For those living in the Glen Burnie/Linthicum area, there is a new Japanese restaurant in Linthicum on Camp Meade Road just north of the light rail tracks, in the strip mall next to the Linthicum Post Office. Matsu has taken over the space previously occupied by a small pharmacy, right next to the Post Office.
The interior is typical Japanese restaurant, with the requisite industrial-issue shoji, the familiar sushi bar layout, and the young staff is in kimono and the usual sushi chef garb (hapi? - sorry, I'm forgetting what little Japanese I know). As I said, the staff is young, probably indicating this is a family-staffed establishment. The color scheme is a clever play on a plum - the ceiling is the dark purple of the skin of a plum, while the walls are the warm orange tone of the inside of a plum, and the medium toned woodwork hints at the color and texture of the pit.
It's been open since the 3rd, and I've been there twice. Each time, I've ordered a noodle dish and one of the sushi rolls. The first trip I have Nabe Yaki Udon and a Paradise Roll (eel, avocado and cucumber, if I recall correctly, covered with the typical sauce used on eel and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds), and the second trip, I had the Tempura Udon and an Alaska Roll (salmon, avocado, cucumber).
Both meals were served with a small American-style salad with the usual "Japanese restaurant" dressing. The only complaint is that they put a bit more dressing on than I would have liked, and I usually tend toward the "heavy on the dressing" end of the spectrum. The first meal also was served with a small bowl of very good miso soup, but given that I was having Udon in soup as an entree, this may have been a rookie server mistake than the usual policy.
Both of the Udon dishes were quite good. Fresh ingredients, nice noodles, good broth, and an ample portion. Priced in the $10-12 range, I felt the Udon dishes were comparable to similar Japanese fare elsewhere in the area, though as I often find to be the case, Japanese cuisine is not the top "bellyful for the buck" bargain among ethnic cuisines. Still, if comparing to other Japanese restaurants, I believe Matsu's pricing is comparable and a fair value, within the context and norms of Japanese cuisine.
In both cases, the rolls were also well made and fresh. The size of the rolls is proportional to the pricing. The Alaska Roll goes for $4-something and was six pieces, while the Paradise Roll goes for $8-something and was both slightly larger in diameter and longer (cut into more pieces).
The service was attentive without hovering, but the servers still show a little bit of inexperience in their table-side manner.
On the whole, though, this place is worth a look for those in the area who don't want to drive into Baltimore or down to DC for their Sushi/Japanese fix. IT is also worth a drive for those in the greater Baltimore area who wish to check out the latest Japanese contender. I only hope that the rather out-of-the-way location does not handicap their success too much, though the foot traffic of people visiting the Post Office is sure to get them fairly wide exposure to the local Linthicum populace.
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