Friday, December 19, 2008

Hirozen still rules...just don't overdose on sushi like Jeremy Piven!

I could easily eat Japanese food several times a week (well, except natto). But unlike Jeremy Piven, I mix it up with ramen, soba and several varieties of seafood in addition to the toro and ahi tuna favored by most American sushi eaters. Since tuna is such a big fish, it does tend to be higher in mercury than smaller species. But it's highly unlikely you could eat so much that you'd get mercury poisoning. So if you do eat a lot of sushi, it's best to mix it up with smaller fish like sardines and mackerel. That's easy to do at Hirozen, which in addition to excellent traditional sushi, has a menu of creative specials like Grilled Kasu Marinated Sardine with Pickled Cucumber and crab meat chile relleno. savory steamed red spinach and mushrooms

Hirozen was my favorite restaurant about 10 years ago, but since I'm always trying new places, sometimes I forget to return often enough. I went back for lunch last week and there's still something wonderful about the tiny restaurant hidden in the back of the Beverly Blvd. strip mall which still has the quirky light bulb store up front. I have my favorite dishes at Hirozen -- salmon and ikura donburi bowl, tofu steak, tuna shiso tempura, but I forced myself to order something different this time. I tried an assorted sushi trio and red spinach with mushrooms, while my lunch companion had heirloom tomato salad. It can be so damn hard to find real vegetables when you eat out a lot, but this simple spinach dish made me feel healthy for days. The sushi trio above (tuna, scallops, and ack, forgot the other) was tiny but amazingly fresh. For dessert, we tried a beautiful purple sweet potato yokan with coconut tapioca (above), that made just the right not-too-sweet finish to a simple, healthy meal. This version of yokan was a dense sort of pudding that is just one example of the diverse and interesting dishes at Hirozen, which I'll try not to forget about anymore!
8385 Beverly Blvd.


Marie said...

I ate at Hirozen last year and really enjoyed it! I've been meaning to go back, but just keep overlooking it for some reason. I don't know what it's like currently, but when I stopped in, it was bustling and seemed to have a lot of regular customers.

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh yeah...thanks for reminding me about Hirozen. It's a great place.

I'll bet Jeremy Piven didn't have mercury poisoning! He was in this David Mamet play on Broadway. Mamet plays are very heavy on intricate dialog. I'll bet he just couldn't hack it and backed out using food poisoning as an excuse! Sushi shouldn't take the blame for Piven's spoiled, lazy butt!

Me? Jealous? No!!!