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).
255 S Beverly Dr,
Beverly Hills 90212.
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.
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.