Kiyokawa (Los Angeles, Summer 2013)

We’ve had two excellent meals at Kiyokawa in the past–one the full chef’s omakase lunch, with kaiseki style cooked items along with sashimi and sushi, and the other an exquisite sushi omakase. And so, as good as our regular lunch omakase at Kiriko was, and as much as it suggested that their omakase of comparable cost could give Kiyokawa a run for his money, we chose to return to Kiyokawa for our 10th anniversary lunch (we’re travelling with our young boys and have neither the ability nor energy to go out to dinner).

The fish is great–and we’ve been dreaming about the live uni for a year–but Chef Kiyokawa (I like appending the word “san” to Japanese chefs’ names about as much as I like using the words “wee” and “dram” when talking about whisky) is the tie-breaker. He’s personable and warm and funny and it’s a pleasure just watching him slice and prepare fish. He’s a one-man show for sushi (there are assistants breaking down fish and making the cooked dishes) and a perfectionist—grating wasabi to order with a sharkskin grater, for example—but he’s also gregarious and playful (as you will see from the pictures).

Though not every component was great it was a great meal on the whole. Quite a splurge, admittedly (though not much by some people’s standards), but it’s an annual indulgence.

Here are photographs of the meal. Please click on an image to launch a larger slideshow; descriptions and comments are in the captions.


One thought on “Kiyokawa (Los Angeles, Summer 2013)

  1. On the off chance that anyone is reading my Kiyokawa reviews and possibly weighing whether to go there, the restaurant in its current form (if it’s still open) is not the one I reviewed. It’s now called Go by Kiyokawa but Satoshi Kiyokawa’s involvement with it ended some years ago and all reports are that it went rapidly downhill fast. I don’t know where Chef Kiyokawa is now but it’s a shame that his name has continued to be associated with a restaurant that is not up to his standards (I assume this is for contractual reasons of some kind).

    Some more discussion of the change here.


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