'Tis the season for sea bream sushi at Kihachi, so get 'em while there chilled, 'cause they're fantastic! Notice the pretty leaf pattern-it's sancho leaves peeking through a knife-skill-showy thinly sliced, diaphonous sheath of sweet-ish pickled kelp. Embedded in the stunning sushi rice (the best in town) were sancho peppercorns, which showed up like a repeated line in a poem altered at the end ; ditto for the sushi's citric character--it's lime scented aspect rhymes with an explosive grapefruit extract-kissed sauce.
Berkshire pork cheek chunks-- sculptural, sweet, salt-crusted, delicate yet intense. Like some kind of ethereal pig candy; also love the glass-like shaved celery!
'Tis also the short-lived season for an unusual fish called "ayu". It's simply marinated, perfectly grilled and elegantly (nakedly) presented with Himalayan salt, a ginger rhyzome (biting into its insane brightness is nothing short of an an epiphany!) and a killer lime-green sauce that reminded me of a cool and brothy wing sauce minus any heat.
But how do you eat this hand-sized fish?
Well, you pick it up and chomp it down like the animal you are. That's right--from its sweet brain mass to its delicious, seared flesh right through its pleasantly crunchy bones and thought-provoking bitter liver (that's when you wanna bite down on the cleansing ginger) to its crispy tail fins, which are quite like the best potato chips you never had--you chew through it like a gentle giant, slowly savoring and appreciating every morsel of a beautiful little fish whose every essence you've come to know intimately.
No, it's not for everone--my dining partner (who is very familiar with my deep, dark and uncompromising appetites) said something such as "Wow, looks like dinner just turned into an episode of Survivor!"--but I'd rather eat at Kihachi than anywhere else in town.