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Berkeley: Kirala


My friend Alex tells me that Kirala is a hot spot for locals.  It certainly had the atmosphere of someplace that has the good food and easy atmosphere that can attract people over and over.  (Of course, maybe you need to be a local to find it.  I drove bast the restaurant at least four times before I saw that little tiny sign.) We sat at the sushi bar, which gave us an excellent view of the grill as well as the sushi chef.  The menu is a variety of nouvelle Japanese foods, both grilled and raw fish, sometimes (although not always) with a twist.


This is our sushi plate.  All the sushi was excellent.  The eel was a particularly pleasant surprise.  I like good eel but I find all too many eel servings to be harsh.  This eel clearly had the flavor of eel but wasn't overpowering and with a very complementary sauce.  We also tried several other small plates.  The chicken with pickled beet sauce was excellent.   Alex recommended the beef-wrapped asparagus, which lived up to its billing.  The dish was very elegant and the asparagus took me a bit by surprise, but both the beef and the asparagus came through very well.


For dessert we tried ice cream wrapped in a relatively thin layer of rice that had been pounded into a paste, similar in consistency but a little softer than marzipan.  The rice was cold but still pliable.  I ordered the red bean ice cream but we agreed that Alex's selection of the mango ice cream was the winner.

Kirala on Urbanspoon

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