Sushi Ichi in Pasadena

Is there a more perfect food than sushi? If one exists, I have yet to experience it because beautiful slices of fresh fish lying so gently on a mound of barely warm seasoned rice is my idea of perfection. Of course, there are varying degrees of quality and style when it comes to sushi- some places pride themselves in serving 10-ingredient rolls the size of a baby’s arm, while others focus more on letting the ingredients shine through in simple preparations. I’m partial to the latter, and one of the places that does this best is Sushi Ichi in Pasadena. Ridiculously fresh fish, perfectly cooked and seasoned rice, crisp nori and a deft hand by Chef Ichi combine to form one, spectacularly sublime sushi experience. No words can describe just how good it is, so I’ll go ahead and let the photos do the talking. Enjoy!

Uni- sea urchin

Marinated tuna- maguro no zuke

Ikura- salmon roe- his is the best I’ve ever tasted. Fresh, marinated in homemade stock. It’s sweet and delicious.

Japanese-style fried chicken- tatsuta-age. The meat is marinated before frying so it’s full of flavor.

Halibut “engawa”- the thin muscle of the dorsal fin which is located on the side. It’s lightly torched and topped with yuzu pepper.

Kohada- gizzard shad lightly cured in vinegar. The one on the right has a shiso leaf underneath the fish; J doesn’t like this so the left one is his.

Razor clams

Spanish mackerel – served with spicy daikon, green onion and ponzu. The fish bones are deep fried until crispy, like a cracker.

Tai- snapper topped with yuzu pepper

Fried fish served with a soy dipping sauce

A little sake to go with our meal…

Sayori- Japanese half beak, topped with spicy grated daikon, green onions, ginger and ponzu. One of my favorites, and gorgeous, too.

This “gunkan” (mound of sushi rice wrapped with a strip of nori) had fresh halibut, twigs of mountain potato, bonito flakes, daikon sprouts, freshly grated yuzu peel and a seasoned soy sauce. Fresh and delicious.

Chef Ichi, his wife and staff are always so welcoming, it feels like home.

Sushi Ichi
633 South Arroyo Parkway  
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 395-9977


4 Responses to Sushi Ichi in Pasadena

  1. 1) my mouth watered through this whole post. 2) we need to go here.

  2. Your sister’s going to cry a little when she sees those pics.

  3. Thanks for the reminder! I know where I’ll be dining this weekend :)

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