Kiriko: A Photographic Retrospective

[I know I promised a review of my winter lunch omakase at Kiriko to follow my Winter Omakase at Shunji and Winter Omakase Counter at Sushi Taro, but I decided to try something a little different...]

This week marks a year since I first walked into Kiriko (linked to Facebook since owner Ken-san updates that more often than the restaurant’s website) and ordered my first $40 lunch omakase.  I documented many of my visits initially on Chowhound LA, but I quickly exhausted myself with my write-ups, so I stopped last summer.

After the lengthy hiatus, I wanted to post something new on Kiriko, but rather than write another standard one-meal review, I thought I’d do a photographic retrospective of the past year.  (Kinda goes well with the L.A. Magazine profile…)

Instead of trying to capture the flavors and textures with fancy words, I’ll just give a quick description of the dishes I’m featuring and let the photos speak for themselves.  I’ve loosely grouped the photos, for a bit of coherency.  So without further ado…

Bivalve, Crustaceans, Gastropods, and Cephalopods…

1.  Aoyagi Nutaae:  Surf clam salad with onions, daikon, various sea vegetables, and a miso, vinegar, and mustard dressing.  From March.

Aoyagi Nutaae (Surf Clam Salad) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Aoyagi Nutaae (Surf Clam Salad) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

2.  Soft-Shell Crab Tempura:  Live soft-shell crab from Maryland, served with sweet onion rings and a shishito pepper.  From last month.

Live Maryland Soft-Shell Crab Tempura @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Live Maryland Soft-Shell Crab Tempura @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

3.  Amaebi Tartare:  Raw sweet shrimp, topped with grated karasumi (salted mullet roe, a.k.a. bottarga in Italian) and fresh wasabi, served with the shrimp heads deep-fried.  (One of my favorite dishes of all time.)  From last August.

Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp) Tartare (@ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp) Tartare (@ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

 4.  Baigai:  Sea snails/whelks, served simply steamed or boiled.  From last July.

Baigai (Snail) (@ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Baigai (Snail) (@ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

 5.  Baigai Takenoko Salad:  Sea snails/whelks, in a salad with fresh bamboo shoots.  From March.

Baigai (Snail) and Takenoko (Bamboo Shoots) Salad (@ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Baigai (Snail) and Takenoko (Bamboo Shoots) Salad (@ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

6.  Sazae: Turban shell conch, served simply steamed or boiled.  From last July.

Sazae (Turban Shell Conch) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Sazae (Turban Shell Conch) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

7.  Sazae Ceviche, with asatsuke (garlic chives), onions, and citrus.  From last August.

Sazae (Turban Shell Conch) Ceviche @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Sazae (Turban Shell Conch) Ceviche @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

8.  Ika Somen:  Squid “noodles” in its own ink, served with a small scoop of uni (sea urchin) ice cream and garnished with a tempura shiso leaf.  From last August.

Ika Somen (Squid Noodles) w/Uni (Sea Urchin) Ice Cream @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Ika Somen (Squid Noodles) w/Uni (Sea Urchin) Ice Cream @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

9.  Hotaru Ika:  Firefly squid, drizzled with a yellow miso sauce.  From March.

Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Hotaru Ika (Firefly Squid) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

10.  Iidako and Takenoko Ceviche:  Baby octopus and bamboo shoots, with roasted momotaro tomato salsa.  Ken-san called it his “Bajapon” (Baja and Japon) plate.   From March.

Iidako (Baby Octopus) Ceviche @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Iidako (Baby Octopus) Ceviche @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

 

Roe and Stuff…

1.  Ikura:  Fresh salmon roe, with fresh wasabi and daikon.  From last August.

Fresh Ikura (Salmon Roe) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Fresh Ikura (Salmon Roe) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

2.  Ikura:  Fresh salmon roe gunkan-maki.  From last August.

Fresh Ikura (Salmon Roe) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Fresh Ikura (Salmon Roe) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

3.  Shirako Yaki:  Grilled fish milt.  From March.

Shirako Yaki (Grilled Milt) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Shirako Yaki (Grilled Milt) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

 4.  Shirako in Ponzu. From March.

Shirako (Milt) in Ponzu @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Shirako (Milt) in Ponzu @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

5.  Tamagoyaki:  Spongy egg omelet.  From February.

Tamagoyaki (Egg Omelet) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Tamagoyaki (Egg Omelet) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

 

Nigiri…

1.  Engawa:  Halibut fin.  From March.

Engawa (Halibut Fin) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Engawa (Halibut Fin) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

2.  Karei Engawa:  Flounder fin.  From March.

Karei Engawa (Flounder Fin) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Karei Engawa (Flounder Fin) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

3.  Chutoro Aburi:  Medium-fatty tuna belly, seared.  From last July.

Seared Toro (Fatty Tuna) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Seared Toro (Fatty Tuna) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

4.  Bintoro:  (Wild) Albacore belly.  From last August.

Wild Bintoro (Albacore Belly) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Wild Bintoro (Albacore Belly) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

5.  Bincho/Binnaga:  (Wild) Albacore.  From last August.

Wild Bincho/Binnaga (Albacore) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Wild Bincho/Binnaga (Albacore) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

6.  Kinmedai:  Golden eye snapper.  From March.

Kinmedai (Golden Eye Snapper) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Kinmedai (Golden Eye Snapper) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

7..  Aji:  Horse mackerel, a.k.a. Spanish mackerel.  From February.

Aji (Horse Mackerel) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Aji (Horse Mackerel) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

 8.  Sawara:  King mackerel, a.k.a. Spanish mackerel too.  From March.

Sawara (King Mackerel) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Sawara (King Mackerel) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

9.  Uni and Ika:  Sea urchin on squid.  From last July.

Uni/Ika (Sea Urchin/Squid) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Uni/Ika (Sea Urchin/Squid) @ Kiriko (© 2013 The Offalo)

Note:  This retrospective is not meant to be a representative sample of what Kiriko had to offer this past year.  I’ve tried a much larger variety of specials and sushi than I’ve shown here, but I chose to highlight these because they reflect what I personally like, which is a lot of shellfish, and also because I think these are some of the better photos that I’ve taken there this past year.  Hope you’ve enjoyed them.

m4s0n501

2013 May 07 by The Offalo
Categories: Japanese, Sushi | Leave a comment

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