Y and I were doing errands in Watsonville tonight (read: Target run) and pondered where to eat afterwards. Thought about trying the chilaquiles at La Zamorana, the sushi at Imura, or the Oaxacan place, Los Molcajetes, but sushi at a tried-and-true Miyuki was calling.
Although we hadn't been in months, the place always feels like "home" when we enter. I was shocked that it was completely full and that we actually had to wait a few min. before a table cleared and we were seated. I was happy to see that they were doing so well and that "chief" (the sushi chef and owner) was standing erect behind the counter. He has a charming look about him and watching him prepare the many orders of sushi alone is completely relaxing.
We ordered our usual flight of nigiri and were once again elated by the freshness of the fish and the skillfulness in which they were prepared. The hamachi, seared albacore, and saba were esp. good. The saba was the most pungent I've ever experienced, particularly b/c chief doesn't adorn w/ citrus or green onion. Rice was very good and temp. of everything was just perfect.
We intentionally tried some new items and really enjoyed the oyster shooter and battera style sushi. The oyster shooter ($2) comes in a shot glass consisting of a raw oyster and quail egg that's swimming in some sake, ponzu sauce, and (I think) some shaved daikon. Down the hatch, and it was a great flavor combo! Loved the lingering warmth from the sake. I could have done a few of these...
The battera sushi is listed on the sushi menu. I'd never noticed it before, but it caught my eye after a discussion on the SF board a while back. Could be ordered w/ either saba, unagi, or (I think) ebi. We went for the unagi (~$8) and were very happy at first bite. Chief makes his version by layering sushi rice on the bottom, then a very thin layer of cooked shiitake mushrooms, another layer of rice, and then the unagi on top. This is all compressed together into a square shaped log and sliced into pieces. The texture was so smooth and everything melded together beautifully. More rice to fish ratio than nigiri, but I liked it.
We also tried their tempura for the first time, and it was lightly battered and very puffy and crispy. Y thought it was a touch oily in spots, but I didn't think so. All the veggies were delicious and fresh tasting. The onion was creamy goodness in my mouth. Many patrons got cooked items that all looked good. The small cauldrons of noodle soups looked great, and I hope to finally try their chawan mushi one day...
Miyuki is truly one of my favorite restaurants in SC County. It feels far for us, but is totally worth the drive.
452 E Lake Ave
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