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JustinRush | Jun 8, 200101:01 PM

Shaab is a nice somewhat traditional Japanese restaurant just north of Colorado Blvd on Raymond in Pasadena. If it weren't for the annoyingly loud (i.e. audible) J.Lo playing in the background, the place would seem quite rifined: linens on the tables, shiny polished pots at the shabu shabu bar, the smell of tea in the air.

Bianka and I sat at a table and ordered some sake. We started with fatty tuna, yellow tail, and giant clam sashimi, all served very simply with lemon, Japanese cucumber, and shiso. This place always has the best toro-I've had toro all over the place and for some reason the toro at Shaab seems special. This was followed by some of the best ankimo I've ever had. This dish really bore out the "foie gras of the sea" analogy-the two cylinders of glistening monkfish liver resembled foie fras au torchon in both presentation and texture. Uni Chawan Mushi was very good-the light dashi and egg custard infused with the briny complexity and unusual firm texture of lightly steamed urchin was both exotic and homey. Shabu shabu of prime rib was of the standard delicious variety-the chefs homemade udon were chewy and dense. Mango mochi finished the night-the bill was $100 including tip. I will miss SHaaB, to be sure.

On previous visits I've had straight sushi at the bar, shabu at the counter, tempura and eel dinners. All have been exceptional-the tempura is very well done.

OK that is all.

Peace and Grub folks

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