Fukui in Santa Monica
So I went to lunch the other day and ran some errands and ended up at Fukui Japanese Restaurant in the same shopping mall with the Albertsons in Santa Monica at Lincoln at Ocean Park.
I sat at the sushi bar. I had 3 different nigiri sushi - albacore, maguro, and saba - and sat a while reading a magazine, and then asked if they had oshinko maki - which I have always liked since I had it as a kid - and they said no, and then I ordered some tobiko sushi, and the chef gave me a pretty half-n-half tobiko and wasabi tobiko.
The sushi was HUGE - the cuts of fish were really generous. They were all nicely scored so that it was easy to eat them in several bites - I have a small mouth and don't like to gulp down a huge nigiri sushi, so this was nice for me.
The sushi was pretty good. The albacore was really, really nice. I like to order saba because chefs tend to take me seriously once I do.
I have never seen a Chowhounds review about this place, and I'm not expecting to hear its anything but a good lunch joint, but I would be interested if anyone's familiar with it.
The spicy tuna rolls are pretty much inedible. The last time I was there, I ordered two to go, and they were so spicy my mouth and throat were BURNING. I threw them both out.
While I enjoyed a seared albacore-jalepeno dish we had at Fukui. I did not care for the red snapper ngiri which was drowned in (I think) bottled lemon juice and tasted off to me.
If you are in the area often for lunch, I much prefer Yuni sushi, just a few blocks down Lincoln at Bay Street. They have pretty good lunch deals, and at least for now 1/2 price sushi. The fish won't blow your socks off, but it's definitely a good neighborhood joint, and I am quite partial to their handrolls (which at $3 and under at half price are a great deal).