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Chain of Fools for the Sushi Fix

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We have a sort of legendary aversion to chain restaurants, and our friends do the best they can to accomodate our (alleged) snobbery. But recently we were craving sushi, and the suggested lunch spot was a sushi place that happened to be one of a chain. (No, not Todai. Don't get us started.) LAist enjoyed a relatively inexpensive and remarkably fresh and well-prepared sushi lunch at the Hastings Ranch (Pasadena) location of the sushi chain Kabuki.

Kabuki is known for its 1/2 Price Sushi, which makes the $2-$4 orders the big draw. We opted for what turned out to be delicious and fresh tuna and salmon sushi, a decent yellowtail roll, and a somewhat skimpy, but adequate, Philadelphia Roll from the 1/2 Price menu. From the non-discounted Premium Sushi side, we sampled the Rainbow Roll, the Rose Roll (Shrimp Tempura and Spicy Tuna), and the Crunch Roll (Spicy Tuna, Tempura Crunch, Avocado, and Smelt Eggs), all of which were tasty and nicely presented. Our dining companion who does not care for sushi was pleased with their usual generous order of Chicken Teriyaki and some asparagus rolls; Kabuki has an extensive menu of Japanese and American fare that does not involve raw fish. What Kabuki has going for them are the low prices and the good food. What was not good was the service; both our server and the chefs were slow in attanding to our table and our order. We had to wait some time for the bill, but when it came it was small, considering all of us were full to the gills (groan!). While we don't anticipate being devotees to the Kabuki chain, we do feel we got our money's worth. But the search for good sushi in the city contiunes...

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, 3539 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena, with other locations in Burbank, Cerritos, Hollywood, Howard Hughes Center, Old Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, and Woodland Hills.