Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Nothing Says Romance Like Fried Shrimp Heads


Having no Valentine's plans until about 4 p.m, yesterday, J and I decided to wing it, and kicked off our celebration with drinks at the Golden Gopher, a downtown bar with fabulous sidecars. We then headed up to Little Tokyo and found seats at the sushi bar within Izayoi, an izakaya (Japanese pub food) joint. The crowd was low-key, a handful of couples and larger groups of Japanese businessmen. We started with amberjack sushi, followed by a small bowl of plum-marinated shark fin and a plate of fried fish cakes. The fine ribbons of shark fin on top of sliced daikon were not my favorite, but the fish cakes delighted, filled with vegetables, lotus root, garlic, burdock and squid.

Sneaking a peak at our neighbors plates, we opted for the popular sweet shrimp sushi, a dish in two parts. First, the body of the shrimp on sushi rice, followed by the entire heads deep-fried (they looked a lot like the guy pictured up top, black eyes and all). I know for many folks this isn't remotely adventurous, but it was for me. One big crunchy bite, though, and I was hooked--the salty, shrimpy, crispiness--yum. After a bit more sushi, we finished with grilled yellowtail collar. This tender packet of meat was kept extremely moist inside the skin--just like cooking fish in parchment paper. With a few sips of Sapporo left, we sat sated, aglow in the romance of raw fish and shrimp heads.

Golden Gopher
417 W. 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
213.614.8001

Izayoi
132 S. Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.613.9554

Photo by Open Cage

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Sushi is my favorite food and it increases my chances to have sexual intercourse as it's said to have aphrodisiac effects.

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