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REVIEW: Matsu, Huntington Beach


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REVIEW: Matsu, Huntington Beach

Das Ubergeek | Apr 22, 2009 09:10 PM

I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the sushi place everybody seems to like in Huntington Beach (is it Hashigo?), so we gambled and decided maybe it was Matsu.

It was definitely NOT Matsu.

I've had better sushi from Vons. Seriously. The rolls fell apart; the fish tasted old; absolutely all the American-style rolls (hey, I like them sometimes) were filled with old, tinned-tasting crab (not krab, oddly) and avocado, but no cucumber which would have at least made it a California roll. The nori was rubbery -- that was a first, it reminded me of when we used to leave dulse out in the humidity as kids -- and the rice was unevenly cooked so there were some crunchy bites.

The spider roll's crab had very obviously been fried some time earlier and was dropped back into not-quite-clean, not-quite-hot-enough oil. The spicy tuna had a strong aftertaste of aluminium and I cannot describe the horror that was the rainbow roll, with fishy fish and gummy not-quite-California rolls. The only vegetables were gari, a sprinkling of daikon sprouts (which were good and fresh) and the avocado that accompanied everything. I guess I could have ordered a cucumber roll...

The nigiri were well-formed but well-formed nigiri cannot hide the sin of old, sub-par fish, and I knew I was in trouble when I saw the massive smear of wasabi-flavoured paste peeking out. Ugh.

However, the waitresses in kimono and obi (some tied correctly, some not) were a nice touch, and I actually like the little private-booth style dining (like you used to find at Cantonese-American places and like you still find at places like Bahooka and Bahia Caporales) now and then.

I ate both pieces of tuna tataki (my wife did not object as strenuously as I did to the sushi, though she was clearly not very happy with it either, since we don't eat sushi so often and this was a "waste") and refused to eat anything else. After spending $39 on three large nouvelle-sushi rolls, a hand roll and three kinds of nigiri (yes, it's cheap, I didn't know it going in or it would have been a warning sign), I then threw in an extra $2.37 for two potato tacos (the best thing on the menu) at Chronic Tacos on 11th and Orange to fill the bellies.

It's possible that other items on the menu are better -- the two Asian patrons I saw in the restaurant both had steak -- but whatever the sushi-ya in Huntington Beach that has favour on this board, Matsu it ain't.


Matsu Restaurant
18035 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

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