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Sushi Gourmet - Mill Valley

Andrew Raskin Jun 13, 2001 12:57 PM

I would never have walked into Sushi Gourmet unprodded. The name to me suggests one of those 24-hour Korean delis in NYC where the rolls are filled with carrots, and the location -- smack in the middle of that strip mall in Mill Valley off 101 (Strawberry Village, a few doors down from Starbucks) -- is less than inspiring.

Luckily I got prodded. Sushi Gourmet is now one of my top 3 sushi places in the Bay Area (with Kabuto and Murasaki, though when Funny Drunken Sushi Chef points are added, Saji moves up a few slots). It turns out "Gourmet" is a play on words, a combination of "Go" -- the onyomi, or Chinese reading, of sushi chef Tsuyoshi Endo's first-name character -- and "mi" -- the "aji" character, meaning flavor or taste. All the sushi is fantastic, and the cooked menu is great too. I recommend trying the BBQ baigai -- the snails cooked in their shells over a flaming bed of salt on your plate.

Be sure to take interest in the small cross-section of fish skeleton mounted in cotton and framed at the left of the sushi counter. It's the eye socket of a small red snapper -- tai in japanese, a fish associated with good luck (from the connection to the word "medetai," for those playing along in Japanese). Endo didn't have money to design a logo, so he traced that skeleton and used that. It's on all the chopstick sleeves and his business cards.


Sushi Gourmet
Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, CA
(415) 381-8521

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  1. b
    Brandon Nelson RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 14, 2001 01:32 PM

    Sounds like a must try....

    That isn't the only hidden gem in Strawberry. If you haven't already been give Thep Lela a try. Fresh tasty Thai food at reasonable prices. It's hard to find great values in Marin county, but this is one of them.


    1. m
      Melanie Wong RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 14, 2001 06:41 PM

      Hey, Andy! Nice to see you posting here. Those snails sound incredible.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong
        Andrew Raskin RE: Melanie Wong Jun 16, 2001 12:39 PM

        Hey Melanie,
        Thanks for saying hi! Yeah, it took me a while, but I finally posted. Looking forward to seeing you at one of the dinners...


        1. re: Andrew Raskin
          Melanie Wong RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 18, 2001 03:24 AM

          Will I see you at Tuesday's dinner at San Wong?

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Andrew Raskin RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2001 08:45 PM

            Would have liked to, but I have plans to go to Luna Park that night. My friend has offered to "Show me the Mojitos," and I can't refuse.


            1. re: Andrew Raskin
              Melanie Wong RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 19, 2001 04:02 AM

              She must be very cute...(g).

              1. re: Andrew Raskin
                dixieday RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 20, 2001 01:58 AM

                Don't miss the s'mores dessert...and whatever Joe Jack's doing with the local king salmon is always worth trying.

                1. re: dixieday
                  Andrew Raskin RE: dixieday Jun 20, 2001 01:58 AM

                  I think we might be going just for drinks tonight, but, as the bearded Mr. Spock said to Captain Kirk at the end of the Mirror, Mirror episode, "I shall consider it."

        2. a
          Andrew Raskin RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 16, 2001 01:30 PM

          I went back to Sushi Gourmet a couple nights ago. The fried crispy head of the amaebi was so freakin' perfect. This amaebi head takes the amaebi head of Kabuto and whoops it upside the antennae. Best of all, it's not all battery like it gets some places (read Ebisu: friends don't let friends go to Ebisu).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Andrew Raskin
            Tom Armitage RE: Andrew Raskin Jun 16, 2001 02:22 PM


            Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your posts on Sushi Gourmet. If you've had occasion to read the Los Angeles Board, you probably know that I've written a lot about sushi on that Board, and Los Angeles is blessed with a large number of excellent sushi restaurants. My wife and I have friends in Mill Valley that we haven't seen for awhile. Your post makes me think it's about time we visit them.

            I'll look forward to reading more of your posts.

            1. re: Tom Armitage
              Andrew Raskin RE: Tom Armitage Jun 18, 2001 08:48 PM

              Tom, thanks for letting me know you liked the post.

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