Saturday, August 1, 2009

MEOW: Chirashizushi, Inaka Seafood Gourmet, Arcadia

Imagine the horror when after 9 months of not eating raw fish in order to properly incubate a baby, I found out that one of my favorite sushi joints, the girl-powered Azami Sushi Cafe on Melrose, had closed.

But also imagine the joy when I read that Azami's co-owner and female sushi chef extraordinaire Niki Nakayama had opened Inaka Seafood Gourmet in Arcadia, just a stone's throw away from me!

Before you put your best sushi-eating outfit on for Azami the Sequel though, hold up. Inaka is not a sushi restaurant but rather, a Japanese deli that serves up health-conscious Japanese rice and noodle dishes by day and does a special Chef's Table by night. Don't be disappointed though. Just try the chirashizushi at Inaka and you'll experience the fresh seafood and simple, tasty presentations that Chef Niki was known for at the late Azami.

Hungry after a recent morning of throwing my money away at Arcadia's Santa Anita Mall, I skipped the food court and drove across the street to Inaka to chow on some chirashi, my latest MEOW (MEal Of the Week).

I'm a sucker for chirashi first of all because it's so darn pretty with slices of sashimi and other accoutrements laid atop a bed of sushi rice like a colorful quilt. Inaka's version is a clear winner, not only because it too is nice to look at, but also because it has a nice balance of flavors and textures. Fresh-to-the-max buttery soft slices of sashimi such as salmon, maguro, and albacore are accompanied by the coarser textures of crab and spicy tuna. Their sushi rice is just slightly warm, and is neither too sweet nor too vinegary. A dash of sesame seeds and some pickled ginger help to round the whole thing out.

Oh yeah, and this whole thing costs just $11.50 before tax and tip which is a helluva deal considering $5.25 buys you a 6-piece Chicken McNugget and large fries across the street at the mall. You do the math.

Inaka Seafood Gourmet
838 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 254-9926

P.S. Chef Niki also does an eight course Chef's Table at night for $80 per person which I am dying to try after reading LA & OC Foodie's review. Tables fill up quickly so please book a week or two in advance!

Inaka Seafood Gourmet in Los Angeles


weezermonkey said...

So beautiful! I'm totally convincing Mr. Monkey's family to go next time we do a weekend meal.

mattatouille said...

Short and brilliant. Love it, and hot damn, what an awesome photo.

joanh said...

that looks amazing and what a great price. the photo captures it beautifully.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Wow!, from $11.50 to $80 per PERSON.

A japanese Deli you say? Reminds me of the now closed Aun Deli Cafe next to the Ice House comedy club.

Sounds like the new location is much closer to you than the old one in LA. Makes sense for Asian restaurants to have a SGV location. Almost gives them street cred!

Hirono said...

I can't stop drooling over that beautiful chirashi. I soo need to go check this place out! Thanks for the delicious post!

H. C. said...

Thanks for the link love! Somehow, with my love for chirashi I've yet to try Inaka's version. But that beautiful photo and description may convince me to head out there real soon!

Sweet chirashi and chef's table dreams...

Daily Gluttony said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone! I hope you all get a chance to try really is a neighborhood gem.

Cafe Pasadena, that does seem like a huge gap doesn't it? But from what I hear, the $80pp is well worth it!

H.C., no thank YOU for posting about her Chef's I just have to actually go! :)

SinoSoul said...

uhm... I think it's time for another post... just sayin'.

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