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07 June, 2006

Kabuki

I didn't even like sushi before; the thought of eating something raw wasn't appealing. That changed when my brother ordered a big bento box of sushi one time and needed help to finish it off. Since then, I've had a craving every few weeks. Who knew I'd be a sushi enthusiast who can maneuver her way through nigiri and maki, tamago and maguro?

Sushi isn't just edible art, it's also a delight to the senses when prepared well: the pure taste of fresh raw fish on top of steamed rice flavored with a bit of vinegar, lightly dipped in a fiery/salty mixture of wasabi and shoyu, followed by the refreshing tang of gari to cleanse the palate for the next savory morsel. It's a bit of an adjustment to the Western palate, but highly addictive once you're used to it.

Kabuki isn't the best sushi place in town; the presentation can get a bit sloppy and gimmicky. The quality varies somewhat based on which branch you go to but for a small chain, it's above average and the prices are reasonable.

Some of their sushi we've sampled are the eel and avocado roll (avocado on the outside, grilled eel and crab salad inside), the rainbow roll (a variety of fish on top of a crab salad roll) and the tempura California roll (crab salad roll deep fried in a light batter) and assorted sashimi (D. said the tuna was good).

Kabuki fares better with their gourmet dishes that are plated bistro style. On subsequent visits, we enjoyed their seared tuna tataki with ponzu sauce and their flavorful spicy udon pasta with generous portions of shrimp, scallops, clams and calamari.

They also have a wide array of pretty desserts. We've enjoyed the tempura ice cream and apple tart roll in particular.

Kabuki has nine locations, all in Southern California.

posted at 11:32 AM by City Muse

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