is this reallly any good?
I'm pretty fond of Koo, and I'd recommend it. The sushi is not as good as that at Takara or Uzen, but it's quite good -- a little inconsistent with some real treats. The preparations are not very traditional, but are tasty. The chefs are very friendly and the wait staff is uniformly excellent.
Koo is in the middle of a lot of much worse options. There's Ebisu, where you'll wait forever for overpriced sushi; there's Grande-Ho's, which is twice as much as Ebisu, and half as good (or so it seems); and there's Hama-ko, where the sushi is excellent but the owners will treat you like dirt. Given the options, having a friendly, clean, well-lit, reasonably-priced, high-quality sushi joint nearby makes me very happy.
Precipice or other hounds, could you please describe what you mean by "the preparations are not very traditional"? I'm planning a birthday dinner for a friend who enjoys sushi and we'd like quality sushi of the standard types. We don't need anything exotic.
Also, one of our friends does not eat fish. Does Koo Sushi offer teriyaki chicken/beef? I'd call Koo Sushi, but they are closed today.
Thanks much in advance.
I think koo is much better than ebisu, and compares well with hama-ko. service at koo is good, and they have an excellent 'spoonful of happiness'.
I just tried it a couple weeks ago and thought it was great. I thought their fish was really good and I loved the different rolls we tried, especially the crunch roll. We also got the yellowtail neck, which was quite tasty. It is a very nice atmosphere as well.
Photos of my first visit in January 2007
This was the $80 omakase. Call ahead 3 days in advance to request it.
-Appetizer of onions, celery, strips of smoked salmon with sesame seed and a yuzu based dressing. The onions were sweet, crunchy.
- spoonful of double happiness - Served with a small chilled sake. Slurp one spoon take a big sip, repeat with the other. Superb. One spoon was kurodai or seasonal white fish (whatever is available) wrapped in ankimo and ponzu sauce, the other was uni with uzura, tobiko, truffle oil.
- Perfect and insanely fresh iwashi (sardine) sashimi beautifully plated like a flower, on ice with an in house made ponzu sauce that had fish stock in it, with minced ginger and green onion on the side.
- California North Coast oysters, one with a little chili oil and ponzu sauce, and the other had wasbi tobiko on top. Very sweet and practically topping the kind I had at Hog Island Oyster Bar. Very fresh and delicious
- Smoked ankimo platter with roasted beets on the side. This was like smoked cheese. Very original, beautifully smoked (esp if you like a fresh house made/cured cold smoked fish or cheese). Way out of the box and sublime.
- duo appetizer of tuna+salmon tatare, and one that had grilled pepper tiger prawn on a bed of Russet potatoes. WOW.
- another sashimi plate. Kona kanpachi, Hokkaido hotate (scallops), North Carolina bluefin (hon-maguro), kinmedai (alfonsino)
- grilled scallops on a bed of western mushrooms. The sauce and plating was like at a very high end French restaurant.
- Toro tartare. Beautiful cylindrical salad mix of toro and other things. So visually stunning I felt sad eating it.
- sugar snap peas in a clear broth with fish shavings on top.
- soy sauce stewed Alfonsino collar (kinmedai no kama nitsuke) - way way way better than kinki nitsuke at Tanto Sunnyvale or San Jose.
- Nigiri course: aji with green onion, ginger, great sauce. Hirame with shiso, momoji oroshi, ponzu that was sublime, bincho (white tuna belly) that melted in your mouth, kohada, monterey ika with superb knifework that looked like ika somen but not separated, the most insanely delicious soy sauce and sake marinated ikura, best in the bay area better than Ino or Sushi Sam's, anago, and a final request by me of uni which was from Mendocino County. Very similar texture to Alaskan uni, creamy sweet and did not need soy sauce, just a dash of hon wasabi on top.
Mt Fuji chocolate cake. Rich flavors but without the filling effect. Plated and shaped beautifully, it was a true work of art and demonstrated that not just the husband can steal the show. Wife Ayumi-san is a terrific dessert chef in her own right. Her strawberry panna cotta is supreme, better than the best of Satura Cakes in Los Altos.