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Misaki in Hyannis

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  • luci Jun 16, 2008 06:03 AM

We used to dine frequently at Misaki over the past 8 years. In the early Spring new owners took over. Opening day we had lunch (we had no idea it was the new owner's debute). Service was slow and our orders were not processed correctly. The owners were apologetic and made appropriate amends. We went back in early May for lunch. We sat in the lower dining room. There were 4 tables full of food waiting to be cleared. They were not cleared for the full hour we were there. The sushi was so so and the service was spotty. I would be interested in any June dining reports as this used to be top notch. On the other side of the map we had as usual a perfect sushi dinner at Inaho on 6 A in Yarmouthport.

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  1. No doubt the Misaki needed time to get up to speed. The old ownership had not established a strong reputation for good sushi. The new owners are a young couple and they are putting in a strong effort. Misaki staff is very friendly, the Japanese head sushi chef is skilled and has worked for a long time at various Cape Cod sushi bars. The kitchen chef understands the drill - always fresh oil, just the right amount of batter, and fresh ingredients. We found by going back, again and again, to sample a wide variety of both cooked and sushi offerings, it just keeps getting better. The bonus comes at the end of the meal: a moderate to low cost price. The Inaho is different in all respects. Their sushi can compete for top honors against anyone in NYC, CA or even Hawaii. Be prepared to pay for the extraordinary performance. Be prepared to leave disappointed over one issue or another.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Afar

      I have been a few times over the past year. it is much better. The lunch special bento box is such a deal.

      1. re: Afar

        I'm surprised by your assertion about Inaho. Over the two, i choose Misaki, but honestly, I find both places to be disappointing considering the proximity to and access of fresh seafood, and I could swing a cat and hit a better place in any of the cities you mentioned. But for what we have here, they do ok. I prefer Misaki due to their waitstaff, I don't find Inaho's sushi to be THAT much better to compensate for their staff. Still waiting for someone to open a truly awesome sushi joint.

        1. re: hzp

          Not sure what you find lacking at either (Misaki gets my vote for best value). Agree with Phelana that Misaki's $13.95 chef's special bento at lunch is one the best deals anywhere on Cape. Super fresh fish and the variety varies daily as to the chef's whim. Very nice.

          1. re: CapeCodGuy

            well, i've never been to either when there weren't some substantial and noticeable holes in the fresh fish offerings- just menu items that weren't available. on two occasions at misaki, they've had absolutely no white fish, at all.

            in terms of variety, i don't see them straying from the menu for specials, either. bringing in something new and different occasionally.

            i don't find the sushi to be very interesting. its pretty basic. rolls. special rolls. sashimi seems to be discouraged as you can't really get a proper serving of it (you can elect to get three pieces of fish rather than 2 pieces of nigiri). i'd love to see some more adventurous dishes as well.

            in terms of value and what's around... again.. they're fine. but i mean, to say they stand up to big cities or even boston... i mean. cmon.

            1. re: hzp

              I had the bento box lunch special last week (really terrific!) which included whitefish. Truly a delicious lunch and a bargain to boot. I love the owners and waitstaff there, and I'd much rather give them my money than the uppity folks at Inaho.

              1. re: jillian

                I agree Jillian...my experience couldn't be more opposite than hzp's. It's like we are comparing two different restaurants. I've always had whitefish and I don't really undestand how he/she thinks they discourage sashimi?
                Makes little sense if you ask me.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  been four out of the past six saturdays there and twice they've been out of all whitefish (at 6:30 at night on a saturday?).

                  i'm used to places in LA and NYC, I guess, where when you order sashimi, its a plate of sashimi, prepared for that particular fish, not 2 or 3 pieces..

                  anyways. neither here or there. its fine. its good sushi, albeit a little boring and not very varied. the waitstaff is nice, the prices are reasonable. again, its merely the contention that its fabulous and comparable to bigger cities. in other cities, this would be just "eh".

                  its obvious we're just used to different things. on the other hand, next time you're over the bridge, try a place in boston or NY. you may be delighted.

              2. re: hzp

                I took 2 friends from New York to the best Sushi places in Boston and then we took a trip to Inaho, they voted Inaho better than anyplace they have been,go figure ?

                1. re: johnny46

                  i'm going to have to try inaho again. its been a little while. perhaps its better than i remember.

