Had a day trip to Thousand Oaks and stopped by Kanda which seemed to have really strong reviews. Overall, a very pleasant experience. Not at the level of the best that SoCal has to offer, but also not at that price point and much better (in my opinion) than your typical very good neighborhood joint.
Chu-toro: the best I've had has had the lusciousness and buttery texture of o-toro without the more "oily" feel of o-toro. the pieces i had were ok. good mouthfeel generally that was disrupted by some sinew-y pieces, which was a disappointment.
Maguro No Zuke: great pieces of fish. fantastic mediterranean big-eye, but i wasn't a huge fan of the marinade. it was a bit overpowering.
Unagi: very similar experience to the Maguro. great piece of eel, unfortunately overpowered by the sauce.
Uni: this was awesome. from the channel islands, and it was rich, creamy and sweet, without any of the metallic bitter aftertaste you can sometimes get with uni. these were nice big hunks of uni. i will note that i'm not a fan of kanda's rice. i can't explain why, but it just didn't do it for me. if you're like me, then you're more focused on the fish, so i was willing to overlook it. but if you are focused on the rice, you might be less pleased.
Live Scallop: this was by far the best piece of live scallop I've ever had. huge hunks of fresh, firm, sweet scallop. lightly dashed with sea salt and pepper. i had two servings because it was so damn tasty. and he fried up the coral, which was a nice touch.
Japanese Snapper: this was also good, but not amazing. seared and topped with a bit of salt. nice alomst crisp bite and the seared skin was delicious.
When I got back, I'll be a bit more selective. There were some A+ pieces here, but also some less than stellar pieces, but knowing what to order, I'm going to go back again for sure when I have a chance.
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