I'm still trying to figure out the answer to that
question (being a recent immigrant to the East Bay
myself). People here are fond of Kirala in Berkeley,
on Shattuck south of campus right next door to Berkeley
Bowl, (which is, you should know, the most amazing
place to buy produce and bulk drygoods in the East Bay
-- I hesitate to claim this, but better than
Fairway!!!). I found the sushi at Kirala okay, but
they also have an open grill in the restaurant which
produces a lot of smoke, the smell of flesh crackling,
and while usually such a scent makes me happy, I don't
like it mixing with my pure, clean, raw fish. People
also recommend Yoshi's in Oakland, I think at Jack
London Square. I haven't been there yet, but I hear
it's a hip japanese sushi restaurant/jazz bar. I also
had pretty good sushi in SF, but I don't remember
exactly where. TO tell the truth, I think NYC just
does sushi better than the Bay Area; but let me know if
you find proof otherwise.
Thanks for the message-I had the same opinion about
Kirala-just ok. I have tried a few other places-Sushi
Zone near Broadway in ChinaTown it was pretty good, I
think it has potential its very chilly in there
atmosphere wise. TaKe Sushi on Grand is hit or miss
sometimes its great sometimes crappy. I also have
tried two veeerryyy mediocre(sp?)places on College in
Rockridge(Kombu, I think is one, and a place that is I
believe a local chain NOT Kamakura the bane of all
Japanese food). I just want it to be
consistent!!!!Havent had Sushi in NY but in SF,
Hammano and Saji are good.
I haven't lived in SF/Bay Area for a dozen years, but
if they're still there: a place called Edokko on
Shattuck (I think) in Berkeley was good a long time
ago, as was Kabuto Sushi in SF on Geary near 14th or
so. In general, when you know where it go, I have found
California sushi better and cheaper than what you get
in NYC except at the very expensive places.
thanks-I think i finally found a yummy one!
SushiZone(downtown oakland) run by a very hip pair of
Chinese brothers!!!!They have this weird boston
connection I havent quite figured out yet but the sushi
is some of the most varied and best I have had. Fab
service great beers/sakes. They do this crazy maine
lobster sashimi thing!
I try sushi everywhere i go, and one of my all-time faves is Sushi-Ran in Sausalito. All the exotics, all fresh, at half the prices of NYC. (The west coast RULES for sushi!) It is a few blocks from Casa Madrona, one of the best Bed & Breakfasts in the USA. Sushi-Ran has a great cold sake menu, and outstanding fish: albacore tuna, uni, toro, hamachi-toro, the works. Beats all the sushi I have had in NY, and alot of SF as well. Go there!
I've been very pleased with the sushi at Genki in Berkeley, on the southwest corner of the Cedar at San Pablo intersection (directly across the street from Kermit Lynch & the Acme bakery). Fairly pricey, but always fresh if not fresher: I've had the best mirugai of my life here, among other good experiences. Sushi bar plus table seating = long waits sometimes (especially after 7 p.m. on weekends), though nothing approaching Kirala-style insanity.
re: Jonathan King
Well... Take Sushi on Grand Ave in Oakland has a great fish-to-rice ratio, and the fish is always good. The sake isn't so good.... And Uzen on College Ave in Oakland is excellent but expensive. Tachibana (also on College Ave) is usually good, but avoid it on SUnday - the fish doesn't seem as fresh.
I must offer you the 2 polars of the sushi expereience in the city (San Francisco). The First is the very well known, and turtleneck trendy, Ebisu (in the Sunset district). The grub rocks, but the place is as much about people watching and attitude as it is about feeding. The flip side is Yum Yum Fish (also in the Sunset). This place is a fish market. But it also sells sushi. I understand they even wholesale to other restaraunts. It's about the food, not Armani, Dulce and Gabbana, or.... well you get it. I know that these places aren't East Bay joints, but I though you might find the 411 usefull.