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Kyoto Sushi: Where the good times 'roll'

Posted: January 16, 2009 3:54 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2009 3:59 p.m.

Left to right: Chun Park, co-owner of Kyoto Sushi in Stevenson Ranch, stands with Jason Lee, sushi chef.

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Do you like hand rolls or cut rolls? How about California, rainbow, dynamite or crazy rolls?

Whichever way you like it, Kyoto Sushi has you covered.

And it doesn't have to be sushi, either. This family operated restaurant, in business for 10 years in Stevenson Ranch, offers a selection of tempting Japanese-style food, including chicken teriyaki, tempura and miso soup.

But, with a name like Kyoto "Sushi," you gotta figure those hand-crafted delicacies are the specialty - and special they are.

Chun Park, his wife Soon and his son James, are the owners of Kyoto Sushi, in the Valencia Marketplace, at 25712 The Old Road in Stevenson Ranch. The Park family also owns Kyoto Sushi at 27039 McBean Parkway, Valencia, in the Promenade at Town Center, and the new Gogi House, an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, at 26524 Bouquet Canyon Road, in the Vons shopping center across from Best Buy.

Whatever the menu, whatever the location, the Parks have been, and continue to be, in business in the SCV "for the long haul." And, as such, they enjoy turning customers into friends. "I like Valencia," Chun Park said. "These are good people, and I want to thank all our customers."

"Most of our regular customers are on a first-name basis, and we try to pass that onto our employees," James Park said.

Good food and a friendly atmosphere keep the customers coming back, and this played out on the day Escape visited Kyoto Sushi in Stevenson Ranch.

Canyon country resident Mic De Fazio was enjoying a Red Dragon roll for the first time, but explained he had been coming to the restaurant for about four years.

Our Escape editor (yeah, that's me) had the pleasure of sampling both the Red California Roll ($8.95) and the Tempura Roll ($7.95), which Chun Park said were popular items.

The Red California Roll was a delicious creation of a California roll with spicy tuna on top, drizzled with spicy sauce. Even with the hit of spice, none of the flavors were overpowering, and the overall effect has to be described as "fresh-tasting."

Shrimp tempura inside, avocado on top, with spicy mayo and eel sauce, the Tempura Roll was a delight to the senses, both visual and taste. Artfully winding on the plate, when brought to the mouth, the crunch of the tempura, smoothed-over by avocado, enhanced by the extras, was so lovely I didn't want to overpower it with soy sauce.

Chun Park noted that next month Kyoto Sushi will have an expanded menu, with maybe 50 new and delectable items. And, well aware of the economic times, Kyoto Sushi is currently offering a half-priced menu. That means most sushi and hand rolls are $2.50 each.

"That's any time of the day at either location," Park said.

Additionally, to encourage regular customers, there is a Bonus Card program, where you earn a five percent bonus on every purchase more than $20, which can be redeemed when the bonus builds up to more than $10.

Kyoto Sushi offers a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and there are all you can eat sushi lunch ($21.95) and dinner ($23.95) specials.




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