As a longtime lurker, I decided to jump into the fray with a report on Seiyo. Seiyo, as discussed in a few threads previously (the most recent is linked below), is the sushi restaurant/wine shop that recently opened on Washington Street about two blocks from Mass. Ave. Overall, it's a nice addition to the neighborhood, but is still a work-in-progress.
Wine: The wine side of the store offers a limited -- but well-chosen -- selection (note: unlike the Cremaldi's concept in Cambridge, this is a wine store; you cannot consume your bottles BYOB with sushi). The concept is much more like Brix than a Martignetti or Blanchards. The wines represent a solid range of countries and styles, and include several carefully chosen wines at or <$10. The employees are very helpful with recommendations and are often pouring tastes. All in all, a good wine shop to pick up a weeknight bottle, etc.
Sushi: The sushi side of the operation has room to improve. While the fish is fresh and the menu is priced very reasonably (inside out maki tend to be <$5 or so), the craftsmanship leaves much to be desired. The rice has been gummy both times I've had it, leaving a sticky residue on one's fingers. And the specialty rolls, which come in at higher price points ($8-13), seem rather disappointing. For instance, the spicy scallop roll ($8) was just pieces of scallop in a regular inside-out maki exterior (though 8 pieces rather than 6) -- none of the flourishes of an Oishii with the colorful tobikos, textural contrasts, etc. The sushi reminds me more of that which you find at Whole Foods (or possibly Blue Fin/Shino Express) than an Oishii, Oga, Fugakyu, etc. In sum, it is a perfectly welcome addition to a neighborhood with a dearth of reasonably priced options, but appears not yet to live up to the nicely designed space, etc.
On a related note, does anyone have any updates on Oishii's plans to open this fall on Washington Street? In June, MC Slim JB reported that it was going into the former C2 Pilates studio, but I was just wondering if there were any progress reports (I haven't noticed much when passing through). Many thanks!
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