Carmel Magazine

CM SP16 Online Edition

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Kenny Fukumoto, Owner/Chef ack in 1975, Sony released the Betamax video tape, the cost of a Super Bowl ad was $107,000, and everyone went crazy for mood rings. And in Carmel, Kenny Fukumoto opened a tiny under- ground restaurant called Shabu Shabu. Diners walked down a flight of stairs, removed their shoes, sat on the floor and cooked their own dinner in traditional clay pots. He sold Shabu Shabu before bringing indoor-style grilling to The Barnyard with Robata. Always the innovator, Fukumoto took over the Shabu space again in the 1990s, raising the tables, losing the formality and renaming the restaurant Flying Fish Grill, creating East-meets- West seafood dishes (almond-crusted sea bass, whipped potatoes, Chinese cabbage and rock shrimp stir-fry is a best-seller). He kept the popular clay-pot cooking method named for the sound thinly sliced beef makes when you swish it around in hot kombu-based broth laden with vegetables and noodles. The space features dark wood and time-honored cubbies that lead to romantic dining and quiet conversation. Fukumoto, who runs Flying Fish with his wife Tina, affectionately calls the 40-seat underground spot "the cave," and regales spe- cial-occasion diners with songs on his Japanese ukulele. —Larry Harland B Photos: Kelli Uldall 156 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 Yin-Yan Salmon Oven-roasted, sesame seed-crusted, served with soy-lime cream sauce, angel hair pasta, snow peas, f lying f ish roe garnish and sliced avocado. Carmel Plaza, lower level Mission Street btwn. Ocean & 7th Carmel • 831/625-1962 good taste Flying Fish Grill

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