Sunday, April 10, 2011

Food for Thought: Kazuyo

One of my favorite foods ever is sushi. I love it, aside from the wonderful presentation, something about raw fish, and the combination of goodies just gets my tastebuds flowing. Well, I believe I have found the greatest sushi spot ever, and it has a Filipino twist to it. Is you look at my Yelp, you'll notice I'm the duke of this place called Kazuyo on Melrose. Recently I attended a tasting and tweet up with some Filipino foodies and they were totally cool with them, and it was a great dining experience. I'm so late on my blog.
Simply Egplant, Popcorn Lobster, Spicy Tuna Biscuit (Biko), Red Rock Las Vegas Roll, Baked Crab in Soy Paper

What's in a name? 
Kazuyo sounds Japanese enough doesn't it. Well it's a girl's name in Japanese, but in this case, it's a twist on the Filipino word "kasuyo" meaning "together" The togetherness describes Chef Joe and wife Angie (whom I call Kuya and Ate) A very nice loving couple with an interesting backstory.

How'd I find it?
A family friend of mine who is a comedian does shows, he invited me one night to watch him perform at Kazuyo. After eating the preset meal which included chicken terriyaki, a banzai roll, and tuna biscuit, I was hungry later on into the show. I took a swipe at the popcorn lobster, and it was love from there. I eventually found out that it was a Filipino owned restaurant, where the likes of Ryan Seacrest, Dean Devlin, and Katy Perry go to. You wouldn't know by the intamacy and artistic quiet coziness of the place. It's truly a celebrity hide out. I eventually did a story on them, and have been good friends with the award winning sushi family since, ranking them as my favorite restaurant in Hollywood. I myself feel at home, and it's interesting to know the celebrities kind of have their own seating chart. Apparently the real Clark Kent Tom Welling from Smallville also goes there, as well as Sacha Baracohen.

sample size calamaris salad

Firecracker surrounded by Sashimi
 The Food

It's awesome, I would describe it as well evolved Japanese food with at time a Pinoy twist. My suggestion-don't go for the basic rolls. Try some of Kazuyo's signature rolls. Here's a few of my favorites by ranking:

Kazuyo Roll is one of the ultimate sushi's ever. Imagine 7 different yummies, including soft shell crab, and shrimp, wrapped in cucumber with a tangy sauce, built like a castle. It's awesome. 

Popcorn Lobster A bed of deep fried popcorned lobster on a bed of california rolls with Kazuyo's version of eel sauce.

Melrose Roll Crispy onions draped over albacore on top of a delicious roll with tempura string beans and spicy tuna

Red Rock Las Vegas Modeled after Red Rock in Las Vegas where the couple once lives, I believe it's a mix of crab and tempura flakes drizzled with sauce over a california roll and topped off with jalapenos.

Signature Kazuyo Roll

Garlic Albacore Sashimi Albacore tuna with a
garlic soy sauce. Inspired by Filipino Adobo

Japanese Pizza Another biko type dish, this time in pizza form. A circular rice cake topped with spicy tuna.

Volcano salmon sushi buried under a mountain of spicy tuna, scallops, crab and a sweet and spicy sauce. 

Crispy Onion, Garlic Albacore (Adobo Sashimi)
Spinach over Albacore

Firecracker Crabmeat wrapped salmon and tuna 
with a crunchy beat inside that pops everytime 
you take a bite. 

Tuna Steak with Kazuyo Salsa Imagine if we used   tuna instead of tortilla chips in this nacho dish. It's a delicious salsa with avacado over tuna. 

Mozarella Crab Tempura Crab leg tempura with melted cheese. As we all know, anything with melted cheese usually translates into awesomness. 

Tasty Tips
I said to not mess with the regular rolls, you have to go bananas and try one of the cutting edge dishes. Chef Joe is known for his amazing sauces. I've been egging him to bottle it up and sell it. But regular basic maki rolls do have use. When you order something saucy like a volcano roll, you might as well grab a regular roll. Why? Because often, you will find an excess of the sauce. Take a maki roll, and scrape up the extra sauce and enjoy it. The house sake is also very good. I can drink bottles of the warm savory nectar for days. Lunch time offers great bowls and bento boxes. Why blow seven dollars on a fast food meal when you can have good japanese food. Even the terriyaki has a Pinoy twist, thru the garlic. Though they don't advertise it, the restaurant is very organic, and is actually quite health conscious. Though the sauces may contain sodium and sugar, a lot of the food is clean and pure. They stay away from food colorings and preservatives, starting each day with a fresh fish delivery. They're open 7 days a week from 11 to 11 but often stay open later, especially if there is a show. The back room hosts many shows, especially Filipino acts such as Bernardo Bernardo and Miguel Vera. 

Last Burp
Kazuyo is not only an awesome place to get some really awesome sushi. To me it's also a friendly atmosphere. The shop has only been around for 2 years, but when you see the staff they are a family. Kuya Joe and Ate Andy own it, but if you dig deeper, the staff is also family. Assistant chef Byron has been working with Joe for many years. Servers are old classmates, and daughters of friends. It adds to the family friendly atmosphere. But most importantly, whether you're a first timer, a regular, or a celebrity, the staff and owners treat everyone well. That only sweetens my favorite sushi restaurant in the universe. 

So I suggest you head over right now, if you're in the Hollywood, West LA area.

7160 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 939-3816

1 comment:

  1. Steve,
    Great review... it makes me want to drive to LA today. Too baad I wasn't able to go with you guys but will definitely try it soon. Sayang I was in LA yesterday.
    I'm now hungry for sushi, and intrigued by the sauce that you described. I really can't wait to try it.
    I hope to see on the next twEAT up,