Sushi Tarzana

Sushi Iki Showcases Indulgent Seasonal Fish

Kawahagi, a small sand-dwelling species known as thread-sail filefish to English speakers, is a rare delicacy on sushi menus. The end of October ushered in Kawahagi season, which will last for four months. In LA, one of the only places to find it is at Sushi Iki, long considered one of the San Fernando Valley’s […]

Kawahagi, a small sand-dwelling species known as thread-sail filefish to English speakers, is a rare delicacy on sushi menus. The end of October ushered in Kawahagi season, which will last for four months. In LA, one of the only places to find it is at Sushi Iki, long considered one of the San Fernando Valley’s best sushi bars.

For those of you unfamiliar with the small restaurant, Sushi Iki debuted in Tarzana’s Wall Street Plaza in 2001. Chef Eddie Okamoto has been making sushi for 52 years and is originally from Tokyo, where he returns once a year to shore up his seafood sources. Iki means “special” in English, as the specials board quickly demonstrates.

Most diners are given the choice of “$100, $200 or Open,” meaning the bill can climb quickly, but Sushi Iki gets fish Angelenos won’t find many other places—sometimes prepared in luxurious fashion. For his Kawahagi ($19.50 per piece), Eddie singles out the prized liver—a rich, jiggling slab of pale pink organ meat. He serves Kawahagi as a hand roll, with black sesame-studded soy paper wrapper also containing sea urchin and sushi rice. Up top, you’ll find caviar and shaved black Italian truffle. Your plate also comes with a decorative lemon and purple flower, since artistry helps balance richness.

18663 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, 818-343-3470

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