One of the restaurants I went to during dineLA’s Summer 2013 Restaurant Week was Sake House by Hikari, a Japanese fusion restaurant located in the heart of downtown Culver City. The dineLA dinner menu consisted of 3 courses, with dishes ranging from Sashimi Salad to Lobster Yaki Noodle.
To start off our dinner, the waiters served each of us a generous bowl of Spicy Miso Soup. This was definitely not a traditional miso soup, but it was very unique and savory. The shitake mushrooms and jalapeños added an intense level of flavor and spice to the dish.
For the first course, I tried the Sashimi Salad and Zensai One Two Three, which were both beautifully plated. The Sashimi Salad contained different cuts of sashimi on a bed of mixed greens. The portion was small (only one piece of each type of sashimi), but it was well put together. There was no need to dip the sashimi in soy sauce–the house ginger dressing alone added a nice touch of flavor.
The Zensai (Japanese for “hors d’oeuvre”) One Two Three included two pieces of crispy rice with spicy tuna, a small bundle of seaweed salad, and three pieces of popcorn shrimp with garlic mustard sauce. The texture of the rice contrasted well with the creaminess of the spicy tuna. The seaweed salad was fresh and crisp. The popcorn shrimp, although generously coated with the sweet and tangy sauce, retained its crispy texture.
Our main courses included a variety of sushi and sashimi–the 9 pcs Sushi with Tuna Roll and 12 pcs Sashimi with Spicy Tuna Roll. Both dishes, especially the sushi plate, were beautifully arranged. Unfortunately, compared to their presentation, the taste and quality of the sushi and sashimi simply did not deliver. Some pieces of fish, such as the tuna, were sinewy and difficult to chew. Despite this, we continued to eat everything off our plate. We were more than satisfactorily full by the end of our meal!
For dessert, our options were Green Tea Ice Cream or Tempura Ice Cream. The green tea ice cream was not overly sweet and had a strong green tea flavor. The tempura ice cream–a big scoop of green tea ice cream deep-fried in tempura batter–was simply divine. The warm, crispy shell paired perfectly with the cold and sweet creaminess of the ice cream.
Despite the subpar quality of the fish, we enjoyed our dinner here. I recommend dining here for the non-sushi dishes, which were delicious and generously portioned. If you can handle the heat, don’t leave without trying the Spicy Miso Soup!
Sake House by Hikari
9729 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Price: dineLA Prix Fixe Dinner Menu, $35