Being the jaded, lucky bastard I am, I get to travel
to Japan often enough to get my raw fish fix. I
usually don't like to eat sushi here in the US, simply
because the quality of fish, and the standars for handling and preparation, aren't nearly as high as they are in Japan. Sorry if I offend, but it's the truth. My mom, sister, and wife are neither jaded nor lucky though when it comes to raw fish, and on Friday night they felt like having sushi. My plan was to take them to Ino, but the fish didn't look good so I did a quick 180 and walked out. The wife looked pissed...sorry Mrs. Ino. I was looking forward to the ankimo, but oh well. So we walked over to Takara next door. There weren't any tables available, so we sat at the counter. I've had sushi there before a few times(never at the counter). I thought it would be an average experience as usual, but it was actually pretty darn good. Here's a list of what we had, not in order:
Kohada-Just a bit too much vinegar, but pretty good nonetheless. I really like hikarimono, or "shiny" fish. This type of fish is usually cured lightly in vinegar, and when done right, is out of this world.
Negi toro temaki-Good stuff. I love the combo of the spiciness of negi and the fattiness of toro. This combo is perfect for temaki.
Saba oshizushi-Nice balance of flavors between the vinegar and the oiliness of the fish.
Hirame-nice, clean taste
Maguro-Nice texture and flavor (not sure which kind of tuna)
Ika-this is the only thing that was a little "off". The itamae-san put a big shiso leaf on there, I guess to mask any off-flavors maybe because he knew it wasn't so fresh.
Uni-Standard. Uni always disappoints anywhere I've ever had it in the US (except for Donguri in NYC). I don't know why I keep ordering it.
Shake-Nice, rich flavor.
Natto maki-Well, it's not for everybody, but I really dig it...
Ume shiso-This is a great roll for a nice, clean finish to a sushi dinner. Sometimes sushi restaurants use cheap, overly salty ume paste, but this one was nice and refreshing.
One last thing...the shari (sushi rice) was a little too soft. I'm partial to a more toothy texture when it comes to sushi rice.
Overall, it was a good dinner. With a 20 percent tip and 3 large Asahis, the total came out to 170. I'll have to try it again.