Z's sushi with pics
My whole family and I have been going to Z's for several years now; it's become a semi-regular, Friday night ritual. It's not unusual for me to arrive with a friend only to bump into my parents, perched at the sushi bar and chatting happily with other regulars, or to see my sister and bro-in-law breezing through the door and calling out their "hellos" to the staff.
Bottom line: I love this place. The fish is always fresh, the specials are often inventive without being overly Americanized (read: mayo-laden) and the staff are a kooky and fun bunch. They'll toss back a few beers with you and insist you try out the chef's latest and greatest invention. There's no rush to get you out the door; often times we'll stay for hours just eating and drinking and being a little too loud with the other sushi bar patrons. Home is what it is, really. And what it's not is full of sake bomb-drinking fools, thankfully. Hit Tokyo Delves if that's what you're into.
Last Friday I met up with the folks and we had our usual gay (<--does no one use that word for its original meaning anymore?) time. We feasted on uni, kompachi, hamachi, toro, hamachi kama (fish collar), seared Kobe beef, tai, unagi and more, and drank with it a few glasses of ice-cold sake. As usual, I forgot to take pictures of a few things - my desire to eat whatever was in front of me somehow gave me temporary amnesia. Or maybe it was the sake?
It's hard to pick a favorite, but the salmon is always buttery, fatty and absolutely delicious. They top each slice of salmon with a thin sliver of seaweed, which really balances out the fattiness of the salmon. The hamachi kama is also incredible. Poking it with chopsticks, you can feel how tender and see how juicy the tender flesh is. It's hard to imagine but Americans usually throw this part of the fish away...!?!?! If you ask me, it's the best part.
The hamachi is also always rich and fabulous. Toshi and the other chefs at Z's have some pretty mad knife skills; the pieces are always just the right size. I've noticed a lot of the trendier sushi places serve gigantic slices of fish on their sushi, but the freshness is just not there. I want quality, not quantity.
So, here's a bit shout-out to the whole staff at Z's for great sushi, wonderful service and for making me feel at home there. It really is a gem of a place to me and my family, and I hope it will be there for years to come.
My husband and I were regulars from 2002 to 2006 and found the sushi to be spotty at times in terms of freshness. it's usually fresh when they're busy like on Fridays or Saturdays but not on the weekdays, so we stopped going there often. We go to Yoshida's now but find it to be expensive and so so.
I quite like Z Sushi also. Among the stand outs were a sweet shrimp nigiri where, instead of using wasabi to "glue" it to the rice, he used uni.
I had a lunch omakase there that ended up costing $70 after tax and tip. Here's my writeup:
Clare, do you know who's who among the sushi chefs (sorry, I'm sure chef isn't the correct nomenclature, but what do I know), and which section of the sushi bar they work? I've had my best experiences with the guy who works the middle-to-right side of the sushi bar (the customer's right, not the chef's).
This has become my default sushi place, as it's always consistent, comfortable, and has a full bar. I've read positive comments about Yoshida in San Marino, but somehow I always wind up at Z.
re: Jack Flash
I know that, facing the bar, Toshi always works on the left side, with the younger guy (pictured) in the middle, and the oldest guy at the right. We usually sit in front of Toshi as we know him the best, but we always get great service and food from all of them.
Forgive me but I have forgotten what the red fish is - my mom ordered it and now I can't remember...let me try to find out.
re: Jack Flash
Ok, in order from top to bottom:
sake (obvious but thought I'd include!)
We also had tai, kobe beef sushi, tofu salad and scallop sushi - all eaten before I remembered to take pics!
Hope this helps-