I've been reading a lot of sushi posts these days and noticed how my favorite sushi joint is never mentioned. I eat a lot of sushi and this is my most recommended sushi joint: Sushi Yoshi in Newark. I saw that Melanie wasn't impressed by the ramen particularly, but I swear by the sushi there.
The chef at Sushi Yoshi trained alongside the chef at Sushi Sho, and you get the same quality sushi at half the cost and half the attitude. Yoshi-san is the most gracious host you will ever find with no pretense, no chip on his shoulder, no hidden agendas. He just loves to see his customers smile from enjoying his sushi.
Since they've been around for 10 yrs or so, they know how much fish to get, which keeps his stock fresh. Unlike some other places that try to charge you extra for cooked versions of uni and other fish that's not quite at the quality to be served fresh anymore during omakase meals, they will ask you if you want a 100% sushi dinner or if you want cooked dishes intermingled. The draw back is that if you go on Sunday, you won't have a whole lot of variety, since his fishmonger is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
The cooked dishes are just as good as the sushi, and his anago tempura is one of the only fried dishes my Japanese GF will eat.
I saw a family of four with two little girls sitting at the counter one evening. Yoshi-san was so excellent with the children that the little girl was ordering her own sushi from him at the counter! If any of you have ever had any hesitation about trying sushi at the counter, go here for your first experience. You will be rewarded!
The only thing that Sushi Yoshi doesn't have that other places like Sushi Sho and Yuzu has is ambiance. The restuarant has drawings by kids and other random trinkets all over the place. If you're thinking about decor on a first date, this place lacks that. They compensate for that by keeping their prices low. The same meal with the same sake selection will cost at least 50% more at other places. (For me, this is a big help, since my GF doesn't care about looks and only taste.)
If you like sake, ask for the Ooyama Nama-sake. It's his secret stash of unpasterized sake (but save some for my GF!).
If you like plum wine, let them know, since they have a not-for-sale home-made plum wine that is so delicious, you'll start to think about making it yourself at home.
Give it a try and let me know what you all think. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
39261 Cedar Blvd
Newark, CA 94560