Kiriko (Los Angeles, Winter 2014/2015)

Kiriko
Kiriko, as I’ve said before, has one of the best lunch deals on the planet: miso soup, salad, 10 pieces of quality nigiri plus one handroll, served omakase-style for $46/head. It is true Shunji’s lunch special offers a couple more pieces but I’ll reiterate that I think Kiriko’s is a better deal anyway, as you get better fish. The only problem is that it’s not served to solo diners (but maybe you could just order two?).

We eat this lunch special at least once on every summer trip but I don’t write up every meal as the selection is seasonal and so doesn’t change so much from meal to meal. However, our most recent trip was at the end of December and so here’s an account of what we ate.

As always, click on an image in the gallery below to launch a slideshow with larger images and more detailed descriptions. I should warn you ahead of time that some of the pictures are really quite bad—I’ve included them only for a comprehensive overview of our meal. My camera, while it does very well in low light, has a very crappy macro setting and I’m usually in too much of a hurry to eat to futz around and take multiple shots and/or check closely on the quality of each one. But if you have any tips on taking better/more reliable close-up shots with a Sony NEX-3N with a kit lens, please write in below.

A lovely meal, on the whole. Nothing was short of very good, some things were excellent. In this latter category fell all the tuna, the smoked salmon, the inada, the kinmedai, the aji, the kamasu and the ankimo. At our full-on dinner omakase at Shunji a few nights later some of the same fish showed up on the nigiri part of the meal. Frankly, we thought what Kiriko served at their lunch special matched up well and in some cases (the kinmedai, the otoro) bested what we were given at Shunji. Indeed, on our next trip we’ll try to do the equivalent of our Shunji dinner at Kiriko—it wouldn’t surprise me if we like it better.

Oh, if you were counting you’ll have noticed that while I said their lunch special “omakase” offers 10 pieces of nigiri we got 11 before the handroll and the added on ankimo. We didn’t realize at first that we’d been given an extra piece (we were not charged for it and it was never mentioned—so I don’t know which one the extra piece was. We’re not exactly regulars, living in Minnesota; nor do we have any secret handshake—so this seems to have been random generosity (who knows, maybe he liked the fact that we knew the Japanese names of the fish?). It may, of course, also be the case that there are now 11 pieces of fish in the lunch special.

Anyway, now to go another 5-6 months without sushi….

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