izakaya akatora la

izakaya akatora || 115 w. main street, alhambra, ca 91801 || (626) 943-7872

new gem by michael cardenas of innovative dining group [katana, sushi roku, boa steakhouse], and favorite trendy hot spots all across los angeles & las vegas has arrived: izakaya akatora. it’s a more casual, traditional sushi bar & izakaya feel but offering high-quality fish & tapas located in the historic city of alhambra — a city in the suburbs of la, known as the san gabriel valley.

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i aint sayin’ she’s a gold digger, but she’s only eating sashimi with gold on top.

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kinmedai. flame-torched golden eye red snapper. i ate the james bond of snappers, basically.

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omakase me pls.

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close up of the fresh, sexy oyster + uni & ikura neighbors.

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yam ice cream – a reinvented traditional japanese dessert that will make you swoon

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classic chocolate volcano done right

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remember to thank the sushi chefs

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sake to you…sake to me…

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akatora, red tiger in japanese, is named after michael’s father’s fishing boat.

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blondetourage. i’m wearing my favorite leather clutch by liucia

thanks michael for a wonderful dinner & for adding another awesome restaurant to this world! need to be back when i’m out west again [and try the foie gras]. arigatou!

for more delicious goodness, visit my post on the neighboring sushi roku in pasadena.

sushi of gari

sushi of gari

upper east side || 402 e. 78th st., new york, ny 10075 || (212) 517-5340

this restaurant has become so popular that they now have 4 different locations in the city – the upper east side is the original that holds the michelin star rating while still preserving the traditional, casual seating arrangement. for all levels of sushi lovers, this is an omakase experience you must try in new york [if you haven’t already]. with every visit, there are new additions [and surprises] to the chef’s tasting menu, and you can let the server know specific likes & dislikes. the major buzzkill surprise for me this time was that they were out of the 3 cravings i had: mirugai [giant clam], sweet raw shrimp, & fresh toro [they only had flame-torched toro]. to be fair, it was a late monday evening — not the best for sushi. as usual, i prefer the skinnyminnie sashimi omakase: more fish, no rice.

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the sake casing matched my festive nails. fun.

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fatty salmon belly. fatty

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snapper rolls.

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tuna

the outstanding dish of the night:

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flame-torched fluke + poached quail egg + truffle oil slathered all over. sexy.

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yellowtail. weakest link of the night.

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hotate [scallop] + caviar. always a must-get for me.

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tomato tempura and salmon

second favorite of the night:

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flame-torched rare snow crab & uni – perfect.

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tuna tartare with pine nuts & deep fried seaweed chips

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uni. always a must-get.

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plum sake in the back & new sake glass for a new bottle. artwork is channeling zelda.

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marinated snapper & seawead

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topping was a mixed mushroom medley? i passed the [cooked] fish over to my comrades.

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seared toro. great but i kinda wanted super fresh raw toro. #brat

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chopped snapper + black salt. very refreshing!

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seared lobster – slightly overcooked for my raw diet

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mackerel with sesame topping. i passed on this one.

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ikura!

the ikura challenge, just like when it all started at zuma hong kong: how many salmon roe is in one order?

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separate them in groups of 10 first…

gambling is in my blood. needless to say, i won the challenge.

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kumamoto oysters, yay. my final course before tapping out.

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a pretty piece after i ended my tasting.

’twas a wonderful pre-thanksgiving stuff yourself in the face healthy, raw treat i must say. perfect for my raw diet. じゃね! [ja-ne, see you!]

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