Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant – A Post is Worth a Thousand Pictures

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Hamachi Handroll, closeup

Kiyokawa

265 S. Robertson Ave
Beverly Hills, CA
310.358.1900
www.kiyokawarestaurant.com

Curious after a mysterious tweet, interested after the review, I am now slightly obsessed after my own experience at Kiyokawa, a tiny Japanese treasure in Beverly Hills that Jonathan Gold says is “the first place I was tempted to keep for myself.”

Good thing he didn’t.

We tried the chef’s tasting menu ($78), the sushi omakase ($48), and had a couple bottles of sake.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are 47,000, first the entire Chef’s Omakase in course order, then the Sushi Omakase.

Kiyokawa Chef’s Omakase

First Course: Marinated Vegetables

Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant, Chef's Omakase - Course 01

Marinated Spinach from First Course

Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant, Chef's Omakase - Spinach

Cucumber Oshinko with Bottarga (slices of dried fish roe) from First Course

Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant, Chef's Omakase - Oshinko, Dried Fish Roe

Lotus Root from First Course

Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant, Chef's Omakase - Lotus

Burdock Root from First Course

Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant, Chef's Omakase - Burdock Root

Second Course: Sashimi with Whole Mackerel

Whole Mackerel, spotted across the bar

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Whole Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel Sashimi from Second Course

Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant, Chef's Omakase, Aji Sashimi

Halibut, Uni, Toro! Toro! Spanish Mackerel Sashimi

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Sashimi Course 02

Halibut Flower and Uni Sashimi from Second Course

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Halibut Sashimi Course 02

Fresh Grated Wasabi on Tiny Grater, presented alongside sashimi

It took a lot to restrain my inner korean klepto and not snatch the tiny, Post-It sized grater from the sashimi presentation and shove it into my purse.

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Fresh Wasabi on Grater

Deep Fried Whole Mackerel Skeleton, taken away, fried and re-presented after finishing Second Course

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Whole Fried Spanish Mackerel

Third Course: Pretty Little Things (I am making this name up because…because)

Foie Gras, Uni, Snow Crab, Halibut, Oyster, Hamachi [clockwise from top left]

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Course 03

Seared Foie Gras from Third Course

I asked what it was.

“Foie gras.”

From…?

He gave me a curious look then replied “Hudson Valley…”

I clarified, asking from what animal? His was a question-answer. “Duck?”

But it’s such a tiny little foie gras, it must have been a tiny duck!

He laughed. I think it was out of politeness. Or fear.

I wasn’t buzzed. (Yet.)

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Foie Gras

Marinated Uni from Third Course, presented in jewel box

I do not love uni. In fact, I used to hate uni because I could not get over what they actually are — gonads — even though…well, never mind. The point is, when I have a piece that is that particular perfect combination of sweet and metallic, I enjoy it, but I don’t crave uni like I crave a funyun.

The marinated uni makes me crave funyuns. Yes it was so good, it confused me, too.

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Marinated Uni

Snow Crab on Wonton Crisp from Third Course:

Is this…a crab nacho?

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Snow Crab on Crisp Wonton

Hamachi and Jalapeno from Third Course

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Hamachi with Jalapeno

Kumamoto Oyster with Caviar and Gold:

There may be bigger, “better,” brinier, there may be milder, sweeter, or even overall tastier, but there will never be an oyster sexier than the tiny Kumamoto coming so completely undone, reaching down with her frilly little lip for a taste of the luxury left on the bump of her belly just barely rising above her own innocent puddle.

kKiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Kumamoto Oyster

East Coast Halibut from Third Course

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Halibut Sashimi

Fourth Course: Daikon, Taro and Tofu in Broth

from Jonathan Gold: “astonishing in its simplicity, a strong dashi bathing a single, luscious round of daikon; some carrot; half a taro root with its hairy outside but not its potatolike inner skin removed; and a couple of snow peas. It takes 15 minutes to remove the outer skin of taro, rubbing each tuber with a crumpled piece of aluminum foil instead of swiping it with a knife. Each vegetable needs to be simmered separately, and combined only at the end, so that the flavors do not muddy one another. It is a dish worthy of a three-star French chef.”

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Daikon

Fifth Course: Miso Marinated Cod

from Jonathan Gold: “so delicate that it barely makes it to mouth without collapsing”

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Miso Cod

Sixth Course: Fried Scallop and Tofu Dumpling in Broth

from Jonathan Gold: “recalls a New York deli by way of Japan: a kind of treyf matzoh ball”

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase, Scallop Broth

Seventh Course: Sushi

Toro, Super Toro, Halibut Fin, Uni and Salmon Sushi [clockwise form top left]

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Sushi

Halibut Fin from Seventh Course

Kiyokawa, Chef's Omakase - Halibut Fin Sushi

Yuzu and Fresh Wasabi on Grater

Kiyokawa, Fresh Wasabi in Case

Caviar, Ankimo (“I thought it was raw chicken, but…” Never mind.) Truffle Salt

Kiyokawa, Caviar, Ankimo and Truffle Salt

Live Abalone

What’s that?

“Live abalone!”

(Gross)

“Try it!”

Ooo K. (Gross)

Kiyokawa, Live Abalone

Horin Sake: “Rich fragrance, smooth taste, clean finish”

Kiyokawa, Sake Bottle in Ice

Sushi Omakase

Miso Soup

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase, Miso Soup

Sushi Omakase, First Course

Black Snapper, Red Snapper, Kanpachi, East Coast Halibut [clockwise from top left]

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase, Course 01

Black Snapper from First Course

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase, Black Snapper

Red Snapper from First Course

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase, Red Snapper

Kanpachi, Wasabi from First Course

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Kanpachi

East Coast Halibut from First Course

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase, East Coast Halibut

Second Course: Spanish Mackerel Sushi

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Spanish Mackerel

Second Course: Pike Mackerel Sushi

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Pike Mackerel

Second Course: Pike Mackerel Sushi, from the backside

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Pike Mackerel

Third Course: Toro Sushi

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Toro

Third Course: Albacore Belly with Tokyo Fried Onions

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Albacore Belly

Fifth Course: Live Abalone Wrapped in Shiso with Plum Sauce

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Abalone

Fifth Course: Scallop

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Scallop

Sixth Course: Hamachi Belly

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Hamachi Belly

Sixth Course: Uni

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Uni

Seventh Course: Hamachi Handroll

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Hamachi Handroll

Flash Seared Super Toro

Tasted like steak.
kiyokawa-special-toro

Pickled Baby Ginger

If for nothing else, just go to taste the pickled ginger, which is (re-)pickled in-house to a much sweeter, milder flavor, and served shredded. If you ask with curiosity, Chef breaks out the secret stash of baby ginger. Condiment candy.
Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Baby Ginger

Dessert: Black Sesame Ice Cream

Kiyokawa, Sushi Omakase - Black Sesame Ice Cream

More on Kiyokawa:

~ Review by Jonathan Gold on LAWeekly
~ I had this meal with jewelz. his pictures are a lot prettier than mine
~ bitechewswallow says it’s easily one of the best Japanese meals in America
~ First mentioned in July 2008, chowhounds weigh in (after the JGold review)

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