Jul 2013

Sushi Kimagure – Pasadena

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

I lost my notes after dining at Sushi Kimagure; it was a digital file on my phone and now it’s gone.

Considering the extensive backlog of material that I’m currently blogging my way through, I could’ve forgone a write-up, but after some thought, I decided to proceed since my meal here was less about the fishes that were present and more about the fishes that weren’t present.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

As an enthusiastic and frequent sushi eater, I’ve been thinking a lot about Bluefin Tuna. It’s delicious, yes, but also an endangered species. My dinner at Sushi Kimagure marked my very first omakase where I explicitly requested that no Bluefin be served. In all honesty, it was really hard to get the words out, especially with the language barrier, but I’m glad that I insisted because it would be a travesty if future generations of food lovers couldn’t indulge in toro. The temporary sacrifice was worth it.

Dining with me this evening was my mother, who didn’t have any special requests when it came to her omakase.  I’m not quite ready to impose my values on her yet, even though she’s been imposing hers on me for the past 31 years.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

While Sushi Kimagure serves swoon-worth chirashi at lunchtime, dinner is a strictly omakase affair. Mom and I both selected the “Matsu” ($85), the most extensive and expensive option that includes seven different courses: Seafood Salad, Broiled, Sashimi, Fried, Sushi, Soup, and Dessert. We opted to sit at a cozy table rather than at the bar tonight.

Dinner began with a beautifully arranged and impeccably fresh seafood salad with scallops, shrimp, salmon, and seaweed.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

Next came the “Broiled” course, a fantastically fatty fillet of salmon perked up with a pale green sauce whose name and contents might remain forever unknown. Well-balanced pickles were served on the side.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

The following “Sashimi” course brought four different types of fish and one impressive King crab leg. Ponzu and soy sauce were on hand for dipping. To make up for the missing cuts of Bluefin, the chefs at Kimagure lavished me with extra cuts of every fish. I wish I had been treated to a greater variety of sustainable fish instead.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

The “Fried” course consisted of shrimp and vegetable tempura. The spears of okra were a nice surprise since it’s not too common an ingredient around here.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

Mom and I were both pretty stuffed from polishing off a mountain of tempura when the chawanmushi “Soup” course arrived. The gently steamed egg with mushrooms and greens was mild as can be and went down very smoothly.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

The final “Sushi” course brought a beautiful array of fishes, sea urchin, and salmon eggs.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

We finished with fresh fruit—a prism of colors, nice and ripe.

An omakase without toro is certainly a little sad, but still quite enjoyable nevertheless. I would’ve welcomed a greater variety of fishes served in place of the Bluefin, but I appreciated how Sushi Kimagure’s omakase offered so many different courses beyond sushi and sashimi. The price point was also on point.

I have more sushi plans this weekend at a hot restaurant that doesn’t take too well to special requests; I plan on making some anyway.

Sushi Kimagure
220 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone: 626-535-0880

There’s plenty more to peruse in Pasadena:

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7 thoughts on “Sushi Kimagure – Pasadena

  1. FYI Hamachi is considered a bad choice for sustainability. You should download the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch app on your smart phone if you haven’t already, its really helpful.

    I just don’t bother to eat sushi much anymore because its tough to eat sustainably for omakase dinners but rather order a la carte instead.

  2. Johnny – Nice to hear how a fellow food lover deals with this pertinent issue. I downloaded the Seafood Watch app once, but deleted it because I didn’t find it very useful in practice because origins of fishes are almost never stated on menus. Asking where fishes originated from is so hard with the language barrier and kind of a mood killer at the dinner table. Additionally, different fishes are known by different names at various restaurants, which adds another tricky element!

    In the case of Yellowtail, also known as Amberjack, Hiramasa, Yellowtail Jack, wild-caught in the U.S. is fine but the stuff from Japan and Australia is not.

    Bluefin is a big NO across the board, and goes by one easy name, which makes it easy to refrain.

  3. That green paste on the salmon looks like yuzu kosho, but I could be mistaken. I wish my mom were as open to sushi as yours! Looks like a lovely dinner. This place may be a good option the next time we are in Pasadena.

  4. anh – The sauce on the salmon was vegetable-based if I recall correctly! I would definitely remember yuzu kosho—it’s one of my fave ingredients…Mmm! My mom didn’t love sushi initially, but now she’s a total sushi fiend. Your mama just needs to give it a try. Maybe start with a California roll?

  5. Thanks for the review! I’ve walked pass this place so many times and was curious about it.

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