Monday, May 3, 2010

Kanda Sushi

I'd been reading reviews on Chowhound about this place. Could it be true? A traditional sushi restaurant in the Conejo Valley that doesn't make all kinds of specialty rolls with ridiculous sauces?

It's true! We sat at the sushi bar on a Saturday night, it was 7pm. The sushi bar which seats about 15 people was empty. Two sushi chefs worked behind the bar and a server took our drink orders. The owner and head sushi chef is named Mitsu, he was the previous chef at Sushi Tei in Oak Park several years ago. His focus is on fresh fish with several varieties flown in from Japan.

We our meal consisted of the following:

Ankimo appetizer - Monk fish liver steamed in sake with grated spicy radish and yuzu ponzu
Albacore Nigiri
Wlid Alaskan Salmon Nigiri
Kohada Nigiri
Amberjack Nigiri
Tuna Tataki Sashimi
Raw Octopus Nigiri
Hamachi Nigiri
Japanese Uni
Shishito Peppers
Spicy Scallop Handroll
Toro Handroll

Everything was fresh and simply prepared. All of the nigiri was seasoned or sauced by Mitsu-san, so there was no need for any dipping. The Kohada, Amberjack, Albacore and Octopus were excellent.

The handrolls are not what you normally see, instead of the "sno-cone" rolls you see at most sushi restaurants. Kanda's handrolls are more like cigars, a uniform tube shape. They also don't use mayonaise for their sauce. So the Spicy Scallop Handroll was a bit strange for me, the sauce was too sweet and seemed like it had miso in it.

We sat at the bar for about two hours and the bar never got full. As the their websites states Kanda does not offer any soy paper or "unauthentic" items. Their decision not to offer the typical sushi experience may hurt their business.

The service was excellent, the prices were on the high end. But if you're looking for a wider variety of fish that is fresh as can be, then Kanda is a great option. I'm looking forward to Kanda being my local sushi spot.

More photos here