There’s darn good sushi at Kitsho, says Porthos. It loses some points for rice quality and for the commercial wasabi-from-a-tube, but compensates with extremely fresh and delicious fish, and a nice selection of imported fishes.
Kinmedai (extremely rare in the Bay Area) is very fresh and rich, and your order arrives with two cuts (the one from the belly is particularly excellent). Shimaaji is amazing, even richer and silkier than the kinmedai. Aji is soft and oily, though not as fine as the shimaaji–excellent, as far as aji goes.
Toro is labelled “o-toro,” but is probably closer to chu-toro in quality–too much red meat, not enough fat.
Omakase here is mindblowing once the chef learns your taste, says KK. He’ll open your eyes and mouth to all sorts of new experiences. And there are always surprises–various preparations, and special fishes hidden away out of sight.
Howard, the chef, is well-known for his cooked dishes, too. He’s especially good at soy bean products. He makes tofu in-house; try the three bean appetizer–cold tofu with green, black, and soy beans. There’s great miso, with broth finer than any you can find at Bay Area ramen shops. And Howard’s natto is the best–try natto toro maki, or any other natto preparation you can think of. And he’s got the best selection of shiromi in the neighborhood. There’s smooth and sweet grouper; delicate, wonderful moi. Nowhere else can you get hirame no konbu jime (kelp miranted hirame).
Also great: maguro zuike, and tamgo yaki. Ask for a fresh batch of tamgo yaki to get the juiciest cut. Their tamgo yaki is the second best in town, right after Sawa Sushi’s. There’s a good selection of sake, too.
Not so good: anago and ankimono. If you want good ankimono, go to Ino Sushi.
The cost is around $5-$6 per order of nigiri. Cuts are quite generous–to the point where Porthos feels nigiri almost overbalances towards fish. Of course, this is not something most people will find problematic…
Kitsho [South Bay]
19541 Richwood Dr., Cupertino
Sawa Sushi [South Bay]
1042 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Ino Sushi [Japantown]
22 Peace Plaza #510, San Francisco
Board Links: Sushi Alert: Kitsho in Cupertino