Reasonably priced sushi...
So I'm looking for (surprise) a reasonably priced sushi place that's hopefully accessible by T (subway pref, not bus).
I have the 06/07 Zagat (not the latest one, which is the 07/08) and Sakurabana looks like the only option that fits those criteria... Is this place good? What's the ambiance like?
Any other suggestions for places? Of course, my top criterion is really really amazing sushi, but price is semi-important... My price range is hopefully not more than $30 per person (not including drinks).
The chestnut hill oishii wouldn't fit this price range, would it? i know the south end one wouldn't...
I recently went to Fugakyu for the first time, and was surprised at how reasonable it was (I was expecting it to be a bit more). With $20-25 entrees, it'll fit in your price range with a little restraint. (I think $23 gets you 9 nigiri and a roll.)
I love Sakurabana and used to eat lunch there once a week, but it was a couple of years ago (I worked across the street). In nice weather (and to avoid the wait) I'd call in take-out then sit by the waterfront or in Post Office Sqare. Eating in can be loud since they pack in a crowd. Best tuna tataki.... At dinner, they offer warm, moist cloths to wipe your hands, nice touch.
Since I am in Brighton now, I regularly go to a small treasure, Asahi.
Not much in the way of ambiance, since it is so small. They also don't have a liquor license. It is located at 418 Market St., just off Washington St., in Brighton Center. Go to the mbta's website to see if it's as T accessible as you'd like (it involves bus). Try taking the red line to Harvard, then the 86 bus (it stops right across the street). There's also an express bus from downtown xing, the 501, and its last stop is across the intersection.
I feast at Asahi for $20-30.
They have the best Saba (Mackerel) sashimi, makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Also excellent are the eel, salmon and tuna.
Other faves are the Tiger Roll, Volcano Roll, and the Spider Roll.
It's small, maybe 10 seats, & run by a friendly husband-and-wife team. I get in and out of there within an hour. Well worth the T trip!
It's true that you can't get to Brighton Center w/o using the bus system, but the best way to get there is on the 57 out of Kenmore Square. It runs much more frequently than either of the abovementioned buses (plus the 501 is a commuter bus - M-F only and it stops running before 8pm.)
Sakurabana is a fine choice for this price range. Depending on what you get at the Chestnut Hill Oishii, the price needn't be horrific, and you'll get what is to my thinking the best sushi locally -- though the place is small and waits during peak hours can be long.
I also like the sushi at JP Seafood Cafe (Jamaica Plain, closest stop Green Street) and its sister Village Sushi (Roslindale, but you'd have to take the bus there from Forest Hills), and the price is quite reasonable. Tsunami (Brookline, Coolidge Corner) and Ginza (Chinatown, or Brookline at St. Mary's) are also worthy moderate price possibilities. I've found Fugakyu (Brookline, Coolidge Corner) also good, if a little more expensive.
I'll second the suggestion that Oishii in Chestnut Hill needn't break the bank, it's just easy to do so. If you order heavy on the traditional nigiri and maki and supplement with sashimi and possibly a special appetizer or maki, you could get out of there for less than $30 per person. FWIW, their primitive Website has a menu and prices listed (when it's working properly): http://oishiisushi.chance365.net/
So my understanding is that Oishii in Chestnut Hill doesn't take reservations... Is this still true?
I've eaten both at the Chestnut Hill location and the one in the South End. I found that the sushi was worse (still good but not as good) in the South End as the Chestnut Hill location, and much more expensive, so I'll definitely be going to the smaller place...
My problem is that if I go at like 7 on a Saturday night, I might wait for 2 hours before a table opens up, which would be pretty awful.
Sakurabana has very good sushi at a relatively reasonable price. They also have the best udon/soba soup noodles of all the Japanese restaurants in the area. I'll also second that Fugakyu can fit your criteria, though they have such a large menu, you can easily go way beyond that too. I find Fugakyu louder and busier at dinner (assuming you want dinner) than Sakurabana. Lunch is when Sakurabana gets packed.