular stop of mine and the fish is very good quality.

                                        Sushi Zo I loved the first time at lunch, the second time somewhat less so at dinner. I will have to try it again but for omakase to be sure I was going to enjoy it I would definitely opt for Kiriko.

                                        1. r
                                          revets2 Oct 2, 2006 08:34 PM

                                          sushi zo is definitely finer than kiriko. value for the money they're about the same. you can also ask keizo for omakase and give him your price range.

                                          it's different as the market price of fish fluctuates (obviously).

                                          i also like the atmosphere better at sushi zo.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: revets2
                                            t
                                            ThatPat Oct 2, 2006 10:42 PM

                                            I see that you've been there a few times lately. If we go at 6:30 on a week night, do you think we need a reservation? (3 of us)

                                            1. re: ThatPat
                                              r
                                              revets2 Oct 3, 2006 12:31 AM

                                              i would always reserve and ask to be seated in front of Keizo-san, even though i think it will be relatively quiet when you go at 6:30pm.

                                              they will ask you if you are coming for omakase. you don't have to commit at that time.

                                              the last time we had omakase it was $75, but if you want a $50 or $60 omakase, just tell him that. i also enjoy his "fresh" sake the best with the meal. if you're going to order more than four glasses, order the bottle.

                                              hope you enjoy it. please report back.

                                              1. re: revets2
                                                t
                                                ThatPat Oct 5, 2006 07:51 PM

                                                Well, we got there 15 minutes late because of the awful traffic from Santa Monica, but...Zo was definitely not quiet--actually almost full.

                                          2. r
                                            rameniac Oct 2, 2006 08:14 PM

                                            ah geez i think there is a set price point for omakase at sushi zo but i can't for the life of me remember what i paid. (i think it was $60...)

                                            i would say that the fish at zo is a bit higher quality, but that's not to knock kiriko in ANY way, where the omakase is around $45 i believe.

                                            if the sushi wars were a tournament, we'd be comparing the #2 and and #3 seeds, i think.

                                            http://rameniac.blogspot.com

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