Sushi East Bay SF!
I just moved to the East Bay and am on the hunt for an excellent Sushi restaurant with thick cuts of fresh, buttery, melt in your mouth sashimi. I am from Hawai'i and am realizing how spoiled I was to be there. The variety and quality of our fish was always to die for and amazingly reasonably priced.
I used to be a devoted advocate for Kabuto but the distance and the elimination of the "combo" meals to higher priced a la carte items have led me to seek sushi elsewhere. I've become a local at Tachibana in Oakland but am interested in finding other excellent restaurants that are not as pricey as Kirala (if this is even a possibility). The other night, I was completely let down by poor quaility fish at Koryo in Oakland. The thin, jagged slices of fish were not fresh and the maguro was almost firm, bordering chewy. The rolls which were still $11+/roll came cut in only 4 pieces and it was almost impossible to find the fish featured in the roll. I have not tried Uzen although heard good reviews. I am craving Japanese and desperately looking for restaurants in the East Bay and San Francisco area. I need your chowhound expertise!
Have you tried Sugata on Solano almost at San Pablo? It's been there forever, is definitely not fancy, kind of your local, basic sushi shop where the owner always gives something extra to his regulars. The sushi is good, occasionally fantastic, and where available they try to serve local stuff. I was there a couple of nights ago and had 2 toro, 1 'M' grade (I think that is medium-grade) bluefin that was absolutely incredible - buttery with a faint metallic tinge; the other was albacore toro - the flesh was striated and so it was a little chewier than the bluefin but also really buttery and fresh tasting.
For homey, friendly, neighborhood joint sushi we go to Genki on San Pablo at Cedar (across from Fanny & Kermit Lynch). For more upscale and hushed sushi we go to Sushi Sho on Solano on the Berkeley side (not sure of cross street).
There was a recent post about Mitama in Rockridge that I've linked below. Sounds like a good one!
And yes, do try Uzen. I liked it a lot.