Sunday, October 12, 2008


Remember when sushi was red hot in the 1980's from the movie Valley Girl with Nicholas Cage. Sushi during that time was hip, cool and expensive. Over twenty years later, sushi has not lost its cache. Sushi is still popular and it has matured a long way since the typical futomaki. I think a lot of people started to eat sushi because it was trendy and wanted to find out what all the fuss was. And I also think some people were completely turned off by the idea of eating raw fish and were more prone to eating teriyaki instead. Sushi is an art form of precise knife skills and showcasing talent that most people don't appreciate or even know about. Cutting a piece of fish the right way can make a huge difference between melt in your mouth or chewy. Alameda has a few sushi restaurants (much less than the number of Chinese restaurants in town), but I can only recommend three.

Yume on Park Street. The reason why I enjoy Yume and continue to go back is their small space with intimate customer service and details. The sushi chef Hideaki is a master of the knife. He was superb skills and the texture of the fish is tender and flavorful. The assortment of fish and shell fish is always fresh and at times he has rare shell fish that the other restaurants don't have. Their tonkatsu is great to eat if the wife is cooking the dish that day. ( I have been there when there was no frying allowed.) This restaurant doesn't serve teriyaki or tempura and mainly focuses on fresh fish and their natural flavors. A bit more expensive than other Japanese restaurants, but the attention to detail and quality make up for the increase in price.

Angel Fish on Bay Farm. The most important item for me is their tuna salad. This salad is awesome with fresh ahi tuna, along with fresh lettuce, fish roe and an amazing Japanese salad dressing with sesame and soy sauce flavors. The crispy chips that come with the salad also brings texture and salt to the dish that compliments the flavors. Angel Fish also has good sushi and they are inventive with a wide selection of rolls. Their teriyaki is good, but when I come here I usually focus on the sushi and rolls. The tempura tastes good. One can never go wrong with deep fried vegetables. Their eggplant dish with miso on top is too sweet to devour. The dish tastes good for a few bites and then the sugary taste becomes overwhelming and less enticing. Another good dish is their lamb chops. The meat is tender, full of flavor and is comforting. The lamb chops does not have the flavor combinations of Japanese food per se, but it is satisfying. This is a good place to take the family out for a good dinner.

Kamakura has a more welcoming touch compared to Angel Fish. You will see Faith moving from table to table and greeting customers as well as informing them about the sake and food products. The menu is quite extensive and has a wide arrangement from sukiyaki, donburi, karaage, udon, soba and the regular fair of teriyaki, sushi, tempura and rolls. The fish here is fresh and tastes good, but it feels the food comes out more of a production line from the sushi chefs. The teriyaki is decent and the flavors predictable, but the salmon teriyaki is over cooked and dry. The food overall is good and it's a great spot for large parties.

The reason why I did not recommend the other sushi restaurants is because the establishments lacked flavor, taste profiles, quality or personality. I have eaten several times at other venues of Kobe Ya, Yokohama and Katsu Sushi and found them to be palatable, but lackluster. I was pleasantly surprised to read the comment from a reader about Sushi House. Who ever you are, I have to agree with your comment about the food and restaurant. Sushi House has a great location, with water views of the beach and bay, but the food took second place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sushi House was packed the other night while I picked up sushi for dinner. There were lots of families and groups of ladies eating. Due to the large number of people eating at this establishment and looking like all were having a good time, I was happily to come here for sushi. I ordered tonkatsu, miso soup, California Roll, Spider Roll and sushi. The miso soup had a lot of tofu in it, but it lacked a strong miso taste. It was watered down. The unagi sushi didn't taste like what I am use to. It lacked flavor and the sauce didn't add anything to the eel. The sashimi and hamachi was fresh and was the best sushi of the order. The California and Spider rolls were disappointing. No flavor and the rolls were not made very well. The rolls fell apart easily, even before I dunked them in the soy sauce and wasabi sauce. The tonkastu was a huge order and had enough for two people. The sauce it came with, came out of a sealed package, which basically said that it wasn't made fresh. The overall impression of this restaurant is that the atmosphere is more exciting than the food. The food is alright, it's not the best and not the worst. It is something in between. I would only recommend this place if you want to people watch and not be concerned with the quality of the food.