KABUKI sure has changed!
For the first time in, oh, 15 years, my wife and I decided to take our three little ones to Kabuki on Foothill Blvd., Pasadena.
What a surprise! Last time I went, it was an average looking place with great eats. Now, it has become so "corporate" and anesthetized.
We went yesterday at 5pm (we take the kids early so as to not interfere with people who dont have kids or are on a date).
We ordered mostly rolls and a few pieces of sushi. I was kinda happy to get the Fatty Tuna (not many places offer it) but, am I wrong or does sushi need to be served cold, rather than room temperature? Ok, sure we couldn't sit at the bar (tried it once, never again, with an 8 yo, 5 yo and 3 yo), but room temperature???
Per the wife, the spicy tuna was not "spicy" enough (most of the time she says that it is TOO spicy).
15 years ago, the "Dynamite" appetizer was served in a crab shell and had LOTS of roe and the sauce was creamier. Now it's served in a dish sans the roe.
Now, the kids menu, very impressive. Not the usual crappy nuggets and fries or tiny lump of coal some restaurants call a "kids burger" (unless I know the place, I rarely order from the kids menu for the kids. They eat from the "grown up" menu and doggy bag the rest).
The two boys ordered chicken teriyaki and one boy ordered beef teriyaki. Great portions, tasted good (the beef was very tender and tasty). Priced at $6.95 it was a good value.
Also, I like the kids table "distractions" in the form of the coloring booklet they have. It had lots of stuff for them to keep their mind on while we waited.
If I go back to Kabuki, it would be for the way they treat kids.
Kabuki is bad to awful Japanese food.
For better fair in the area, I would try Yoshida in San Marino or Sushi Kiyosuzi (sp) in Arcadia. The later is less expensive and has some nice combos. The kid can order teriyaki and tempura. The former probably has a better selection of fish.