• Archives for sushipilgrim (173)

Pleasanton, CA — Kaki Sushi

Categories: California
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Published on: August 29, 2013
Kaki Sushi
3120 Santa Rita Rd
Pleasanton, CA

I spent a week at a client in Pleasanton, California in the East Bay. On Thursday night I decided I needed to find a sushi restaurant.I quick online search took me to Kaki Sushi. The first thing that I noticed about Kaki Sushi was the kitschy decor.Japanese trinkets everywhere — I felt like I had stepped into an anime convention.

I decided to order the sashimi combination. I was pleasantly surprised when my waitress took my order and brought out a complimentary dish of edamame.

Generous portions reasonable price. White tuna awesome. Huge order of gyoza, came with soup salad. Edamame. Every guest got a piece of fried fish (halibut?) over-decorated brought everything all at once.

Kaki Sushi was very good. I ordered gyoza as an appetizer and was surprised to see six pieces in the order. The combo came with miso soup and a lettuce salad with ginger dressing. Something special must have been going on because each table also received a complimentary order of fried fish (halibut I think). I estimate that the fish was 6-7 ounces, a meal in itself.

My sashimi combo was good but ordinary. The white tuna however, was exceptional. The only thing that kept Kaki Sushi from getting a better rating was the service. The service was attentive and friendly but they had no sense of timing. Everything seemed to come out of the kitchen at once. I got my sashimi combo before my appetizer.

Other than the quirky service Kaki Sushi was very very good.

Kaki Sushi 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Sandy, UT — Mizumi

Categories: Utah
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Published on: August 1, 2013
8391 South 700 East
Sandi, UT

Spending the week in Utah and tonight I went out for sushi with a client. He suggested a restaurant near the office and we went right after work. Mizumi is a good sized standalone restaurant in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, Utah.It is pretty modern on the inside thought the music was rather loud. I spent part of the time trying unsuccessfully to catch the words to a French hip-hop song. On the other hand I don’t have much success understanding English hip-hop lyrics.

We decided to try some rolls. We decided on four rolls, the Jungle Roll, Salmon Soltsice Roll, Kenai Roll and Baja Roll. The rolls were large and cut into eight pieces. I especially liked the Salmon Soltstice Roll. All of the fish was fresh and tasty and the rolls were pretty unique.

One of the strange things about Mizumi is that the menu was missing a number of standard sushi items. There were no clams of any kind and no white tuna among others. There were no exotic items like uni or mirugai. On the other hand everything we had was good.

Mizumi was worth the visit and I would eat here again.

Mizumi 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Collierville, TN — Fuji Cafe

Categories: Tennessee
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Published on: May 10, 2013
Fuji Cafe
875 W Poplar
Collierville, TN

Lunchtime and I was looking for sushi. In the Memphis suburb of Collierville, Fuji Cafe was right across the street from my customer. After enjoying Memphis Barbeque at Corky’s last night, I decided to try some not so traditional Memphis sushi. Hana is exactly the kind of sushi restaurant I enjoy.

Fuji Cafe is larger than it looks like from the outside. The decor is pretty typical of a Japanese restaurant. The seating was strange with several very large booths. It looked like they seated multiple parties there. The menus were pretty unique, not the contents but the presentation. The covers front and back were thick and heavy almost like floor tiles.

When I sat down my waitress brought me a hot towel and some Miso soup, a nice touch. I ordered some fried pork gyoza and the Chirashi. Chirashi is sashimi served on a bowl of sushi rice. Fuji’s chirashi was especially nice, it came with two slices of yellow daikon (one of my favorites) and a nice portion of seaweed.

The fish was very good. It included a crab stick an one cooked shrimp. There was also some tuna, yellowtail, salmon and white tuna. The white tuna was especially good, I even enjoyed the spicy garnish. To top it off there were two pieces of tamago sweet omelette.

Fuji was exactly what I needed.

