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Kiriko is really good, but it's still missing something.

c
cls Nov 26, 2006 02:53 PM

Last night was my first experience with Kiriko on Sawtelle, and I was impressed.
The meal was:
A house made bean curd to start, oversalted but with a fresh wasabi mix (I cannot understand why any sushi restaurant would not use at least a wasabi mix instead of that green powder)
Asian spring rolls served "Vietnamese style" with great mint and cilantro flavors.
Sashimi of Japanese mackerel which was good, and red snapper with pink salt and lemon which was great.
Marinaded salmon wrapped mango topped with caviar, monk fish liver served in a shot glass, both excellent.
Fresh water eel, bough whole and house grilled, very good, served with good mouth numbing sancho.
Toro, and baby yellowtail sushi, also both excellent.
The bill came to $160 without drinks, tax or tip.
Everyone there was nice, and accommodating but service was a bit slow and not to a very high standard, but not bad. The room does have a nice feel, but is very makeshift. It is reminiscent of a country restaurant in Japan.
My feeling was that although it was very good, several dishes seemed out of place. Japanese cuisine being seasonal, would generally not serve, salmon and mango, spring rolls, or fresh water eel in December. Although that is a minor complaint, it is a sublime experience when your sushi chef prepares a meal each evening that is not only for you but also appropriate for the season.
I also thought considering the quality of the room, service, amount of food, $80/person seemed like a lot. Each dish we had was one piece and both of us left hungry. There are still a lot of options in the $80 range that might offer a more complete experience.
That said, this is a first class sushi restaurant and well worth trying.

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