Tried a couple of Japanese/Sushi joints w/in walking distance of my pad this weekend, with mixed results. Any 'hounds have any experiences with either of these two places?
3123 Clement St.
(bet. 32nd & 33rd)
San Francisco, CA
Tasty sushi & sashimi, but extremely loud and, on our visit, extremely slow service (we decided Oyaji is an acronym for "Once You Arrive, Jump Impatiently). After a 20-minute wait while we stared at several un-bussed empty tables, we were seated. Another 10-15 minutes passed before I managed to flag down a server to take our order. We decided on a plate of fatty blackfin (I think) tuna sashimi ($28 - ouch), scallop nigiri, a pair of non-traditional maki rolls (I forget which, but both were very good), skewered pork (more fat than I'm used to, but well-flavored), and tempura vegetables and shrimp cakes. The fatty tuna was tasty, with an almost creamy texture to it, but one of the pieces had some membrane in it. We chalked this up to a too-drunk sushi chef, as the two fellows behind the sushi bar were drinking nearly as much as the patrons (this is really saying something, as many folks were slamming bottles of sake and doing shots of whiskey). The noise level progressed from a dull roar to I-can't-hear-myself-think as the evening progressed and the alcohol consumption increased. Two customers brought in a bottle of Cutty Sark for the chef, which was brought around to select (frequent?) customers by the elder sushi chef. Perhaps it was because we'd never been there, or perhaps because Sarah & I were eating quietly rather than part of a large group, but we wouldn't have minded a shot ourselves. They forgot our order of tempura vegetables and shrimp cake (which was tasty and unusual when it did arrive), and it took some effort to get the bill. I hope this was not a typical experience, since the food is solid and the menu has many items not usually seen at the Japanese restaurants I've been to (not to mention a pretty buffed-out sake selection). A waiter apologized for our lengthy dinner explaining that he is usually a sushi chef, and the owner and his parents were in the house (not to mention a large party of 10). Since I live nearby, I will definitely give them another try, but probably on a week night. Definitely tasty food, but the very long time (nearly 3 hours for dinner) and high noise levels were off-putting.
7001 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA
OK Rainbow Rolls, so-so saba (mackarel) nigiri, good shrimp tempura, friendly and cheerful service, and nearly inedible chicken udon soup sum up my visit here with my mother. I wanted to like the place, since it's low-key and near my place, but alas, I did not. The udon noodle soup in particular, had a rancid note to it. I just had a couple bites before shoving it away. All the more annoying since it was not what I'd ordered in the first place! I didn't send it back when it arrived because I like chicken udon equally as well as chicken donburi (what I'd ordered), but I quickly regretted that decision. Next time I'll brave the crowds across the street at the Pacific Cafe!