Fuji Cafe 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Louisville, CO, Hana Japanese Bistro

Categories: Colorado
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Published on: April 18, 2013
Hana Japanese Bistro
1148 W Dillon Rd
Louisville, CO

April in Colorado. I was done with winter but apparently winter was not done with me. In the three day I’d been there the area had received almost two feet of snow. I got off work a little early and decided to go out for sushi before going to church with a friend in Boulder. One of my colleagues suggested Hana Japanese Bistro and I decided to go.

Since I had just gotten off work, I went to the restaurant early and the place was empty. Not a good sign, but to be fair there was a snowstorm and the forecast was for ice. When I sat down, the waitress brought me some Miso soup and a hot towel.

Hana has a very extensive menu and not just sushi. I decided to order the deluxe sashimi and giant clam sashimi on the side. Giant clam is one of my favorite. Shortly after I ordered, the sushi chef came over and told me he couldn’t serve the giant clam sashimi, he did however suggest trying it in a spicy sauce. Because of his heavy Japanese accent I am not sure I understood why he couldn’t do the sashimi and I know I did not hear him say ‘spicy’. I typically do not like spicy sushi.

The meal came with a salad and I was pleasantly surprised to be served a cucumber sunomono. A good way to start. I cannot say enough about the sashimi. It is all about the fish and the fish was first quality. I especially liked the yellow tail. a couple of pieces were exceptionally firm and served with the skin on. The combo also had red snapper, tuna, octopus and tuna. While the tuna was good, it was not up to the quality of the rest of the fish.

When my giant clam arrived, I realized it was in a spicy sauce. The clam was perfect if a little spicy. It was very tasty and not too gummy. I found the sauce to be very flavorful even if it was spicy.

As I was enjoying my meal, something totally unexpected happened. The sushi chef came over and mentioned that they had fresh uni (sea urchin) and aji (horse mackerel). I enjoy both, but I can never pass up mackerel.Great, I had already ordered a whole meal but i decided to order it anyway.

Mackerel spoils so most of the time it is served pickled, but when a sushi chef talks about fresh mackerel – he means live mackerel. The llive mackerel is served as aji-no-tataki. The fresh fish is filleted and served decorated with the carcass and bones. When you are done the bones including the head, the tail, and some meat is taken back to the kitchen and deep friend. Once it comes back to the table, you can pick the meet out of the head, and eat most of the bones and the tail. The aji was perfect.

Hana is exactly the kind of sushi restaurant I enjoy.

Hana Japanese Bistro 5 rice bowls * * * * *

Atlanta, GA — Sushi House Hayakawa

Categories: Georgia
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Published on: April 4, 2013
Sushi House Hayakawa
5979 Buford Highway NE A10
Atlanta, GA

I was in Atlanta looking for sushi. I did an internet search and found that Sushi House Hayakawa was close by. It got excellent reviews, best sushi in Atlanta and high ratings on a number of sites, Zagat, Urbanspoon, Yelp and others.

I knew I had to try the place. I decided to skimp on meals the day before so as not to blow my expense account. Sushi House Hayakawa is a medium sized restaurant located in a small mall complex. The mall is full of Asian businesses including other restaurants.

The menu was tempting, everything looked good. I decided to start with a shellfish sunomono. The combination of shellfish was excellent and the cucumber and vinegar sauce was absolutely perfect. Dinner was off to a great start.

I decided to order the least expensive of the sashimi combos, I was watching my expense account after all. I also ordered the fresh wasabi. For those of you who have never had it, fresh wasabi is nothing like the wasabi paste served in most sushi restaurants. Fresh wasabi is served in a liquid form with chunks of the wasabi root in it. The fresh wasabi was an extra $3 and the waitress suggested that I order it only if I really like wasabi. i actually don’t care much for wasabi, but I really enjoy fresh wasabi. it is a different taste, stronger flavor in some ways but with less heat.

When my sashimi combo arrived everything was perfect. It looked good and tasted even better. All of the fish was melt in your mouth perfect. There was one item on the plate that I couldn’t figure out. I thought it was some sort of clam but it didn’t taste quite right. I asked my waitress and she said it was ika (squid). I didn’t believe her, there was squid on the plate and this seemed different. I have had lots of squid sashimi. With her broken English, she described and pantomimed the shape of the squid head and I realized that I was eating the fins on the side of the conical head. The texture and taste bore little resemblance to the rest of the squid — it was excellent.

