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Stunning sashimi at Kitsho in Cupertino (and a little about Sawa Sushi)

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Stunning sashimi at Kitsho in Cupertino (and a little about Sawa Sushi)

Vincent Lo | Aug 13, 2003 06:24 PM

For good sushiya in the Bay Area, we have Ebisu and Kabuto in the city, Sakae in Burlingame, Toshi's in Menlo Park, Tomi in the South Bay, but I was stunned by the high quality at Kitsho's that my friend J. and I went to last weekend. Sure there are even better but more expensive places like Kyo-Ya in the city and Sawa in Sunnyvale, but Kitsho's also has amazing prices.

Kitsho's was a coffee shop until maybe 5 years ago, and when it first opened, I was there and wasn't impressed at all. I even remember a lady there telling politely that I shouldn't be wearing tank tops. Back then it was co-owned by a Japanese guy and a Chinese guy. Fast forward a few years, the Chinese guy sold his share, and the Japanese sushi chef is the sole owner. He is maybe 50 years old, but has very young-looking skin. And he's so very friendly and instantly likeable. The place is very plain in terms of decoration, and probably a little too bright. Some of the waitresses speak Cantonese, some Japanese, and it was awkward for me to be switching between those two languages/dialects (plus English). You can order sashimi and name your own price, starting from $25. I tried $30, and got stunningly good (especially for the price) maguro, kampachi, tai, aji, some clam I didn't recognize, and probably something else. No amaebi or uni. I saw some toro in the sushi bar, but they didn't give me any. The sake selection is also outstanding. They even had something that I enjoyed at Sawa just a week earlier. By the way, that meal at Sawa cost $700 after tip for two (including a 500-ml bottle of excellent daiginjo sake and another excellent probably complimentary bottle of nigori from Steve). The quality of fish was of course unparalleled as expected, but there wasn't the selection of interesting cooked dishes like 5 years ago. There was this solo diner next to my friend JB and me, and since we suspected that Steve ripped us off, I took a peek at that diner's bill. It was like $250 after tip, and he was finishing off a bottle he had opened on his previous trip to Sawa. So it wasn't just us. =)

This is a place I plan to go back many times. Kitsho that is.

For those who know Japanese, Kitsho should really be Kisshou, meaning goodness or happiness.

Vincent

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