I am going to Kiriko for dinner this week - I have never been but heard great things. Is there anything that this place is known for and that I must order?
My two favorites at Kiriko are the albacore tataki salad and the blue crab handroll. Have a great dinner!
The blue crab handroll is great. I also highly recommend a few different types of sushi. The house-smoked salmon is lightly smoked and fantastic. (They also serve it wrapped around mango slices, but I've always stuck to the sushi.) The seared toro -- carmelized using a blowtorch -- is my favorite item. Last week, we had the best bluefin I've ever tasted. They also made a freshwater eel that was not the prepackaged eel and was served with a homemade ponzu sauce. Generally, for sushi, I let the sushi chef make recommendations.
On the hot food front, the halibut with spicy miso sauce is always good as is the soft-shell crab (tempura crab served with a ponzu dipping sauce). The matsutake mushroom soup, if still available, is expensive ($16 for a small serving), but very earthy and flavorful. If you like mushrooms, it's a good choice and was the subject of a discussion a few weeks ago.
For dessert, the homemade ice creams and sorbets are excellent. The black sesame and chai tea ice creams are my favorite, and last week I had a fabulous peach-mint sorbet. Ken also makes a Kabocha pumpkin creme caramel that is amazing. It's not too sweet and, unlike a lot of pumpkin desserts, has no cinnamon. However, if you like pumpkin, it's not to be missed.
I have a few things that I love to get at Kiriko - esp. Japanese red snapper, served with a squeeze of yuzu and some rock salt - but I also try to always ask about what sushi they have not on the menu. There is almost always something of interest among the 4 or 5 things that Ken managed to score that day, but the servers descriptions are often lacking in detail. This is easier if you are sitting at the sushi bar, especially in front of Ken since he does a good job of describing the various fishes (when asked anyway).
If you like the cooked food side of things, be sure to check out the specials menu, presented inserted artfully into a piece of bark. Usually something excellent there.
And unlike the sushi purist places, Kiriko does a very good job on the rolls. Although I am not a fan of California rolls, my FIL loves the ones at Kiriko and I have tried them several times - and they are actually pretty nice. Ditto for the tuna roll and the vegetable roll/futomaki.
I went once, several years ago. Oddly the two things that stand out in my mind are the house cured salmon which is easily the best cured salmon i have ever had and the ice creams. The sushi was great of course but thos etwo things are what are what stand out in my memory.