PASADENA’S OSAWA TURNS THREE
LEGENDARY SUSHI CHEF ROLLS OUT NEW MENU
Legendary Chef Shigefumi Tachibe’s is celebrating the three-year anniversary of Osawa with a new spring specials menu. I for one find that to be extremely exciting foodie news.
It’s no secret that the Japanese culinary arts are all about balance; the balance of cooking method, color, texture, sense and taste yet maintaining this balance is no easy fete. Yet Osawa’s Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, the man who created tuna tartare, has been finding this balance with ease for years.
“Keeping myself creatively challenged is integral to Osawa’s menu,” Chef Tachibe reflects. The former Executive Chef of the CHAYA Restaurant Group, Chef Tachibe has officially settled into his new home at Osawa in Pasadena where he is enjoying getting back to his culinary roots. “I love customer interaction,” Chef says. “Witnessing customers enjoying my food is what I enjoy most.”
Having been a fan of Chef Tachibe since first trying his creative cuisine at CHAYA before falling for his fine fare at Osawa, it’s no surprise that his cooking knife is on display at the National Museum of American History from the Smithsonian Collection.
“He is a great entertainer,” declares Sayuri Tachibe, owner of Osawa and wife of Chef Tachibe. Whether you consider a master chef to be an artist or an entertainer, Chef Tachibe has the ability to keep devoted patrons satiated with his ever-evolving Specials Menu.
While Specials remain steadfast on the menu, the base component of any dish may experience variant twists depending on the availability of fresh, seasonal ingredients curated by Chef Tachibe twice a week from local farmers’ markets. Menu highlights include Grilled Anago (saltwater eel), which rests atop a bed of crispy fried rice in a stoneware bowl urging diners to quite literally mix things up. Take this piece of advice and make sure all of the rice has the chance to sizzle and crunch for a juxtapose of textures.
A must-try for all sushi lovers is the supple Iwashi Sushi (sardine), which will leave a buttery sensation that delights the palate. FYI, an iota of ginger keeps the oils of this omega3 rich fish tame and smooth. Fish lovers will also love the whole grilled Branzino (an absolute favorite of mine) with a layer of freshly sautéed spinach, bathed in soy lemon butter sauce.
Guests can also order favorites from the mouth-watering main menu, which is chock-full of traditional Japanese culinary gems like the austere and elegant Shabu Shabu enjoyed at the counter where guests can get up close and personal with the chefs. By contrast, the less formal Sukiyaki is a hot pot medley of meat and vegetables that is no less opulent in taste.
The Shokado Bento Box invites diners to sample premium Japanese fare from land and sea. Always a crowd-pleaser, a fresh selection of sushi keeps customers satisfied year-round with cut rolls, hand rolls, sashimi and the ever-popular Chirashi Bowl.
No Japanese meal would be complete without a bottle (or two) of fine sake and Osawa offers from the slightly dry Mizu No Shirabe to the crisp and clean Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo. As a token of Osawa’s appreciation, and in honor of the its three-year anniversary, Osawa will be offering $3 draft beers for the remainder of the month of April.
Sweet Specials include the beautifully indulgent baked yam with its fluffy white interior scooped out, mixed with custard and stuffed back into the yam skin. Topped with ice cream, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce and viola, you have Yam Brulee, the most decadent dessert Osawa has to offer in addition to their velvety smooth Black Sesame Panna Cotta.
“We always want to treat each and every one of our guests as if they are coming to our home for dinner,” says Sayuri.
Osawa is located at 77 N. Raymond in Pasadena. Open for Lunch daily from 11:30am to 2:30pm; Dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5pm to 9:30pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. Call 626-683-1150.
Photography Courtesy Of: Osawa
Story by Jose Martinez