A new sushi/bento place has opened just north of downtown Oakland, in the "car repair" district. It opened less than two weeks ago. Two friends and I tried it for lunch today. I think I'll be going back again soon.
They're not purely Japanese -- some dishes are Koreanish, and the wall hangings (and our waitress) suggest a Cantonese background. Some of the interesting fusion dishes include "Korean style maki sushi" (like bbq beef or kimchi) and "prawn tempura curry".
We stuck to bentos. The miso was... average. The salads were quite good. Unlike most places where the salad is a small "let's fill the last bento square" afterthought, these came out in glass bowls before the bentos. The dressing was tasty, although I can't describe it (sorry!). Kind of garlicy, lemony, creamy...
The sushi were quite good, although one of my friends suggested that the sushi chef was self-taught: the rice around the maki was thicker than at most places, and seemed to be just plain rice, rather than the vinegary sushi rice. Still, competently made, well presented, and a good quantity.
What was truly amazing was the number of types of maki available -- more than fifty, at a quick glance. Many are standard concoctions (rainbow roll); some are more unique (the 'titantic' was deep fried prawns and cucumber topped with tuna, salmon, crab, and tobiko). The sashimi was a nice deep pink, and a generous portion (3 thick pieces with the bento, 6 as a side).
Plus, they didn't skimp on my favorite: vegetarian sushi. Eight different types, including asparagus, broccoli (so-so), and avocado-cucumber (quite good).
They also serve udon, soba, and all variety of Japanese appetizers (~25?).
Not crowded at all (since nobody knows it's there!). Prompt service, and (for a sushi spot) great decor. Kind of a scummy area to walk to, but street parking wasn't too hard to find nearby.
2432 Telegraph, Oakland
Open 11-10 Mon-Sat