Black Cod For Life

When on our way home from our epic camping trip, the boy and I started to have a major hankering for sushi. Or maybe I just had a major hankering for sushi…or anything that wasn’t peanut butter and jelly for that matter.

So while I drove, he did some quick online sushi research. And then we found Kirala. Kirala is in Berkeley and is apparently the place to go. We got there at exactly 5:00 and there was already a line wrapping around the outside of the building. And the restaurant didn’t even open till 5:30! It was intense.

We were both starving and pretty much ordered everything on the menu. I attacked the edamame with gusto!

And then slurped down some soup like it was ain’t no thang. I slurped it down so fast we couldn’t even capture the moment….now that’s intense.
As for sushi, we opted for the sampler platter so we could try a little bit of everything:
Still not quite sure what exactly was on here but that roll in front was definitely spicy tuna and then there was some salmon involved as well. That interesting looking creation behind the roll was actually an omelet! Not my favorite, but interesting none the less.
While we were feasting, I kept noticing sizzling plates of fish blow past me. Everyone seemed to be ordering the same small plate and it smelled delicious.
Well, I just can’t let something like that go. I needed to know what I was missing out on.

Two words: black cod.
Best thing I had that evening—hands down. After trying a bite, I lifted my fork in the air and proclaimed it tasted like…..butter! But not just any butter. No, this wondrous black cod tasted like European triple cream butter that had been sizzling in an old cast iron skillet, about to be poured over freshly popped corn.
I want to catch these fish.
I want to move to Berkeley just to be closer to Kirala so that I can eat this fish every night.
I want to have a dome sized fish tank full of these fish in my living room.
Anyways. There was more!

The Rock n Roll was delicious but paled to compare to the buttery fish of the gods. We both agreed that the wasabi was kickin’ and it brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. This is saying a lot because y’all know I love my spicy!
In conclusion, please go to Kirala, eat the black cod and report back to inform me that I am indeed not a crazy person. The verdict is still out.


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  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    July 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Too funny! I will have to take your word for it since I am in Texas but it looks pretty darn amazing!!!

  • R @ learningasichop.wordpress.com
    July 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve had black cod before. You are not crazy. It does, indeed, taste like butter. My husband gave me funny looks as I savored the fish.

    PS Hi Kelly!

  • Liz
    July 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Sushi = amazing. I went to a place with my brother and got a similar sample platter. And that Cod looks DELICIOUS. I have to say though, I see you going out to all of these restaurants and I don’t know how you have the willpower to not eat everything set in front of you! How do you do it??? haha

  • Carole
    July 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Here in Hawaii we call Black cod Butterfish. I didn’t know it was called Black cod until I went to college!

  • Christie
    July 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Black Cod is pretty fan-freaking-tastic! My fave sushi place also serves, it and a group of us will typically go together and make it part of our rotation (Ebi Chili Mayo Prawns, Sashimi, Black Cod, Gomae Salad, Yaki Udon, Tuna Carpaccio). Makes me hungry just thinking about it! I’m always amazed by the variation from restaurant to restaurant when it comes to Japanese food – such creative and innovative chefs! Jenna, you need to come up to Kelowna, BC (Canada), visit our wineries and sample some excellent food!! I’ll be your tour guide!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales
    July 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, I’ve never tried black cod but you make it sound amazing! I’ve also never had sushi; gosh I haven’t lived!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    July 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    um, i’ll take black cod and sushi, please and thank you! what a beautiful presentation too!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    July 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I have never had black cod but it sounds fabulous!

  • Kaz
    July 7, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Love sushi! I love your description of the black cod. You make it sound so yummy. 😀

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please
    July 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Oh my… I think I want to move to Berkeley now.

  • Ameena
    July 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve had black cod in Japan and it was seriously the most amazing thing in the world. One of my favorite types of fish ever!

  • Katy(The Balanced Foodie)
    July 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, amazing. Julia Child moment there or what?? 😉 The sushi looks great, but man when everyone is ordering the same thing how can you not order it too? I’m making a mental note to try the black cod at Kirala next time I’m up there. It sounds incredible.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    July 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    If you ask me it is vitally important to spy on what everyone else is doing at a restaurant. I mean if everybody’s doing it why shouldn’t you? Hahahaha

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    July 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I love your passion for food! You make me want to try everything and anything. And that wasabi must have had some kick if it made you cry.

  • Katie Heddleston
    July 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Looks yummy! Have you ever tried making your own sushi? I want to try that sometime with my husband as I think it’d be a fun activity and even healthier since you make it yourself.

  • ida
    July 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Black cod is soooo good. I only ever see it at japanese places too, which is weird b/c it should be on every menu in my opinion, anyway:)

  • Michelle @ NewLeafEats
    July 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Sushi! Yum!

    I can just imagine you like Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia… “mmmm.. buuutter…”

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    July 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Yum!! Don’t you just love it when you find restaurants like that?!

  • Jo @ jagsfitnessblog.com
    July 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Oh my word, delicious looking food! I’ve loved seeing all of your amazing pictures from your camping trip!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    July 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    You sure do know how to make a girl crave food, huh? So now I’ve GOT to have some of that cod. Too bad I’m on the East Coast. Alas, another reason Californians are spoiled. 😉

  • Maissa
    July 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Up here in Vancouver we call it Alaskan Black Cod or Sablefish. Best thing in the known world! And you’re absolutely right it tastes like the best butter in the world, except it’s chock full of omega-3s and much lower in saturated fat than butter (not that every girl doesn’t need some butter here and there).

