Galleymom lives in Peabody, and still hasn't taken me out for last year's birthday...TC and I love sushi, esp. if mom is paying...So, it seemed like a no-brainer for a great meal; this place gets all the love from North of Boston posters; including posters I really trust...
So, we walked in on Sunday, around 7:30...The only ones in the place! What's that about? Kinda creepy...Since it's my day; their gift to me is letting me order.
I immediately go for the ankimo appetizer, and the salmon skin with radish, as well as Yakitori Chicken and Beef Aspara Negima, because I want to make my guests at ease with not having to eat all fish. We also get Agedashi Tofu, one of my favorites, and Special Spinach, because I want the sesame sauce on it...
The ankimo had 6 slices in it, each the size and thickness; I kid you not, of a nickel. Barely. This stuff isn't expensive, and I now know that a lot of sushi chefs buy it precooked in a roll. This did not blow the doors off of any I have ever tasted, and the size was more like that of an amuse bouche. Same for the salmon skin and radish. A teaspoon for each of us. This was embarrassing.
The spinach rose to a "small portion", but still half the size of anyplace I've been in town, including places like Shiki. I understand that Japanese cuisine is not about big portions, but these were a size of what I assume each mouthful is at Ya Ma, and they weren't haute Japanese cuisine of any kind.
The kicker? The spinach, the yakitori (average size) and the beef negima (also average size) all had the same brown sauce on them, as did the oyster katsu we ordered later..
The sushi? Also miniscule. Now, I know there is a lot of criticism about the "Americanization" of sushi sizes on this board, and elsewhere, but I've been to Japan, and never had sushi rolls, or nigiri, this chintzy. The flavors were okay, but nothing out of the ordinary. Mom can't eat raw fish, so we got a few cooked things. Two orders of the spider maki here would make up an order elsewhere, almost. Again, perfectly acceptable sushi, but nothing that made me roll my eyes heavenward. We also got a few things that were raw, including a new sardine that had been flown in from Tsukiji...Very nice. Pleasant, even.
My one order of hamachi sashimi was very good, probably the best dish of the night. TC's one piece of Waygu beef nigiri was COOKED...Weird. And teeny. Not so weird, as we were discovering...
$140. before tip for the 3 of us. I was the only one drinking, so that included a carafe of hot sake. SO not worth it. We were all sitting there, trying to ignore the fact that the emperor had no clothes.
I guess the way to go here is dinners, but I like variation, and I wanted to introduce my loved ones to new things...Eh...There's SO much better around, I can't believe this is the best the North Shore has to offer...
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