Kiwami

11920 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604(818) 763-3910 • katsu-yagroup.com

Chefs-Bento

I definitely enjoyed Kiwami, after all, we are talking about a Katsu-Ya restaurant here people, one of the godfathers of modern sushi, but at the same time 4 and 5 stars seemed a tad steep when the only thing I had worthy of that much hype was the seared yellowtail with black truffles. Very expensive, but very generous on the truffles. Making it very worth taking out a second mortgage on your house.

Unfortunately nothing else reached the same bar though, falling somewhere between solid good and been there, done that. Not even the hanabe (spicy tuna on crispy rice) which he invented! It was a big snooze by comparison to the copy cats at Sushi Roku or Koi, which may not have been the originators of the dish, but have since created the Mercedes of hanabe to Kiwami’s Ford.

And speaking of Roku and Koi, both of them crush it on decor, service and saki selection. Whereas Kiwami seems like it is still stuck in the past, coasting on a glory far past it’s expiration date. But, to be fair, for Studio City sushi, it’s still a solid bet, no bones about it.

3 teeth

Koji BBQ

Azul Truck • Los Angeles, CA(323) 315-0253 kogibbq.com

348s-1

I know that Koji is supposed to be one of the originators of the whole food truck craze, but Ford was the originator of the automobile and I think it’s safe to say that others have since improved upon the concept significantly.

Well, after eating Koji’s Pacman Burger (pictured) I can say unequivocally that Koji ain’t what she used to be. Perhaps due to a slide in Koji’s own performance or a testament to how many other food trucks have stepped into the ring, upping the game? Whatever it is, Koji is now a featherweight amongst heavy hitters.

Let’s just take Korilla BBQ in NY as a Korean Barbeque comparison or Cinnamon Snail as a kimchi burger cohort- both EASILY send the Pacman, well… packing.

So unrefined is the Pacman, tasting exactly as it sounds, “packed,” with 10 pounds of shit in a 5-pound bag. Three different meats, two salsas, sesame mayo, jack and cheddar cheeses, salad and some crispy things on top, ya know, because why wait to have a coronary when you can die today?

But heaviness is most definitely not why I am getting all over Koji’s case. It’s because the burger tasted like nothing more than a bunch of greasy slop on a bun. No separation between textures or flavors. In fact, if it weren’t for the Sriacha, I probably wouldn’t have even made it halfway through it, which is about as far as I got. Not because I was full, but because I was worried about the gastrointestinal repercussions that might ensue. Fortunately the “retaliation” was milder than expected. My review, not so much.

2 teeth