Another place I found in LA was Hirozen, a small and cosy restaurant tucked in the corner of a strip mall (kinda). We went there for dinner on Xmas eve, and it was a mixed experience – some dishes were absolutely brilliant, whilst others (sushi) were pretty disappointing.
we had the lobster spring roll that was filled with generous amts of lobster, mango and this tasted refreshing! Lobster meat was tender and tasty :) Great start to the meal!
This dish was ABSOLUTELY HEAVENLY. I’m sorry I forgot the exact name, but I checked the online menu and it wasn’t there. It seems like they have a more extensive menu at the restaurant itself. This was some kind of cod fish! Seared to perfection. They had a party in my mouth :)
And then the disappointment sets in…
The sushi (one was shrimp tempura, the other was soft shell crab) was disappointing to say the least. It lacked flavor and the rice wasn’t sticky either so they kept falling apart. Shrimp and crab didn’t taste very fresh either. I’d much prefer the usual sushi roll drizzled in lots of sauce and exploding with flavor. This was very sad :(
Finally, dessert! We had a difficult time deciding what to get…so we opted for the more special option and chose this Japanese Pumpkin Pudding! I’m not a fan of anything pumpkin (bad experience over thanksgiving a few years ago), but this pudding was surprisingly manageable for me! My dining partner gobbled it up quickly though – testament to how good it was! You hardly taste much of the pumpkin in this though, and IMO, it tastes way better with whipped cream they serve on the side (we asked for extras!) Somehow the whipped cream makes it less overpowering, and easier to manage.
Overall, I’d say this place is pretty good…maybe we tried the wrong sushi rolls. I heard their Omakase courses are famous! We didn’t try those coz they were too pricey. Also, given the space constraint in this restaurant, it’s advisable to book ahead.
Hirozen Japanese Cuisine
8385 Beverly Blvd
LA, CA 90048
Tel: 323 653 0470
More details on their website: http://www.hirozen.com