Sushi House Hayakawa was expensive (I think my check was about $65) but worth every penny!

Sushi House Hayakawa 5 rice bowls * * * * *

Suwanee, GA — Sushi Kita

Categories: Georgia
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Published on: April 4, 2013

Sushi Kita
1145 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suwanee, GA

I was in Georgia for the week and I asked a colleague where I should go for sushi. She suggested Suahi Kita. In the middle of the week, some time so I went to Sushi Kita for lunch. Apparently I picked a bad day to leave the office because all the Georgia natives were carrying umbrellas. By the I got to the restaurant it was pouring. Since I had to be back at work, I braved the rain and went in.

Sushi Kita is a small strip mall sushi restaurant. The decor is typical Japanese restaurant. When I got there I was soaked so I was looking forward to eating. I decided to order a sashimi combo from the menu. With Miso soup and a salad included for about $16 it was a good deal. The soup was unremarkable but the salad was crisp and fresh.

The sashimi was excellent. Fresh and tasty. I should have written this review the day I went because it has been a few weeks. I don’t remember precisely what was on the combo but I remember that it was excellent.

I will be back.

Sushi Kita 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Hoover, AL — Pacific Rim

Categories: Alabama
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Published on: December 6, 2012
Pacific Rim Sushi & Grill
3076 John Hawkins Pkwy
Hoover, AL

When I think of Alabama, I rarely think of sushi. But this week, I am in Birmingham, Alabama and tonight, I wanted sushi. Some colleagues suggested Pacific Rim. It was close to my hotel so I decided to go there in the evening. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were open until 10:00pm on weeknights. I like to eat dinner pretty late when I am on the road.

Pacific Rim is modern looking restaurant located just outside of a large mall. The restaurant is not exactly on the mall pad, it is located next to a small rock outcropping just below the mall parking lot. When I entered the place looked smart and modern, I choose to sit at a table and my waiter brought me menu.

Pacific Rim has an interesting menu. There are a few cooked dinners but the majority of the menu is sushi and sashimi. There were a number of very interesting looking rolls. I noticed immediately that the prices were expensive. There were a number of rolls over $15 and even some over $20!

In the end, I ordered, Tempura Sweet Potatoes, a deluxe sashimi combo and a bowl of steamed rice. The tempura sweet potatoes were a bit artless, the pieces were huge, I would have preferred them cut into small pieces.

The sashimi combo was very good. All of the fish was fresh and tasty. The combo consisted of tuna, salmon, red snapper, yellowtail, albacore, sea bass and toro.

Pacific Rim had good food and a very innovative menu. The only negative was price. My order of hot tea, sweet potato tempura, rice and a deluxe sushi combo came to $44 before tip.

Pacific Rim is worth a visit, just be prepared to pay.

Pacific Rim Sushi & Grill 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Tucson, AZ — Sushi Garden

Categories: Arizona
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Published on: November 16, 2012
Sushi Garden
3408 E Broadway
Tucson, AZ

This week in Tuscon, my colleagues recommended several restaurants. Yesterday, I took their recommendation and visited Guero Canelo and had an awesome Sonoran Hot Dog. During the week they suggested several sushi restaurants. Not knowing which one to choose I looked at some online reviews and saw that Sushi Garden was chosen best sushi byTucson Weekly. I had also been hearing radio ads for Sushi Garden all week.

So, when I went to Sushi Garden, my expectations were high. Sushi Garden is a large restaurant and on the radio they advertise their sushi buffet. Sushi Garden’s buffet is not a full Japanese buffet like Ichi Umi

in New Jersey. It looked like Sushi Garden’s buffet is relatively small with only sushi items. I wouldn’t know because when I arrived, the first thing the hostess did, was rather rudely inform me that the buffet was closed.

Sushi garden has a large and innovative menu with a few non-sushi items. The menu has several images and it took me quite a while to decide. I finally decided to order some crab puffs (crab rangoons). The crab puffs were pretty good.

