Osawa Shabu Shabu Sushi
Beautiful cuisine in a lovely location. An amazing first-impression of sushi.
My upbringing deeply ingrained a fear of all raw meat, and so sushi had never been on my to-do list ….but I do like trying new things. It was time.
For my first time eating sushi I wanted to make sure: A. I didn’t get sick. B. It was actually GOOD sushi so that a single negative experience didn’t unfairly taint my perspective. Osawa Shabu Shabu Sushi in Old Town Pasadena seemed to be a good bet.
Old Town Pasadena is quaint and quiet in the morning hours and we took our time strolling the streets. We arrived at opening and requested to be seated at the bar for a view of the preparation. The fresh catch was coming in and it was amazing watching the elderly Japanese gentleman create culinary masterpieces. He handled the blade like find ink-pen, quick and precise strokes that created form and shape into every cut of meat and garnish.
Honestly, I was still scared to try sushi. My hands were shaking. The menu was completely foreign to me; I didn’t know any of the dish names or translations. Fortunately, a friendly couple came and joined us at the bar. The word is Tuesday morning is delivery day, guaranteeing the freshest catch. By observation I was able to follow their lead, and I figuring out what to dip in which bowl.
The taste was so vastly different from anything I’ve ever tried; I couldn’t describe it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Simply different. What I was relieved to find, was that NOTHING tasted like fish. I was eating raw shrimp and yellowtail, but there wasn’t even the faintest flavor of fish. The meat itself was so mild, it was almost more about texture than taste.