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Tomodachi Sushi Bistro in Hayward review (long)

Sandra | Nov 14, 200501:30 PM

After a whole week of vegetarian Chinese food (in China for biz trip), I wanted some sushi, and finally got a chance to try out Tomodachi in Hayward with some friends and hubby. This used to be a Hof Brau place, but they have redone in modern decor.

Walking into the place on Sunday ~7pm with no reservations, they seated us right away. Not sure how long they have been open, but everything looked new. The sushi bar is visible right when you walk in, and they claim to have a full bar. I guess the Bistro part of the name should've tipped me off that this is not your standard sushi place. From what I heard, some of the former staff from Ray's Sushi down the street opened this, and it's definitely geared toward modern, American tastes.

Decor wise, everything was nice. The menu has Tempura, Grill items, Robata Yaki items, Sushi, and regular entrees - too many things almost; it was difficult to decide.

My hubby loves Toro, the fatty tuna, and we asked the waitress if they had any that night; they did and we ordered 2 orders (they were expensive; $9:50/order of 2 nigiri) - the fish was very good, large pieces, but the rice fell apart very easily. That being the highlight of the evening, the rest of what we ate:
Spicy Albacore Roll - spicy tuna roll but with white albacore tuna - wasn't spicy at all, kinda small.

Super Dynamite Roll - Fried tempura spicy tuna roll. a little spicier, but I think due to the hot sauce poured over the roll. Interesting but not memorable.

Redwood Roll - spicy salmon with tuna sashimi topping. again not spicy, but the tuna was fresh.

Kirin Roll - softshell crab inside, unagi,kani, and avocado on top - small roll (3 pcs) wasn't crazy about the crab, unagi was ok.

We also ordered a Rib eye steak entree - medium rare. The good thing is that it was cooked to MR, the bad thing was that I don't think it was rib eye; it was thin, fairly grisly; maybe the quality of the meat wasn't all that? It came with scoop of fried rice and some zucchini vegetables.

After all that, we were still kinda hungry, so I ordered some items from the Robata Yaki section:
Beef skewers - didn't like onions so that omitted that, but it was like appetizer size - 4 small cubes per skewer.

Hotate skewers - they came 3 to a skewer, and these were pretty good - grill marks evident, and not overcooked.

Chicken wings - I didn't even try these - but they looked like they were marinated in soy sauce then grilled.

Agedashi Tofu - not from the grill, but I usually order this to see if the kitchen is capable. They had 6 pcs of tofu, with bonito flakes on top. They used a thick, sticky sweet sauce as a base, not too much to ruin the coating on the tofu. The coating was a little uneven, but the tofu was soft and creamy.

Lotta food, and the bill was ~$130 including tip and 2 margaritas (with Cuervo Gold :( )

Bottom line, I wish we ordered more sashimi/sushi, rather than rolls and cooked items (friends weren't that into the raw fish, other than the toro that my hubby wanted), since it seems that they do have fresh fish. Not too many specials, but they do offer lobster sashimi and hand rolls, and at the end we saw the sushi chef cut open a lobster tail for an order. I think it's kinda expensive, but from the looks at the place, people don't mind. It's great since they have full bar, you can order drinks too, but if you want more of a traditional sushi place, I think there are other places in Hayward or other that is better.

Link: http://www.tomodachisushibistro.com

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