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Good sushi in Pasadena

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bromion Nov 3, 2013 05:16 PM

Help! I've been trying earnestly to find good sushi in Pasadena or nearby. I'm on the verge of giving up. When I say "good sushi" I mean on the level of Sugarfish, Nozawa, Sasabune, Masu, or the like. I have already tried, and been disappointed with: Osawa (overpriced hit-or-miss sushi; great for shabu-shabu!), Yoshida (mediocre, overpriced), Sushi Ichi (nothing special, but only tried for lunch), Takuya (rice was sub-par), Noda (inexpensive but unremarkable), Japon Bistro (hit or miss), Matsuri (inexpensive but not great), Sushi of Naples (haven't been in a while after some bad experiences in the past), Oba Sushi Izakaya (better for cooked food, sushi's so-so), Zushi (fine for silly rolls), A'Float (haven't been back in a long time after bad experiences).

I have yet to try Kimagure. Is it my only hope? Should I even bother?

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    bromion RE: bromion Nov 3, 2013 05:22 PM

    Was particularly disappointed with Osawa. We ordered the live uni special, which looked fantastic. It also came with a lot of uni for $20. It was, unfortunately, pretty bland. The uni was certainly not spoiled but just not that good, either. Some of the sushi selections were good (halibut, albacore, hotate), most mediocre, some not very good (aji was overly fishy). We were impressed with the shabu-shabu, though.

    1. ipsedixit RE: bromion Nov 3, 2013 06:10 PM

      Kimagure Ike or Ici are the only real options for sushi or omakase in/around Pasadena.

      That said, your statement >>>When I say "good sushi" I mean on the level of Sugarfish, Nozawa, Sasabune, Masu, or the like<<< baffles me to no end.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
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        dreamcast18 RE: ipsedixit Nov 3, 2013 06:54 PM

        agreed. Sugarfish?? really?

        1. re: ipsedixit
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          bromion RE: ipsedixit Nov 3, 2013 08:06 PM

          Fair enough. Not everyone likes Nozawa, but I'm a big fan. Went to Nozawa when he was on Ventura and continued going to Sugarfish (which is more limited, but of similar quality at half the price). I also really like Takao in Brentwood, Iroha and Asanebo on Ventura, Kiriko on Sawtelle, Echigo on Santa Monica.

          I'll try Ichi again and give Kimagure a shot.

        2. b
          bromion RE: bromion Nov 3, 2013 08:05 PM

          Fair enough. Not everyone likes Nozawa, but I'm a big fan. Went to Nozawa when he was on Ventura and continued going to Sugarfish (which is more limited, but of similar quality at half the price). I also really like Takao in Brentwood, Iroha and Asanebo on Ventura, Kiriko on Sawtelle, Echigo on Santa Monica.

          I'll try Ichi again and give Kimagure a shot.

          1. J.L. RE: bromion Nov 3, 2013 10:00 PM

            I have a special rant I've spat out (on another Chowthread) about the nature & unpredictability of live uni, but dammit, I just can't find/link it right now.

            Anyways, if you didn't like Ichi or Osawa, then Kimagure is your only hope in Pasadena. By the way, Ichi for dinner is prolly gonna be much better than lunch (that holds true for most sushi places).

            Everyone's got their own unique sushi "barometer" on this board - I dig that.

            1 Reply
            1. re: J.L.
              Servorg RE: J.L. Nov 4, 2013 06:13 AM

              Your recent rant here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9214...

              Your older rant here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8552...

              These rants were made possible by the generosity of J.L. and by viewers like you! (g)

            2. barryc RE: bromion Nov 4, 2013 02:12 AM

              it's been a while, but while it's technically around the SM/alhambra/s pas. border, i consider it close enough to pasadena to suggest Z on garfield just south of the in-n-out. i would rate Z higher except toshi's rice has been surprisingly mediocre in the past.

              1. t
                TailbackU RE: bromion Nov 4, 2013 11:27 AM

                Sushi Kimagure is in my opinion far superior to anything you named as being considered "good sushi" and really should have been your first stop in finding good sushi in Pasadena. Make a reservation at the bar and let Ike san do his thing.

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