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Dec 9, 2008 03:31 PM

Great Lunch at Sushi Kiyono

I've been a big fan of Kawasaki-san, from his days at Shibucho downtown and at Sushi go 55, kawacho, etc. He's now at Kiyono on Beverly (south 225, between olympic and pico).

Finally went for lunch and was not disappointed. This wasn't an all you can eat, nor cheap, nor pre-cut trust me omakase. It was real. Now, he remembered me although it had been nearly 2 years since i ate with him, but i used to go to him rather often. So we sat down at the bar, and the omakase began. Here's what I remember.

KILLER aji tataki - sliced spanish mackerel peak of freshness.sashimi
Ki-me (that's what it sounded like when i asked him the name, can't find it) sashimi with grated yuzu peel and a bit of pepper (sansho?) on the side.
blowtorch seared fresh sliced albacore sashimi with olive oil (almost sesame like- maybe a bit of it)
needlefish/sayori sushi, the thin filets rolled up with thin cut strips of shiso/perilla
negi-hama cut roll, super super buttery. EEEEmazing.
blowtorched scallop sushi (with a tiny bit of apparently sturgeon caviar atop)
two handrolls - one lobster (for my companion) and one uni for me (he knows i love the uni)
saba sushi (house marinated mackerel, i love it)
one or two other pieces i'm not remember right now...
and an order of battera (osaka-style pressed sushi with mackerel and battera-konbu seaweed) to go
two little miso soups etc.

The regular menu looked ok, lots of crazy local Bev Hills futomaki stuff. But the fish quality I had was great. Wish I could remember everything. I will say that patronage makes for better omakase - ask for kawasaki ifyou go, but let him get to know you and what you like if you want a good omakase. If we went tomorrow it would be different things depending on what was in the restaurant and his mood and his take on our mood, i'm guessing.

And these seared pieces etc might be on the menu, but might not. I think some was his imagination.

Anyway, (oh total before tip for two no alcohol - $65) - high rec. Keep kawasaki working. you'll be glad you did. sit at the bar and ask for his area. I will.

if anyone can figure out what sounded like "kim-me" was, i'd love to know. meatier than kampachi. and delicious (good price considering it was over 1/2 sashimi).

Sushi Kiyono
255 S Beverly Dr,
Beverly Hills 90212.
310-205-3741 ...

ps went to el cholo on monday for the first time in ages. they have two very good tamales off menu. ask for them - one was turkey with a good (if slightly too sweet for me) black mole.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up!

    Kinmedai = golden eye snapper or golden eye bream..... It rocks (when available)!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      Between Olympic and Wilshire, not pico.

      1. re: trojans

        yes. thanks for the correction.

    2. Hi Jerome,

      Thanks for the review. Would you say you enjoy Kiyono more or Shibucho?

      1 Reply
      1. re: exilekiss

        they're different.
        i like kawasaki-san so there's that. Kiyono has the crazy futomaki so beloved by westsiders. For me, i prefer traditional sushi in general, although the olive-oil albacore and the seared scallops were delicious.
        Kiyono is open for lunch while beverly blvd shibucho with shige isn't (although shibucho isopen until midnight.) Orange county shibucho with shibutani is far for me but i always love it when I go.
        the atmosphere is most austere at bev. shibucho. If kawasaki were not manning the counter at kiyono, i don't think i'd go. if he were off that day, i'd come back later. that's my take. it might be fine, but for me, if i'm going to spend the money for sushi, i want it to be special enough.

      2. Friend suggested this place for dinner. Is Mr. Kawasaki still the chef here?

        Mr Taster

        15 Replies
        1. re: Mr Taster

          I work in BH...avoid this terrible spot.

          1. re: jessejames

            Jerome knows what he's talking about, so can I assume that your revulsion means Kawasaki is no longer there?

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              visions of mayotard laden "krab," big gnarly things with dynamite sauce and overpriced and oversized pieces of nigiri that aren't that fresh...I haven't been back in years ... shit aint cheap either ... for better sushi at a much lower price sushi time on crescent heights and Beverly...for this neighborhood, just head down Olympic to kiriko

              1. re: jessejames

                I too use to avoid this place until I saw this post years ago. The previous owner was horrible, that is no longer the case with the current owner. I've never had anything that wasn't fresh nor have I had oversized sushi. Kawasaki is a real gentleman as is the current owner.

                1. re: trojans

                  good to's been years since I walked through those doors.

                2. re: jessejames

                  Yes those things are awful I don't get them. I get very traditional sushi, omakase. The other stuff there isn't worth the visit.

