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sushi in Oakland?

Any recommendations for sushi in Oakland, particularly in the downtown or Lake Merritt area? Thanks!

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  1. There should be a sushi place on Grand, near the Old Place (opposite side of the street) that used to be called Mr. Sushi but I dunno if its any good.

    There should also be another one close to the Old Place (Ta-Ke or Tataki or something). Haven't been there in years, but the last few times I went it was going downhill.

    Another spot is Mijori, just down the street from Grand Lake Theater. It appears to be a fave on this board, but the rolls there are not very traditional. I recommend the saba if you go. The portions are pretty good sized for the price.

    Sushi Zone is in Chinatown, next door to Peony in the Plaza. Haven't been there in a few years, but it's always seemed a bit pricey to me.

    Drunken Fish is on Broadway, but close to 32nd I think... it also seems to get some favorable reports on this board. I've never been but comparing sushi recs I suspect it may be similar to Mijori.

    There's also Wasabi, just behind Merritt Bakery, on 2nd overlooking the tennis courts. Never been there either so I can't say if its any good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: S U

      The first place you mentioned (which used to be Mr. Sushi) is now Coach Sushi. It's okay. Nice and friendly service, lots of extras for regulars, but a bit variable. It might be better at the sushi bar: I usually get something and then sushi on the side. It's a few blocks closer to 580 than Old Place, a few doors down from Zza's and Trio.

      The second is Ta-Ke Sushi, right across from the Eagle gas station (which used to be a Shell) -- a block closer to downtown from Old Place. It did not impress me. The $1 ultra-chilled beers from 4-6pm are worth a quick pass by, I guess, but the maki I had from there was marginal.

      1. re: S U

        I second Drunken Fish, which is on Piedmont at the corner of Broadway. It is much better than Mijori, I think. Had an excellent dinner there last night with the best wakame salad, sashimi plate, vegetable tempura, and sushi assortment (esp the amigo roll--cannot get enough of that: pink soy skin, spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, wasabi sauce, and black tobiko). Really top knotch last night.

      2. Don't know about Lake Merritt side, but downtown I've been to Sushi Zone and it's ok. I usually go to Ginza in Jack London on Broadway. It's 2 doors down from Nation's. Great rolls if that's what you're into. Nigiri is good, but I like it cuz I can get some korean fixings as well. Grilled Kalbi meat hits the spot if I'm down there lunch/dinner.

        1. Uzen on College Ave. in Rockridge (near Soi Four, the Thai restaurant) has been around and is still pretty decent.

          1. I really enjoy Drunken Fish on Broadway (south off of the 24 east highway).

            1. i like isobune on college ave, near zachary's, barney's, pasta pomodaro etc. it's next door to the old albertson's

              1 Reply
              1. re: wchane

                Isobune's ok for the lunch bentos, but if you are looking for nigiri and choose a seat @ the "bar" (sushi boats floating by), stick to basic stuff and be aware that when business is slow the stuff on the boats may float around for a while.

                If in that area, I'd rather head to Uzen.

              2. Ichi (Ichiro?) Sushi on 15th, near the Off Broadway sandwich place. Good basic sushi, nothing fancy, very solid. The owner (Ichi) used to own/work at Ichi sushi on 17th. Been going to him for years, very personable guy, loves to get to know his customers. There is also Ginji (sp?) in Ogawa plaza near City Hall.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Grubbjunkie

                  Ichiro is definitely the best sushi option -- in *downtown* Oakland. At the chowlunch there about a year ago, most people thought it paled in comparison to the great places, but those of us who work in the area agreed it is miles above the rest of downtown.

                  And it's quite possible it compares well against the rest of Oakland, since most of the "X is better" comments were for restaurants outside of Oakland.

                2. Yoshi's I went there a while ago, it was awesome. Great crowd and jazz.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    The food at Yoshi's used to be pretty mediocre but they hired Shotaro Kamio, former chef of Ozumo, to revamp it, which is good. On the other hand, he's also overseeing the new Yoshi's in SF, so may be spread a bit thin.

                    Haven't seen any detailed reports here on the new food at the Oakland branch yet.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I haven't eaten at Yoshi's in about 6 months, but was going every month or so before then. I think it's far above mediocre, and I can't think of a better sushi joint (for the sushi part). You might consider it mediocre for the price & setting, but that's all. I distinctly remember the uni there -- thought it delightful.

                        They do their big business on friday and saturday. I tend to go on those days also, as the band schedule works out favorably. Friday's often an excellent sushi night anywhere, and Yoshi's is no exception.

                        Their nigri is what I go for. I think the rolls are decent, but not memorable. Noodles and soup were quite good, and I remember liking the tempura. There's a couple of "california flair" dishes that are pretty good (seared ahi salad, for example).

                        The mixed drinks there are above average for Oakland.

                        Most of the sushi places I go to in the East Bay are outside of downtown, on the Rockridge side, so I can't help other than that.


                        1. re: bbulkow

                          The new chef has radically changed Yoshi's menu, so previous experience is no guide. See Melanie's second link for one detailed report.

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston

                          sho is still spending his time at yoshi's in oakland as san francisco is still 6 months away. he's also brought on board his #2 at ozumo, who became the chef after he departed and did a great job maintaining food quality, so i'm optomistic that sho's improvements should sustain.

                          *disclaimer, i have a business relationship with yoshi's

                          1. re: laaronson

                            Thanks, I got the mistaken impression that one of the topics linked above was a report on Yoshi's SF.