Sakae Sushi – This Is Not Jiro, But It’s Still Awesome

Sakae Sushi is one of the three places I mentioned in my post on Mitsuru Café that I can remember going to for as long as I’ve been alive (the third place is Sakura-Ya) because all of them are older than I am.  I’d feel like my blog is not complete until I’ve got a post on all three places.

The “restaurant” is not even a restaurant, but is rather a very small take-out place located right on Redondo Beach Blvd across the street from Pacific Square Shopping Center in Gardena.   This is not the high end sushi that you find at say Mori or Zo rather I think of it as “comfort” sushi that you eat at home.  They only makes 6 sushi items: nori maki, inari, ebi, saba, tamago yaki and California rolls.  Here’s all of the sushi except California rolls because I don’t like them:


Inari is a fried tofu skin pouch that has been marinated in a semi-sweet sauce that I believe has mirin, sugar, soy sauce and dashi and filled with sushi rice.  One note about all of their sushi is that the rice is rather sweet compared to most sushi places although I like it and it complements the sushi well. Normally you see these in the Japanese markets in their prepared food section, but those don’t taste nearly as good as Sakae; the rice is very fresh and the tofu skins are marinated just perfectly.  8.5/10

Tamago Maki

Tamago maki is a futomaki roll that instead of having nori (dried seaweed) as the outside layer instead it has thin layer of tamago (semi-sweet egg omelette) layer on the outside.  It is filled with shiitake mushrooms, spinach, tamago, pickled kampyo and oboro (the pink sweet stuff).  It’s fairly self-explanatory in flavor and the version here is very good. 8.25/10

Nori Maki

This is the same as the tamago maki except the outside is nori instead of tamago and it will have a piece of tamago as part of the filling.  This is also excellent.  8.25/10

Saba Sushi

Saba sushi is mackerel has been marinated in vinegar.  My grandmother said that traditionally you were supposed to have white meat, a bit of dark meat and skin on each piece.  This is the exactly how they do it at Sakae.  I really like their version; the fish is just right and goes great with the rice.  8.25/10

Ebi Sushi (Cooked Shrimp)

I’m not a huge fan of ebi as I find it rather plain and that’s the same here although I will say it’s better than most since the shrimp tastes fresher.  7.25/10

1st pic (clockwise from top left): inari, saba, nori maki, tamago maki

2nd pic (clockwise from top left): ebi, nori maki, tamago yaki, inari

Overall, I really like this place and if you happen to be in Gardena do yourself a favor and pick some up for yourself.  Also, if you happen to be going anywhere around New Years and want a large order be aware that you need to call weeks or a month in advance because they do sell out for the large orders.

1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Ste 112
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-4550