I was all over the country last week with time in the Bay area (SF) and in Ft Worth, TX as well. We stayed in San Mateo, CA and found the spot for authentic japanese bento box lunches at Hotaru (33 E. 3rd Ave. San Mateo, CA). We shared a uni topped sushi roll which I can’t remember the name of, but it had a fresh-from-the-sea taste and for $8 is a bargain. The uni by itself would usually cost at least that. The bento box / combo meals are wonderful and a great bargain as well. For about $11, you get 2 pieces of sushi, 3 pieces of a roll, 2 different grilled meats (chix terayaki, mackrel in my case), soup, salad, and a variety of uber-fresh tempura. Everything was perfectly prepared and the green tea flowed throughout the meal. The only problem with finding places like this is that you don’t try the other ones nearby!
I was in NYC yesterday and enjoyed a great lunch at Sushiden (123 W 49th St New York, NY 10020). I’ve had my share of sushi as I generally eat it at least once a week, but this was really the pure stuff. The rolls had just enough, very fresh, perfectly prepared rice and the fish was sublime. The salmon sushi was some of the best I’ve ever had and maybe that’s kudos to the fisherman or the purveyor, but kudos to Sushiden for picking well in this case. The salmon belly was also enjoyable and a nice compliment to the meal. While usually an afterthought, the green tea was freshly brewed and robust without being overpowering. It was also nice that the 2 rolls, 3 sushi pieces, and salad was $22: a reasonable buy anywhere, let alone NYC.
Dinner tonight came by way of my walk to pick it up. Vic Sushi is a real neighborhood sushi place which is always busy with folks at the sushi bar (which is the only place to sit). I’ve never actually eaten there as it’s so close, I’d rather just eat at home. It’s also been fun to watch a non-fish eater (the wife) go from swearing off any item from the sea to actually thinking that ordering sushi is a good idea.
Of course, not all Sushi is acceptable, but we like their iRoll and Birthday rolls as they use soy paper rather than seaweed. They also have a great deal with the 3 roll special which offers any 3 rolls from a choice of 10 for $10.95. So 3 rolls from the list and two others and we’re golden.
Also, no rating system yet for food, but I’ll come back to this. Let’s just say for now that it’s outstandingly fresh fish at a reasonable price.