DELICATESSEN BY OSAWA
NEW CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE DELI HITS PASADENA
Pasadena foodies have reason to rejoice as Delicatessen by Osawa, a contemporary Japanese style delicatessen, is now offering quality, fresh eats in a casual and affordable setting. Billed as the first contemporary Japanese deli-style restaurant in Los Angeles, the powers that be behind Osawa, owner Sayuri Tachibe and Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, are making it easy to indulge in fine, fresh fare.
Osawa’s Chef Shigefumi Tachibe is best known for his time at CHAYA Restaurant Group and M Café. Having helped introduce “fusion” to the culinary world in the early ‘80s as well as having created Tuna Tartare, a signature dish on just about every menu, the husband and wife duo are excited to introduce Delicatessen by Osawa.
“We wanted to introduce a Japanese style deli that prepares fresh and traditional Japanese cuisine in a contemporary and healthy way, in a fast-casual environment,” says Sayuri.
Menu favorites include 2-, 3- and 4-item make your own deli combos. Each combo comes with steamed rice and miso soup. While selections may vary, we opted for a combo of delicious slow roasted beets; pickled mackerel; ginger cucumber; and very flavorful green beans. Consider the beets, comprised of red and golden beets slowly roasted and mixed with frisée and kale mixed with balsamic vinaigrette, a solid choice.
The Hot Items are very pleasing too, including the very addictive Potato Croquette, a lightly fried mix of mashed potato covered in panko, or the indulgent Crab Cream Croquette. Another favorite is the Kushi Pork Katsu—thinly sliced pork tenderloin lightly fried and covered in panko. The Organic Chicken Karaage—Japanese style fried chicken, served with spicy sriracha sauce—is another must-have.
I was a big fan of the Vegetarian Curry made with Osawa's delicious house made curry. The curry sauce was just spectacular. I didn’t mind forgoing a meat dish at all. Rich in Omega-3, the Seared Escalope Salmon Salad with poached seasoned salmon is one of the most popular menu items but I found it to be quite bland. Instead, I’d recommend the Soy Glazed Black Cod Don comprised of perfectly broiled soy marinated black cod on top of steamed rice and served with steamed broccoli, asparagus and shitake mushroom. Delicious!
If you’re on the run, the Grab & Go section offers pre-packaged selections such as the Delicatessen by Osawa daily Bento Boxes like the Shokado Bento Box, Sozai Mixed Bento, Salmon Miso Bento, and BBQ Chicken Bento. Fresh sushi, such as the Spicy Tuna Roll, Battera Sushi, California Roll and the Cucumber Avocado Roll are also available, as are handy dandy snacks.
I like the low-key and inviting setting at Delicatessen by Osawa. While Chef Shigefumi Tachibe is known for his fine dining meals, he has helped craft a casual environment where you can enjoy good eats without fanfare or high prices. And since not every meal can be a white tablecloth affair, I welcome the chance to indulge in good, fresh and affordable fare.
Delicatessen by Osawa is located at 851 Cordova Street in Pasadena. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 6 pm. Call 626-844-8788.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography by: Acuna-Hansen