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glenn | Feb 6, 200412:49 PM     2

I'm only an occasional visitor to the area, when my employer's parent-company in Pleasanton needs to see me in person for some reason, but on this week's trip I had some really excellent sushi at a newish-looking place I don't see mentioned: Tomo Sushi, right on Main Street in "downtown" Pleasanton. One novel element, at least in my own mostly-East-Coast sushi experience, is that Tomo is run by a female sushi chef, which may be more common here than back in Boston, but this is the first time I've ever seen one.

The sushi was superb in any case. Tomo Roll is a fat roll of various fish sliced into thin discs, a good solid alternative to far-duller California rolls. Snow White is a caterpillar-roll-style assembly with spicy scallops inside and spicy fluke out, creamy and prickly at once. Tamago and saba were fresh and well-handled. And from the night's specials board, the red snapper was sliced wide but almost translucently thin, swoon-worthy with a nice ponzu sauce.

But my favorite thing, also from the specials list, was amebi (sweet shrimp), which was served by cutting the heads off and tempura-ing them to serve alongside the sushi presentation of the bodies. Wow. The shrimp were smooth almost to scallop texture, and the heads were powerfully flavorful and a great tactile pleasure to crunch through.

A seared tuna appetizer and some fried oysters, neither of which *we* ordered, looked pretty enticing as we watched them being made for other diners, as well.

Definitely my new favorite local Pleasanton option, displacing my former default sushi choice, Hasegawa (on Hopyard in one of those strip-malls near the hotels), although Hasegawa did a perfectly nice job with the chef's sashimi special a couple nights previous, and have some amusing cross-cultural maki if you're in a non-purist mood.

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