Okina Sushi Review
March 8, 2007
Decided to try this place after reading some of the reviews. Overall, the place was good to above average. We were the first ones in the store, sat at the counter, and got a chance to speak to the owner. He is a friendly fellow, casual, and offered great service. Our tea was refilled without asking.
Everything was fresh, and like another reviewer of this restaurant before said, the fish was a bit colder than usual. This maybe a good thing, to prevent bacteria...
My only complaint is the lack of choices. I don't care for rolls generally, and they do not have any type of appetizers or other cooked food. Most of the basic fishes are there, but nothing more.
Total bill came out to $65 for two people. We ordered amaebi, mackeral (3 orders), hamachi (2), scallop, squid (2), unagi, oyster sushi, fatty tuna (2), 1 large sake, crab sushi. We just ordered one or two orders at a time. Did not try uni, salmon, halibut, and tuna.
Items that I did not care for, scallop and squid. Both had shiso leaf in them. Oyster sushi and crab sushi to me lacked any type of flavor. The rice masked the taste of the oyster.
Finally, the shrimp head was baked in the oven, I prefer deep frying em.
Nothing bad about this place at all...just...nothing spectacular either.
My boyfriend and I had the chance to try Okina this last Saturday night. We were returning from a day at Napa and wanted an easy, solid sushi dinner. This place fit the bill.
Our impressions were similar to yours. We arrived at 9pm, and before being seated, the server apologized for what fish was left, and asked us to look at what was available before deciding to stay. After seeing quite enough fish to keep us happy, we sat at the bar. We tried a few maki, and hamachi, tuna, unagi, sweet shrimp (we weren't given head). We liked everything. Throughout the meal, the sushi chep apologized several times for shortage of fish. We were surprised b/c everything on the menu was available so we assumed they were out of specials. Service very good. Traditional place. Very quiet place so not the place to have lots of coversation you'd like private since everyone can hear. We'll go back again if we want basic, easy, and reasonable. I did appreciate the fresh crab in the California roll, which was just given to us by the sushi chef.
We visited Okina last night - three of us, all consummate sushi fanatics. I actually made us a reservation. It really helped. I observed 4 groups of diners being turned away. Sometimes, that is a good sign. :-)
Here is what we ordered:
aji (Japanese jack mackerel aka Jackfish) (2)
shiro maguro (2)
The specials of the night were jackfish and shiro-maguro, some others which did not seem as appetizing to us - oyster, I think ?
As folks have stated elsewhere, the fish did seem a bit chilled. No worries there, the texture felt just right to me.
I had bought two bottles of Takara sake beforehand, which I sheepishly asked the kind waiter about. He was more than happy for us to imbibe the said bottles on the premises. I then made the long trek back to the car. I just didn't want to be presumptuous. They supplied us with wine glasses, which was quite nice.
Parking is a huge issue in this area. But then again, my parking karma is horrible, whether it be SF or London. Also, Okina accepts cash only. None of those pesky credit cards.
My companions and I were more than sated after the meal. I would definitely rate the place as number 3 on my list, the first two being Ino Sushi and Tekka. (I am unusually partial to Ino-San at Ino sushi in J-town. )
I believe it is indeed difficult to beat the value for money quotient with this place. Three people - a fair bit of nosh-up, and the bill was $75. I just could not believe it. Well, we tipped heavily and got out of there.
Onward to a lounge called 'Rohan' on Geary, where I continued with Takara sake whilst my companions had for some sugary sweet drinks with little hats in them !
Nice post. I haven't been to Okina in a long time, so it's great to hear things are still good there. There aren't usually super "exotic" fish in stock, but I would agree that for the value, it could well be the best around. Ino is one of my favorites too.
Good for you for keeping up with the sake, and not giving into hatted sugary sweet drinks! :-)