I decided to try some rolls. I ordered a Philadelphia Roll, a Scallop Roll and a Temptation Roll. The Temptation Roll was cooked lobster in a in a cucumber wrap. It tasted good but it was nearly impossible to eat. Even when I picked up the pieces by hand it fell apart. Each piece was too large to eat in one bite but no matter how you ate it — it fell apart. Nice idea but it didn’t quite cut it.

In the Philadelphia Roll the fish was warm and frankly, a bit slimy. Disappointing to say the least. The Scallop Roll was raw scallops with some kind of sauce wrapped in rice. I love scallops and the Scallop Roll was the high point of the meal.

In the end, Sushi Garden failed to live up to the hype.

Sushi Garden 2 rice bowls * * * * -

Calgary, AB — Blowfish Sushi Lounge

Categories: Alberta
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Published on: November 3, 2012
Blowfish Sushi Lounge
625 11th Ave SW
Calgary, AB

Someone at my company must have a sense of humor. It’s the first week in November and I get sent to Calgary. I’m sure that I’ll be spending January in Edmonton :(

Actually, I’ve had a great week. I’ve gotten to know my way around the +15 (The elevated skywalk system, so named because it is 15 feet above street level.) I have enjoyed lunches at a little Asian noodle place next to my company’s Calgary office. Last night I had an amazing roasted duck breast at a little brasserie in the trendy Kennsington District north of downtown.

Tonight, I decided to talk a nice walk and visit Blowfish Sushi Lounge. According to online review, Blowfish is one of the top sushi restaurants in Calgary. Having chosen Blowfish from several possible choices, my expectations were very high. When I got to the restaurant, I was disappointed, Blowfish looked more like a bar/club than a sushi restaurant.

Blowfish looked like the kind of place I typically don’t like. Loud music, trendy modern decor and waitresses dressed in provocative black outfits. There wasn’t even a sushi bar. I decided to order the chef’s sashimi combo. It seemed to take an inordinate amount of time for my meal to arrive. I sat there at my table, reading my on my Nexus 7 and thinking of how bad a review I was going to write.

In the end, Blowfish surprised me, when my sashimi arrived it looked really good. A nice selection and very artfully arranged. At the end of the day, regardless of the ambience, it’s the fish that counts — and in the case of Blowfish the fish was very very good. My sashimi was tasty and firm. The mackerel, one of my favorites, was especially good. I don’t remember all of the kinds of fish, I just remember that they were all good.

There were two unusual things on the plate. After poking it with my fork in the dark, I realized that one was a rock for decoration. The other looked like a shot glass it was full of some kind of cold salad. When I tasted it I realized that it was octopus. When I asked the waitress, she said that it was octopus and fresh wasabi. Wow, this is one of the very best items I have ever had in a sushi restaurant. It was mostly octopus suction cups and the fresh wasabi added a great taste.

At the end of the meal one of the waitresses and I started talking about my tablet and books that we were both reading. We actually had a really nice conversation about the American presidential elections as well. It was a great end to an evening that started out looking rather questionable.

In the end, Blowfish redeemed itself, next time I’m in Calgary, I’ll be back.

Blowfish Sushi Lounge 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Phoenix, AZ — Hana Sushi

Categories: Arizona
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Published on: November 3, 2012
Hana Sushi
5524 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ

The Valley of the Sun. Late October in Iowa and I got sent to Phoenix :) Had a good week with a client that I had not worked with before but during the week I felt the need to get out and try some sushi.

A scan of the Internet identified Hana Sushi as one of the top rated sushi places in the Phoenix are so I decided to give it a try. Hana is a small Japanese restaurant with an extensive menu. I came to Hana looking for sushi but the rest of the menu looked so good that I ended up ordering a noodle dish and a sushi roll. The noodle portion was huge and hit the spot. My sushi roll was very tasty.

I really couldn’t find anything wrong with Hana — next time I go, I’m having sushi :)

Hana Sushi 4 rice bowls * * * * -
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