                3. re: Mr Taster

                  this thread is also five years old and kawasaki has to be there even when he was there supposedly.

                4. re: jessejames

                  Yes, Kawasaki San is there and I sit with him all the time. On this I have to disagree with you jessejames. This is my go to lunch spot for omakase and Kawasaki San is my goto itamae.

                  1. re: trojans

                    glad you like it--been a long time cuz I just didn't like it...maybe I got the wrong people or the wrong fish...well, yours is a much more recent evaluation than mine so likely more accurate...

                    1. re: jessejames

                      Read Jerome's review. He specifically says that the menu has gloppy fat rolls and such to appeal to the Bev Hills crowd, but that he offers really good stuff, too. It sounds like you ordered the wrong things.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        I would never order's what was there.

                    2. re: trojans

                      Thanks for verifying. It's been 6 years since the original post, so I'm glad to hear the update.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        I need to point out that when I have my omakase there he serves me one piece of each sushi because that's what I asked for years ago. If you go with your friend just let him know to give you each one piece of sushi so that you can see all he has to offer. He almost always finishes off with a crab and lobster roll which is baked and might fall into the gloppy category but I absolutey love it.

                        1. re: trojans

                          Thank you Mr Taster for reviving Jerome's thread and Trojans for your feedback on Kawasaki San. He is a personal friend and my wife & I always talked about the days when he owned (Tsukasa, Kawacho (current Sushi Go 55 location)), when Sibutani San of Sibucho retired. We had eaten countless fabulous meals at his home when he used to entertain his friends. We lost touch(long story) and this is indeed a good reminder to pay him a surprise visit. I second on your comment 'a real gentleman'. He is our beloved itamae, indeed. He always served us the best, and never had a disappointed meal Thank you.

                          1. re: jotfoodie

                            that's good news indeed since i used to hit up kawacho and then tsukasa, but kind of skipped out on that stuff when it became sushi go 55, all which started with shibucho on alamede and third in the old yaohan plaza.

                5. As a recent transplant to the area from NYC, Kiyono is my immidiate-area-go-to. I find it much better than Sushi Sushi, which is located on the same street.
                  I'm not one to order ginormous, gloppy rolls, either. Grab a seat at the sushi bar and enjoy...



                  8 Replies
                  1. re: LeahBaila

                    i always thought sushi sushi kills that joint, but i digress.

                    lunch belle are you from the south ???????????????

                    1. re: kevin

                      Really? I wasn't that impressed w/ Sushi Sushi. What do you love there?
                      Originally from Texas, but just moved here after 10-years in NYC.

                      1. re: LeahBaila

                        sushi omakase.

                        you'll be glad to know the cue situations is leaps and bounds what it was here even five years ago if you happen to get the hankering for brisket.

                        start with bludso's in compton or my personal favorite: BigMista.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Seriously? I'm kind of shocked! But thank you for that info. How about traditional Southern cuisine?

                          1. re: LeahBaila

                            not too much:

                            but you can get started with:

                            Flossie's on Redondo in Torrance, for Mississippi boarding house cuisine (it's a little healthier though without the lardiness, hopefully that's not a deal breaker), meats and threes, with dessert like cobbler or pineapple cream cake and kool aid or ultra-sweet tea to drink. fried chicken is quite stellar for LA as well as the braised short ribs and oxtails. mac n cheese is great and so are the candied yams, hopping john, and corn with stewed tomatoes or is it okra.

                            maybe the hart and the hunter on melrose if it's still in operation.

                            and lady's gun boat society on sawtelle.

                            1. re: kevin

                              Sounds like Redondo and Torrance are where I need to start! Thanks Kevin.
                              Went to Lady's Gunboat recently and wasn't *that* impressed. Some good stuff, some stuff just 'meh.'

                              1. re: LeahBaila

                                i wasn't a fan, of gunboat, but there's a lot that are.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  I was a VERY big fan of the original iteration of Flores. I'm somewhat indifferent to the Lady's Gunboat Society....

                  2. Today's bill. Another great meal at sushi Kiyono

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: trojans

                      prices are standard too. not cheap, though not super expesivne

                      did you order by the piece or go the omakase route, and they still itemized the bill.

                      thanks for the bill.

                      the sayori seems to be significantly cheaper.

                      1. re: kevin

                        I just sit down and he feeds me one piece at a time until I'm full. The tuna hand roll was a negi toro, a very nice sized one too.

                        1. re: kevin

                          The omakase is real omakase, not just a set sushi special menu like echigo or sasabune .