Kiriko | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015


photo by Anne Fishbein

What more can be said about Kiriko, the Sawtelle sushi bar that has remained a favorite of industry insiders year after year? Owner-chef Ken Namba is the Louis C.K. of the raw-fish world, a veteran talent who appears even more prophetic with age, best known for his unflappably cool demeanor and trademark penchant for dustings of yuzu zest and pink salt. Omakase meals here seem to unfold like paintings: house-smoked salmon crowned with caviar, or soft curls of squid anointed with uni and a drizzle of black squid ink, each looking good enough to frame. But if high-end sushi seems to have gotten overly precious in recent times, Kiriko is the place to reset the humility meter, reminding you that painstakingly prepared sushi can be expressed even in the simplest of settings.—Garrett Snyder