Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Kirala isn't a real Japanese restaurant

That's right. It isn't. Sure it's good, the sushi had generous slices of fish and the robata items were very good. I could go into more detail about what exactly the food did to my palate and how i was "bouncing around in anticipation for the next course" and shit, but
1) I don't want to sound like a complete tool.
2) You can get plenty of that on my sister's blog (Quit your whining I just gave you free advertising).
Kirala's food wasn't flawless though. The spicy sardine from the grill wasn't actually spicy, and the assorted nigiri that came with the sushi dinners included tamago and ebi, cheap fillers that lovers of raw fish would be happier without. At Kirala's prices, the inclusion of these particular (read "crappy") pieces of sushi is disappointing (as is their inclusion of fake grass on your plate. I fucking hate that fake grass...who the hell decided that all sushi should be served with fake grass?). If you go for sushi, you're much better off ordering your favorites a la carte, provided your waitress doesn't choose to selectively tune you out if you change your mind, then "accidentally" bring you the sushi you didn't want and still charge you the 6 bucks for it. Also, we were at a table near the entrance to the bathroom and right by the most crowded area of the bar, cut off from the main dining area by loud drunk college people (two of whom smelled strangely similar to strippers...trust me I know the smell).
None of these flaws, however, are what make Kirala unauthentic. They've overlooked the one thing that makes every Japanese restaurant a Japanese restaurant.
There's no fake food displayed in the window.
Seriously, just hop on a plane and go to Tokyo right now. Every restaurant has ultra-realistic models of the food they serve in a display window. In fact, if it weren't for those ultra-realistic models, many visitors to Japan (including my family) would starve, or eat delicious Mos Burger every day (Don't ask me what the hell the website says, I freaking don't speak Japanese...all I know is that at their website, you can "Catch the latest MOS news and charge yourself with joy").
So in the end, Kirala has good food, but suffers from a gross lack of authenticity. You should sitll go check it out though, you might get to see strippers.

2100 Ward St
Berkeley, CA 94705


starchmouse said...


Anyways, I don't think I'd wait that long for their sushi. Robata, yes. In fact, I would say, don't go to Kirala for a meal. Go there for a drink and a grilled snack.

Sigh. Mos Burger. Hell, I'd be happy eating belgian waffle all day long. You have to learn how to be happy eating sushi that's not from Tsukiji, or else you will be very very sad for the rest of your life. I still say secret sushi rules...

Alice said...

I don't think Kirala is all that of a Japanese restaurant. There are much better options in the neighborhood...

By the way, I am anxiously waiting for a new post. I'm a regular over at starchmouse's blog too!