Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area


dunstable | | Oct 6, 2006 02:26 AM

So, as my Yankees were rained out last night, and as I was feeling rather chastened about my useless review yesterday, I decided I needed another visit. I was planning to remember all the details, so that I could write a detailed description on this site.

Of course, within a minute, I'd instantly forget what I'd just eaten. I basically failed again.

However, I did grab a menu, so hopefully this will be more helpful, although I still don't know how to discuss the flavor. "Tastes like really good fish!" Anyhow, basically everything was delicious, so assume positive reactions to all the sashimi below. Again, I let them pick everything.

1. Kibinago (blue-banded sprat): This was memorable, because each piece is a whole little fish. Soft texture, the flavor of scales is somewhat prominent.

2. Ankimo (monkfish liver): Texture not unlike foie gras, with a milder flavor. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

3. Mirugai (giant clam): Firm texture, not chewy like you might expect.

4. Uni (sea urchin): Okay, this was mushy. Quite rich, which might not be for some palates, but I liked it.

Those were the most memorable, but everything was interesting, and nothing was bland (for better and worse: apparently some of the choices are too bold for their more conservative patrons). Usually it was served simply, with a thin layer of rice, but sometimes garnished with things like red pepper threads or avocado. The rest of the nigiri menu: big eye tuna, fatty tuna, super fatty tuna, bonito, yellowtail, striped jack, sardine, horse mackerel (I had this two different ways), sea bass, penn shell, octopus, flying fish roe, salmon roe, and fresh water eel. Ingredient quality was excellent, and leagues superior to typical corner sushi places.

This time, I decided to try a roll. I had the asparagus, which comes "with pickled gobo, katsuobushi, spicy Japanese mayo." I dunno what gobo or katsuobushi are, but the mayo flavor dominated, which I personally wasn't into.

Again, if you place yourself in their hands, you're basically guaranteed to have a fantastic meal. The two chefs, Mike and Danny, were extremely helpful, and took their time explaining everything to me. If you go when it isn't too busy, they'll actually take the time to build an assortment catered to your tastes, which is what they did for me.

Drinks... well, again I had beer. Orion, which I now realize is their only beer option. But it has a dry, neutral finish that pairs quite well with the fish, so unless you're a beer elitist, it should suffice. The sake... well, I'm not really a sake person, but it was there. (sorry)

As I mentioned earlier, the decor is spartan, but elegant. There are tables that seat six, but a party larger than that is probably not a good option. The bar area seats five. On my visit, there were a couple of tables of young hipsters wearing kitschy athletic wear, while at the bar, there were two middle-aged men, one of whom was casually reading a newspaper while eating his fish. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and the music is a cross between loungey dance music and R&B.

Um, that's it, I guess. Oh, pricing. $19 for nine pieces, $12 for five. Considering that these prices are in line with those at run-of-the-mill sushi places, the cost is quite reasonable. Nigiri prices range from $5 for the unagi to $9 for the tairagai (penn shell). The asparagus roll was $7.

like I said, worth a look.

Back to top