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Dinner off the beaten path - Fusia in San Mateo


Restaurants & Bars

Dinner off the beaten path - Fusia in San Mateo

Eugene Park | Aug 29, 2005 07:10 PM

Dinner plans last night in San Mateo with a pair of couples (so fun to be the 5th wheel) took a bit of a detour when we were advised by one of the hosts at Sushi Sam's that the wait for a table would be over 45 minutes (dang, my English professors would be pitching a fit at that run-on sentence). Our jones'ing for quality sushi was overcome by impatience brought on by severe hunger pangs, so we discussed alternate plans. Since we were planning to go to Fusia for karaoke afterwards, the decision was made to go there for dinner.

I've been to Fusia on several occasions for late-night drinks/appetizers/karaoke, but had never been there for dinner. We arrived at about 7:30PM, and had the entire place to ourselves. Perusing the dinner menu for the first time, we ordered the following starters:

Popcorn chicken
Ahi tuna trio

Popcorn chicken was as good as it normally is there (one of my fave late-night appetizers there), which is pretty good. A good portion of boneless chicken thigh meat is chopped into bite-size pieces, dusted with cornmeal and salt, fried (but not to the point where it's greasy), then served with fried basil leaves. They're like Lay's can't eat just one.

Kalbi wasn't as generous of a portion, but the quality was good. Meat was tender, with just the right amount of fat.

Ahi tuna trio was slices of sashimi (fine), poke style (decent, though it came mixed with fine strands of seaweed rather than the typical onions) and sashimi layered on top of a deepfried roll (eh). Interesting to try. One nice touch was the use of fresh wasabi, rather than reconstituted.

We followed up the starters with the following entrees:

Sea bass filet on a bed of red peppers and white onions
Lamb chops with mashed potatoes
Beef stew noodles
Sauteed string beans
Sauteed eggplant

2 orders of the sea bass filet were shared amongst 4 people. All of us agreed that the fish quality was very good, cooked just right. The peppers were lightly sauteed, the onions cooked longer until they were soft but not caramelized. The dish worked very well, and I would recommend it.

3 orders of the lamb chops (2 chops per order) were quickly devoured, and were the star of the meal. Nicely marinated/glazed lamb chops, with a creamy wasabi dressing, paired with a nice mound of slightly lumpy mashed potatoes. Highly recommended, and a bargain at $9.95 per order.

Beef stew noodle had good beef, soba udon noodles instead of the usual Chinese egg noodles, and a mild beef broth. Decent, but nothing to swoon over.

String beans and eggplant were both well-done, with the flavors of the fresh eggplant and string beans allowed to shine thru (rather than being overcome by the spicy sauces that most places use). These were quickly devoured by all at the table.

Steven, the owner/chef, came out and talked with us periodically during the meal. He said that Fusia has never had much of a dinner crowd during the "typical" dinner hours, but that a lot of diners come in for late dinners/appetizers while also getting their karaoke fix. The kitchen serves food until after midnight, which is a draw for those who lament the lack of late-night dining choices in the San Mateo/Foster City area.

The above with two pitchers of Anchor Steam came out to $180, tax and tip included. All 5 of us were stuffed, which meant we needed to wait a bit before indulging in some karaoke.......=-D

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