Sushi Overload

Happy New Year!

I spent part of my holiday break down in Oakland visiting a good friend of mine. During my week I went on what could only be considered a "I want to get mercury poisoning" sushi binge fest. 2 of the 5 nights I was there we went out for sushi. Now some of it was wonderful and some of it just didn't float my it were. 

The first place we went to neither of us had been before (we found a Groupon for the place so we figured why not). Their website recommended making reservations - so we did - although when we got there most of the bar was open and a number of tables so I don't think it was necessary (we went on a Thursday night). 

Pictures from Tachibana:

Maybe it was our reservations that got us the good view?
Seaweed salad. If it's on the menu I'm going to order it.
Where to even begin?
The top is a Caterpillar roll,
next (L to R) is Ana Kyu, Una Kyu and Uni,
then the bottom roll is some type of crunchy roll.
My dining companion's favorite - Cherry Blossom Roll
Somehow we managed to still be hungry
(and afterall we had a minimum we had to eat for the Groupon).
So we went the nigiri route.
(L to R) Halibut, Scallops, Yellow tale

Then Eel two ways. (L) Anago and (R) Unagi (my favorites)
Lately I've been in this "adventurous" eating mood. To quote Bizarre Food's Andrew Zimmern "If it looks good - eat it" and I have been.

So when I told my beau I was going out for sushi he asked if I was going to try Uni (Sea urchin and his favorite). My answer? 

Of course!

So from there began a long series of text messages with recommendations and suggestions (i.e. most of the nigiri platter above).

*     *     *

A few days later, with my sushi craving having not been satisfied, we went for round two. This time we had plans to visit a place with bottomless sake; unfortunately they were closed for the holidays. So we went a bit further down the road to another location.

I'd been to this sushi place before and while the food wasn't bad it also wasn't that impressive.

Photos from the "other" sushi bar:

They called this a "crispy roll" (crab and avocado) however it was more like a deep fried sushi doughnut. Not what I expected. I thought at most they'd have seared the outside rice but this had a batter coated around the sushi individually cut sushi pieces and then deep friend. More than I could handle.
Being her favorite we went ahead and ordered a Cherry Blossom Roll from this establishment. It was fine - but I think I preferred the Tachibana's
So here we have a roll named after the sushi bar...tempura shrimp on the inside with unagi and avocado on the top. Something wasn't right with the first bite. It left a soapy taste in my mouth - like when a cup or fork isn't rinsed properly. 

So I tried another soap taste...but there it was on the was driving me crazy!

So I dissected my last bite. First I ate the shrimp and rice...tasted fine. Then I tried the avocado...nothing wrong. Last bite was the unagi! Yep, there it is. Something wasn't right. Complete sadness. My favorite piece and it was tainted! 

Even though I had a tainted taste in my mouth from the last roll we still were looking for something a little more. So my dining companion ordered a "49er Roll". Thank goodness for a fresh and slightly sweet salmon on top.

The last roll we tried was (sort of) recommended by my significant other. He suggested I try a Salmon Skin Hand roll. Well being me I forgot the "Hand roll" part and got it in a Maki roll instead. The salmon skin was hard to taste at first but gave a nice salty aftertaste to the roll. I picked apart one to try the salmon skin by itself and I loved it...maybe next time I'll remember to get it as a hand roll instead.

In the end, while mercury poisoning did not occur, I satisfied my sushi craving for the moment.


  1. This post is making me hungry...I am SUCH a sushi enthusiast. One time, me and my dad tried to make sushi at home, and I ate it for breakfast. Weird...but true =)

    Great post hun.


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