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best sushi in berkeley?

m
michael Sep 11, 2005 07:13 PM

what's the best sushi in berkeley?

i'm new to the area-- and the only two places i've frequented are tgo's and party sushi. i like both a lot, but i'm sure there are better places. party sushi in particular was great for the dirt-cheap prices, but they've been raising prices. tgo's also has a lot of good $10 rolls. still, i'd like something new. any suggestions?

  1. b
    blackjack Sep 11, 2005 08:25 PM

    Kirala

    2 Replies
    1. re: blackjack
      a
      annie Sep 11, 2005 08:29 PM

      Many Japanese people I know like Sushi Sho for authentic sushi and Mitama for (cheaper) American-style sushi over Kirala.

      1. re: annie
        s
        sensi63 Sep 12, 2005 04:14 PM

        The wait at Kirala is not worth it if you want only Sushi imho.

    2. s
      stephen sorkin Sep 11, 2005 09:03 PM

      sushi sho is at least as good as kirala for sushi quality. not much else there though. it's also a lot less busy than kirala, where the wait can be quite long.

      2 Replies
      1. re: stephen sorkin
        c
        Chestnut Sep 11, 2005 09:57 PM

        I love Sushi Sho. The unagi there was the best I've ever had - no slimy skin (as I've found even at Matsuhisa in LA!), just meltingly soft eel with a slight crunch from the grill. Oh, and the sushi chef mixes his own unagi and soy sauces. Be forewarned: he's definitely very particular about how he wants customers to eat his sushi (e.g., dip nigiri fish-down in the soy sauce, no mixing of wasabi into the soy sauce, if unagi is ordered he will serve it to you last), but I find that to be part of the charm of the place.

        1. re: Chestnut
          j
          J.A. Sep 12, 2005 01:21 PM

          I would second the recommendation for Sushi Sho. There was a lengthy thread on it earlier this summer:

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      2. r
        Robert Lauriston Sep 12, 2005 12:30 PM

        Uzen. Actually in Oakland.

        Kirala's sushi is good but not exceptional. No reason to wait in line unless you want the robata.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          s
          SLRossi Sep 12, 2005 04:05 PM

          I'll second Uzen.

          It's on College Ave. and VERY close to the Berkeley border.

        2. m
          michael Sep 12, 2005 11:52 PM

          based on what you guys said, sushi sho was our first choice, but they're closed on sundays, so we went to mitama. it was great, i must say. also i have to admit that some of the wacky stuff, like tempura'd spicy tuna roll, was delicious. the wasabi was pretty mild-- from what i've heard this is traditionally how it should be(?) the only downside was the terrible service. the waitresses were rushing around like it was an emergency room, for no more than ten seated tables, and everything (even to take our order) was very, very slow. still, we will probably be going back. thanks guys!

          1 Reply
          1. re: michael
            c
            Chestnut Sep 13, 2005 02:38 AM

            Sounds great - I'll have to check it out since I live nearby. Too bad about the unfortunate service, though.

            But you will HAVE to try out Sushi Sho for a very traditional (and delicious) sushi experience.

            Also - sushi on Sunday? Maybe I'm the only one who's paranoid about things like that, but I would think the fish would be least likely to be fresh on a Sunday.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2. p
            Pocko Sep 13, 2005 01:06 AM

            I agree about Sushi Sho and Uzen. They are both fabulous. I dislike Kirala immensely.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pocko
              r
              Robert Lauriston Sep 13, 2005 11:33 AM

              Kirala's sushi is not worth lining up for but the butterfish robata is.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                t
                Todd Lemon Sep 14, 2005 08:16 PM

                I remember seeing all the robatas on the menu when I went there recently... I still don't know what they are, but I agree with the gist of this. The sushi I got there was just fine sushi, like you can get all over the place, but what impressed me was the wide range of other menu items. I got natto there for the first time! Everything I'd read about it suggested that I would have to drive all the way out to some far edge of the Bay Area and that the smell would clear the place out and I would have to argue with them to get them to serve it to me, but there it was, just sitting on Kirala's menu. It was awesome and I wish I were eating it right now. And the salmon sashimi was cut in this good chunky way that made it very satisfying, although the fish itself was farm-raised-bland. It's a good place to avoid the usual and try the specialties.

                So while they may not have the best maki or nigiri in Berkeley, they have a far greater range than most of the local Japanese restaurants and that's worth something.

                1. re: Todd Lemon
                  r
                  Robert Lauriston Sep 14, 2005 08:30 PM

                  Robata is sort of the grill counterpart of sushi.

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