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Restaurants & Bars 3

Some great specials at Kiriko (Sawtelle)

PayOrPlay | May 20, 200312:45 PM

I have posted about Kiriko (on Sawtelle, in the Olympic Collection) several times before and don’t mean to belabor the point, but we had some spectacular dishes on Saturday night, and in light of Willi Rossli’s request today for a “best of Sawtelle” summary, maybe it’s appropriate to mention these highlights:

--Creamy, thick, pungent, ripe-cheese-textured “homemade style tofu from Japan.” This was the tofu equivalent of the fabulous Greek yogurt we’ve all been raving about lately.

--Terrific sunomono with eel, the different crunches of eel and cucumber playing subtly off one another.

--Smoked salmon wrapped around fresh mango.

--Thick scallops, butterflied, grilled, and served over sushi rice—meaty and flavorful, just an outstanding dish.

--And, as always, Kiriko’s unique sponge-cake-like tamago, and rich little balls of great homemade ice cream (we had sesame ice cream and meyer lemon sorbet).

I continue to think this is the best sushi bar on Sawtelle Blvd. It’s much more expensive than Hide (on Saturday we spent an even $100, including tip, no drinks, for plenty of food for 2 adults and the voracious Baby Play), although lunch is sort of a bargain ($26 for 10 great pieces of sushi plus soup and ice cream, $10 for more humble selections). The service is friendly but can get slow when there’s a crowd.

As compared to West LA current fave Echigo: Echigo wins on quality-to-price ratio, and for traditional sushi Echigo is at least as good; but Kiriko is (as far as I can tell) more creative and accommodating. It's nice to have both so close by.

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