Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sweet Music at Kagura?

Kagura Japanese Cuisine
6324 E Santa Ana Canyon Road
Anaheim, CA 92807

It almost felt like I was cheating. I was in the same shopping center as Slater's 50/50, and I was not having one of their awesome burgers. Of course we did meet at Slater's for a drink, but then it was off to the opposite side of the parking lot to Kagura Japanese Cuisine.

Our friend Lindy told us about this place the last time we were at Slater's. Kagura is a small, quiet restaurant tucked away in the corner of this shopping center. They have six tables, and a small sushi bar. The muted colors and dim lighting give this place a very relaxed, almost tranquil feel. According to the waiter, they have been in business for almost two years. Most of our party of eight opted to try the three course prefixed dinner. These included an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $28. Not a bad deal. Let's see what Kagura has in store for us on this night.

Steve starts off the food portion of this blog with his Small House Salad and Miso Soup, both were served with his entree. He felt that the miso soup was served hot, and served its purpose. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but how great could miso soup really be? He thought that the side salad was a bit on the salty side, but felt it was made with fresh produce.

I forgot to write down who had this appetizer, sorry guys. This is the Octopus Carpaccio. The octopus, as you would expect was pretty chewy, but this was not too big on taste. Not one of our favorites this night.

This was one of our favorites of the night, the Kobe Beef Carpaccio. This appetizer had big time flavor to go along with its good sized portion. This is definitely a must have when coming to Kagura.

For my appetizer selection I went with the Takenoko Foie Gras. This was my first time having foie gras, and I was really happy with my choice. It was very good, and everyone at the table that tried this had a great response to this rich plate.

This is not like any tuna salad I have ever seen. This is the Spicy Tuna Salad, which is Hawaiian big eye tuna sashimi with spicy soy dressing. I did not get a chance to try this dish, but I was told it had great flavor, and the tuna was very fresh.

Lindy did not opt to have the three course meal, instead she wanted to have some assorted sushi. I am not very well versed in sushi, and I do not know which is which, but I wrote down that she had Bluefin, Spanish Mackerel, and Amber Jack. She raved about all of these, especially the Spanish mackerel.

Katie followed suit with Lindy, by going the sushi route. She was so excited to go out for sushi, she ordered three rolls, a Philly Roll, California Roll, and a Spider Man Roll. The spider man roll was made of deep fried soft shell crab, crab meat, avocado, and smelt egg, wrapped in cucumber. Katie liked this unusual combination. She was also pretty excited by the other two rolls, calling the Philly roll smooth and velvety, and the California roll very fresh. These quenched her sushi addiction for at least for a few days.

Steve's entree was the Jidori Chicken. Steve thought that this free range chicken could have been more tender, but he liked the sauce, calling it sweet and spicy without being too much of either.

My great friend Richard ordered the Braised "Karubi" Short Rib. This short rib is braised for five hours, and served with a red wine sauce. Richard called this Japanese pot roast very tender, and he loved the sauce so much he told me he wanted to lick the plate. Glad I did not have to watch that PDA.

The prefixed meal also featured an Assorted Sushi option. Tuna, salmon, albacore, hamachi, shrimp, halibut, and a California roll made up the contents of this plate. There were no complaints from the people that had the sushi. I was told that the shrimp was the best. Heather said she was not cool with the wasabi.

I saw Rib Eye Steak on the prefixed menu, and of course I gravitated towards it. This eight ounce steak was served in a light garlic port sauce. I ordered this medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. I did not notice the garlic as much as I would have liked, but the flavor of the meat was enough to make up for this. I also enjoyed the way this was already cut into strips. It helped speed up my eating time. The veggies that came with this were okay, nothing too remarkable.

These last two items belong to our new friend Sam. Sorry Sam, but I did not write down what you ordered. I know, what a horrible blogger I am! One of them looks like Yellowtail Sashimi, but I could not even begin to guess what was on the tray above. He was definitely happy with his choices though.

Finally it was time for dessert. Everyone, other than Katie had the Panna Cotta. I had not known it until I got home and looked it up, but panna cotta is an almond Italian cream. Here it is served with a raspberry sauce. It definitely had an interesting flavor, very subdued. The texture was smooth and resembled a more plain tasting flan. Katie was the lone person to try the Sesame Ice Cream. Again, this was something totally different. The taste was not bad, just odd. I did not really get a sesame taste, but I would not even know how to describe a sesame taste. This ice cream kind of tasted earthy to me, but maybe that is just what I got out of it.

Kagura was a great find, thanks to Lindy. The service in this tiny restaurant was very solid. Our waiter had a great sense of humor, and was really on top of things. He suggests that people make reservations on weekends, because it can get very busy here. The prices here were not too crazy either. Like I said before, a three course meal will set you back $28. I feel I definitely got my monies worth here. The sushi and sashimi prices seem to be on par with other sushi places I have heard about. All in all, it was a great night out, with some really great friends. It almost made me forget about the burgers over at Slater's. Okay, at least for one night.

Out of five sheets of music, (because Kagura translates to English as, entertainment of the gods, which includes music), five being best to zero being worst, Kagura gets a solid 3 sheets of music.

For more information on Kagura Japanese Cuisine, click here:

Kagura Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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