yoshi's -- new good sushi in somerville
i live near powderhouse square in somerville, and the old "chieko" restaurant on college ave is now gone. the place that's replaced it is called "yoshi's", is more japanese/sushi oriented (chieko had a few sushi items but was more korean food). i've eaten there three times in the last few weeks and am how prepared to pass favorable notice upon it :)
the first good sign was the tea -- a nice toasty gen mai cha. i'm kind of a tea snob, and having something other than "green restaurant tea" was a pleasure. the next thing i liked was a special called "tuna seviche" -- not a canonical sushi dish, and not as marinated as the mexican version, but very tasty; lots of tuna, red onion, nice citrusy dressing. i've also had some very fine raw fish -- toro and salmon especially; not much outside the items i consider standard, but good. and they have the best green-tea ice cream i've had anyplace.
on the downside, the staff can be sort of clueless -- i have had my waiter enter into lengthy conversation with the chef to figure out if they had quail egg for my tobiko (not listed on the menu, but i figured it couldn't hurt to ask -- twice they did have it; once they didn't), and similarly with whether there was shiso to go in my ume maki (there was). on the up side, they're generous; i've had some interesting rolls and a very nice octopus salad appear "gratis". and the prices are between reasonable and cheap -- they sell most combination maki as 3-piece orders for $2.75 or $3, which allows for a bit more granularity than the typical 6-piece roll order; i've gotten decent meals there for between about $12 and $20 (not including tip).
anybody else been there yet?
I've only tried the maki sushi. It was relatively cheap and I got what I paid for. The rolls were too loose, mayonaise was slathered on every roll, the ratio of rice to sushi was too high. Every roll was an inside-out roll, which was somewhat monotonous and resulted in there being too little flavor from the nori (inside-outs use less seaweed). I like seasoned mayo, but not on everything. I'm not likely to go back for maki, but may try other items.
I've only eaten there once, and I hadn't planned to go back. Their tea is delicious. I didn't even know that gen mai cha existed until I tried it at Yoshi. The little salad was also very tasty.I had the what the menu described as "tempura udon in seaweed broth". The tempura had an alarming orangish cast, and it was heavy and greasy. The broth was tasteless. The noodles were slimy. Maybe their sushi is better than their soup.