Recently I tried Sushi Yoshi in Newark for lunch. I'm in agreement with stuart and KK that they do a good job here and offer very good value. I haven't had any other sushi in this part of the Bay, but I'd believe it could be the best in this area.
I was alone and took a seat at the sushi bar. Then I found out that at lunch time, the orders are taken by the waitress as the sushi chef is too busy and under pressure to handle that. No problem.
I started with an order of calamari, $3.50, offered on the specials board by the door. The panko-crusted rings were expertly fried and served with a horseradish-catsup cocktail sauce.
Though I didn't get a chance to talk to the sushi chef, sitting at the bar, I could watch him work. I admired how he carefully examined the slabs of fish, running his knife over the grain several times to determine the best angle to make his cuts. His rice is gorgeous with a pearlescent sheen and perfect resistance to the bite, not surprising given the Sushi Sho background. The marination is very light and melds seamlessly with the fish. The cuts are not super-sized but they are on the generous side. My order of nigiri, shown below, included shiro maguro (albacore), aji (horse mackerel), and anago (ocean eel). I think the shiro maguro was $3.50 and the other pairs were $4.00 --- good prices.
I had asked my waitress if I could have the anago with just salt and no sauce. She nodded affirmatively, but something got lost in the communication. However, the sauce on the eel was very light and not sticky sweet, so I didn't mind the error. The shiro maguro was just okay, and the piece with the blood markings had several stringy lines of sinew that I couldn't bite through. I sent it back and it was taken off my bill. I added an order of hamachi (yellowtail) that was good but with some untrimmed dark areas. The lightly marinated aji was garnished nicely with ginger and scallions. Cut expertly and then scored, it melted in the mouth and was the best of the sampling.
Overall, I found the chef's technique to be very good. His fish is good quality though not the top, but is very good value at his price point. The cuts are not trimmed as pristinely as they would be in a more expensive place. Yet at these modest prices, the sushi is head and shoulders the typical neighborhood place or others at that level. It's definitely worth a return visit.
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