Sushi Kushi Imai, a traditional Edo-style Sushi & Kushi (Japanese BBQ Skewers) spot in the strip mall on Wilshire Blvd. & San Vicente is not to be skipped. Their Beverly Hills zip code backs up their bountiful, A-class Sashimi without the snobby prices, especially at Happy Hour.
- silky, big 'n fresh Salmon Sashimi & Cucumber (5 pcs $5.50)
- buttery, creamy Toro Sushi (2 pcs $6.00)
- tangy with a kick Spicy Tuna Cut Roll (6 pcs $3.50)
- subtle, tender Scallop with Artichoke & Vegan Butter ($3)
- lacked seasoning and excitement, Baked Custard Snow Crab with Egg & Fish Broth ($3)
- truly tender, full of flavor Filet Mignon Kushi Skewer with Dipping Sauces ($4.50)
- crisp, citrusy 'n gingery House Organic Salad ($2.40)
- major selling point for me, wholesome, nutty Brown Rice (Side $2, for Sushi $0.50, for Roll $1)
I've been going to Sushi Kushi Imai for about 3 years now – mainly because I love their fresh fish & optional brown rice. Every time I take someone new, they are so impressed by their really, really, ridiculously good Sushi Lunch Specials ($11.80-15.80) & Sashimi Samplers (Shiso Leaf included, $24-38) that's served in this low key-would never even think to visit-strip small spot.
So when I took the hand model for their 5-year Anniversary Special $3 Menu – still going on now! – on top of their regular Happy Hour every day from 5-7:30pm, his jaw plummeted to floor at the mere $30 spent on 8 dishes & 3 beers for 2 people. Needless to say, we'll be coming back for more, and you should too (just don't take my seat at the bar after divulging this secret spot!)
The Salmon Sashimi is very generous, portion wise, and is perhaps the silkiest and freshest we've had. It's served atop sliced Cucumbers as an added bonus.
The Toro Sushi– oh how I love thee – is fatty, buttery and scrumptious.
The Spicy Tuna is delish and definitely adds some fire to your tongue. (Bite Advice: Dip it in the Filet Mignon Kushi's Creamy Mayo Dipping Sauce to tame the flame.)
The Sauteed Scallop, while fresh & tender, looks prettier than it tastes with subtle zing from the Artichoke & Vegan Butter Broth.
Being a quiche freak, the Baked Crab Custard is just lackluster. It really needs a touch of Cream, Cheese, or Spice to keep the flavors from falling flat.
Even the House Organic Salad has more going on with a zesty Citrus Ginger Carrot Vinaigrette. And you can't go wrong amping up your fiber intake with a Brown Rice side for $2.
Wash it all down with $1 Sapporo on Draft, friendly service, 3 different seating areas, and Edo-period paintings and you'll forget all about the fact you're in a strip mall (a Beverly Hills one, no less.)
Sushi Kushi Imai is open daily, has a full bar, and is available for catering parties with a traditional Edo-era pushcart Sushi Wagon.
8300 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. 323-655-2253.