Venice Beach

Our local travel to Los Angeles, California had brought us to Marina del Rey. We were staying at the Beach retreat, which we found on AirBnB. While in the Los Angeles area we wanted to try out some restaurant quality ramen. Where we live there is none to be found and our food TV watching habits on Japan had been filled with tales of ramen shops a plenty. So we made the effort to seek out a little section near Marina del Rey that catered to ramen.

Tsujita LA : Tsukemen (aka dipping ramen)

Restaurant style ramen is nothing like the Top Ramen that is the staple of many college student's diet. Although it does have some variations and different techniques of preparation, it is cooked to strict standards. We will be curious to see how this compares to the ramen found in Japan once we are able to visit. After wards we talked around the local area which is booming with new life and restaurants, much of the floral decorating the area is blooming with life,
Callistemon citrinus 'Splendens' (Bottle Brush)
Callistemon citrinus 'Splendens' (Bottle Brush)

Just down the street from Tsujita is beard Papa's where we grabbed a small treat.

Beard Papa's
The Buttercup LA

After a fulfilling breakfast we headed back to the beach retreat to start our bike ride towards Venice. There is something calm and relaxing about biking near the beach and the trails are clearly thought out and wide enough to accommodate traffic.
Riding towards Venice
Almost to the Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
Venice Beach Boardwalk
Ocean Front Way
Cow Pigeon!
Venice Pier

A lot of people make the trip to visit Venice Beach for the day, and it is definitely a fun thing to do. Lot's to see and interesting characters to witness.

For dinner we made reservations at Kiriko Sushi a local sushi restaurant that had good reviews and was located just down the street from the ramen shop we ate at earlier. We had made reservations due to its popularity. It turned out to be the biggest disappointment of our trip.
Tuna Tartar

We ordered the tuna tartar for its popularity and it looked like something different. What was it attempting to be, we will never know. It was oddly plated and the taste was incredibly bland despite having different ingredients mixed in with the tuna. The service is abysmal and quiet frankly worst than the food, but only by a small fraction. Our experience there was not unique to just us, as other patrons were visibly upset while they were left waiting at their tables for service. The restaurant wasn't understaffed but seemed to be employed by those who didn't know exactly what their job was and whenever we managed to get someones attention they told us that someone else would be over to help us.
Maguro, Toro and Sake

The rice for the sushi was undercooked and lacked any flavor. Without a heavy dose of wasabi and soy sauce the dishes were flavorless, but we were unable to add anything as they fell apart as soon as we tried to pick them up with chopsticks.
Spicy Tuna Roll
Dragon Roll

The majority of our food was left on the plate as it was inedible. We debated staying for dessert and considered our options. After looking over the menu we figured it would be worth trying. Sadly, we came to regret that decision as well.
Sweet Red Bean and Vanilla Ice Cream
Pumpkin & Caramel Flan and Vanilla Ice Cream

Kiriko is not recommended to anyone at all. The dinner was terrible. The dessert was awful. Their fish tasted either bland or old. Tuna tartar was tasteless. Pumpkin flan had burnt caramel sauce which ruined the sweetness. The sweet red beans were mushy and the ice cream tasted like the kind you squeeze out of a machine at a cheap buffet. The entire meal lacked any integrity. Our waiter deliberately ignored us almost the entire meal stretching our 30 minutes dinner into a 3 hour waiting game. We paid quickly and headed back to our beach retreat. Despite our dinner, the day had been a blast and we were exhausted from it. We would be heading back home in the morning.

Our final day is just around the corner!