Well, Beacon’s gone, boo hoo. I loved that place, but I guess the clog of was too much for them to handle. Thankfully, we still have K-Zo down the street, flanking the Trader Joe’s parking lot.
This is a groovy -ish spot, despite the fact that they don’t get the rub of walk-by pedestrian traffic like many other spots in Culver City. The food is great, the vibe is now, and it’s worth visiting, unless you’re trying to dine on a budget. If that’s the case, you should head to , which is more affordable, but you’ll miss industrial cool factor at K-Zo which is higher than high.
Helming the sushi bar is owner/chef Keizo Ishiba, cutting the fish with the finesse of a surgeon. He’s had the restaurant for about four years now, and is both trained in Japanese and French styles of cooking. His artistry spans about 30 years, working in such places as Osaka, Kyoto, Hawaii and Los Angeles. Most renowned for his sushi, his expertise also extends to an arsenal of small plates, putting a timely twist on everything coming out of the kitchen.
Although I don’t usually do fried food, the Goma Wild Chicken ($8) was lovely, the portion of nuggets large enough to warrant a doggie bag. I was alone with this graze since my pal was still on her diet. I almost seduced her into this protein adventure, but she opted for sashimi, salad and sushi instead.
The Seaweed Salad ($8) was a fresh and healthy choice, and it nicely balanced the other dishes to follow.
We both adored the Nasu Miso ($6), a succulent dish of sautéed Japanese eggplant sprinkled with sesame seeds and slathered in miso sauce. It slid down so easily, I could have dined on this alone.
If you’re a sashimi fan, the tuna was amazing ($12), featuring some of the thickest slabs of sashimi I’ve ever enjoyed. The girth on these hunks alone necessitated cutting each piece so I could get them into my mouth. Not a bargain at $12, but well worth the price of admission.
Another nice surprise was their Calamari Steak (Ika Saute-$9) a real value, sautéed in garlic butter, and flanked with some origami-inspired mushrooms and a few hot peppers, which remained lonely on my plate.
If innovation is on your mind, then you owe it to yourself to pay homage to this dining offshoot in Culver City. Free parking is available in the Trader Joe’s parking lot next door.
Step inside K-Zo and get ready to be wowed.
K-Zo, 9240 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232-2636; (310) 202-8890