    You can buy it at any fish monger’s. Just make sure you do buy it frozen, the good stuff (ie. wild caught, NOT FARMED) is caught up in Alaska, so they freeze it to keep it fresh on the way back down. I just defrost in my fridge overnight, and then marinate it in a mix of mirrin, soy sauce, white wine, and red miso. Then bake at 400 for about 10-12 minutes until the top is caramelized but the fish flakey and buttery on the inside.

    Then I die of happiness.

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    July 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Ohh my gosh – what an amazingly beautiful meal! That cod sounds phenomenal and I am sad that I’m so far away CA because I’d try that in a heartbeat!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    July 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Sushi is seriously the perfect food for all this hot weather. So fresh…AND refreshing.

  • Therese
    July 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    You sort of make me wish I ate fish again…

  • Karla
    July 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Everyone told me Kirala was the place to go for sushi! I never went the whole time I lived in Berkeley!! Kicking myself!

  • Maria
    July 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Black cod is my favorite fish of all time…confirmation that you aint crazy 😉

  • Stacey@http://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    July 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I love sushi, it looks delish.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    July 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I have never experienced black cod, but it sounds amazing! I wonder if it’s sold around here or not.

    And I love, love, love sushi. Especially veggie rolls with avocado. And salmon rolls. Oh yum. 😀

  • valerie
    July 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Oh how I love Kirala. Every time I go, the “waiter” asks me if I’m a runner. hahaha. Needless to say, I order a ton. I will definitely make a note to try the black cod. I never heard of it or even noticed it but then again when I’m there I’m pretty much stuffing my face/packing my cheeks.

  • Alyson @ Nourished Fitness
    July 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    no no no.. you MUST go to Joshu-ya’s in Berkeley for sushi (right off Telegraph on Dwight)!! Went to Cal for undergrad, and although Kirala has the rep, and I must admit it is good, Joshu-ya’s sushi is way better 🙂

  • Laura @ youngDCliving
    July 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This looks so good, I wish I was heading to the San Fran area so I could try this ok. I LOVE sushi, definitely get huge cravings for it often 🙂

  • Rachael
    July 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Food nostalgia moment (channeling Marcel Proust)…Kirala brings me back the Bay Area, and your pictures of Yosemite are a great reminder of the summer I practically lived there…thanks for reminding me of happy memories :)!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    July 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    What a wonderful array of sushi!!!! Looks pretty much like what I had every day for lunch when I was in Japan 🙂

  • Jenny
    July 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    That all looks damn good, you’re NOT crazy!

  • Brynne
    July 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I’m going to try black cod now, thank you.

  • amanda
    July 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I have never had black cod before but I love cod all the same. I think cod is really a nice piece of fish. Anyway, the sushi had a great presentation and looked delicious. ENjoy your trip!

  • Lisa
    July 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of black cod! I will have to try it! I recently experienced something new at a sushi restaurant: Toro! Very decadent!

  • Lauren
    July 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    You are my soul sister! Been there, done that, DITTO!

  • Jess- The Semi Abnormal Gal
    July 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    So, if my MacBook starts fritzing due to the copious amount of drool leaking through the keyboard you know who is responsible. The Black Cod, obviously. Le sigh.

  • skinnyrunner
    July 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    haha, thats funny because i do catch black cod… when commercial fishing in alaska. when we eat it, we salt and boil it until its tender and flaky or bake it with cheese on top. deelish.

  • Molly
    July 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Jenna. I recently found your blog and it’s very entertaining! Let me just say that sushi and japanese food in general is my absolute faaaavorite. That cod looks amazing!!

  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    July 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    this post is reason number 1024893248290348 why I belong in California. Good Food, Fresh Produce, WINNNEEE, yoga, hiking, big trees and SUSHI! For now I feel lucky to read about it through you 🙂 Looks Fantastic….also makes me want to strap my fishing boots on and get in a boat. MUST.TRY. BLACK CODDD. yum!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    July 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Mmm yes, black cod is amazing!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    July 8, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I LOVE black cod. It DOES taste like butter! I had it at Nobu in NYC a couple years back… love at first bite. You’re not crazy. Or if you are, we both are. 😉

  • Bridget
    July 8, 2010 at 6:42 am

    This post makes me very happy! 🙂 I live in Japan and actually don’t eat sushi very often-but when I do, it’s glorious! We had black cod at my welcome party three years ago, and I’ll tell you-that was part of why I fell in love with the staff at my school. 🙂 I’ve gone back to the same restaurant several times to have it. The seafood here makes me never want to go home! Hehe.

    Also glad that you had a great trip to Yosemite. My grandmother grew up near there, so have visited many times. Knowing know what I didn’t know the first time I visited-I would gladly have taken the wimp course! 😀 Congrats on another job well done!

  • Scott
    July 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Oh how I love black cod! First time I tasted it was in Seattle, and I loved it. It was cooked perfectly, melting on my tongue like butter! So I bought a whole black cod at Pikes Place, had it filleted, and shipped it back to Boston. My oh my it was soooo good.

    The sushi you show also looks great. Many sushi aficionados say that any sushi restaurant is only as good as its omelet. As for my, my favorite favorite favorite fish/shellfish at a sushi bar is the scallop. Sliced thin, sashimi style, I love it. Sweet and briny like the ocean. Pure heaven.

  • Caleb
    November 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Black cod is the best.