                  1. re: johnny46

                    Where did u go in Boston? We have been to Uni, Ginza and O Ya.

                    1. re: mrwynter


            2. re: Afar

              I have been a regular at Inaho for 15 years, lately I have mentally grown tired like many others of the unfriendly attitude of Alda, the owner's wife. I recently visited Misaki and tried very hard to like it but the quality, sauces, and presentation cannot hold a candle to Inaho and I only found a small difference in price. I f really want top quality stick with Inaho and just don't expect a friendly thank you when you leave, the waitresses however more than make up for what the owners lack in personality.

              1. re: johnny46

                agreed....we avoid seeing her face. We have been going there over 17 years and still are never greeted with a smile nor do they know our name. It's completely absurd.

                1. re: johnny46

                  J46: I think you should give Misaki more then one chance to deliver good service and high quality sushi. They have hit their speed bumps as they worked their way through their first year. Now more speed bumps as they staff-up for summer. But, I have stayed on and become a regular diner. Their objective is to improve and evolve. I've found it a pleasure to watch Misaki succeed. Presently, Misaki future looks to be very solid.

                  1. re: Afar

                    Afar, you are a good and faithful customer, they will do well, however for old farts like me who only go out ocassionally, I want it all now !

              2. Well, I am on the Cape and that's pretty much where I stay. I can't quibble with any of the comments - to each their own. I have found Misaki, under the new owners, filling, fun, and a reasonable price. I agree the lunch box offerings are a terrific deal. I also enjoy observing the owners, a young American couple (think Shawn for a first name), and I admire their entrepreneurial guts. I always leave happy, feeling sure that I'll return again soon. I find Inaho to be excellent but traditional; and, I'm told the owner/chef buys fresh from the Boston fish pier. The fish case/kitchen always has turo and chu-turo, in-house marinated fresh saba, sake-belly, engawa, geso, sawara, hirame, hamachikama, chawanmushi and many other fresh offerings. The restaurant has a rich interior paid for by their obvious success over the last twenty years. But, their are too big problems: it's too expensive and it's no fun. Personally, I want enjoyment at a sushi bar and Misaki wins hands down over Inaho. And the bonus round, Misaki has better maki rolls.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Afar

                  Great post and more in keeping with my own feelings about the two places. In an area with few standouts, Misaki deserves our patronage. If I want unusual sushi, and I don't particularly, I'll get it in Maui or San Francisco, not Boston.

                  1. re: Afar

                    We had sushi at Inaho this week. There was a 5+ year period I boycotted the place. After spending thousands I got fed up one night with the cold attitude and the fact they served me Tomago when I specifically told them I do not eat egg and did NOT need a replacement. The waitress gave me a plate to push it onto and hide behind the drink menu. She said she did not want to offend the sushi chef. Swear to GOD. I did not go back for years. Now we sit in the front dining area so I do not need to see the dour faces of sushi chefs. . Our waitresses over the past few years have been great. They do not have any regulars that have been around for years which tells me they may be hard to work for ?? I find the sushi the best on Cape Cod. One other complaint. the place is always cold.

                    1. re: phelana

                      Phelana, for a while you had joined a long line of once dedicated customers that one night decided they would never return. Most don't ever go back. I believe the floor staff does last a long time. The check is high so the tips are excellent. They are well trained and very nice. Those that feel they must leave because of "the cold attitude" miss the floor staff very much. After the food, they are the reason many return again and again - as a group they are that nice. I can tell you know the sushi chef is widely recognized for his skill and knowledge to present fresh, authentic, and traditional sushi. Notable chefs from far and wide frequent the establishment. As a result, the "attitude" of the owners is: "who cares, if you don't like it eat elsewhere". And, that's what we will do feeling fully satisfied with the options available.

                  2. Tonight at Misaki things were quiet and we got chatting with Hamada san, the sushi chef. He prepared a meal I'd never had before and it was very special. First came a bowl of ika shirokara with uzu juice and mirin on a shiso leaf. It is the entrails of the squid, with a sharp salted taste not unlike cured anchovies. It takes an acquired taste to savor and enjoy, even for native Japanese. But, as a first time dish, it was great. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiokara). Next he prepared kamochi shishamo, a fish about the size of a smelt. He torched it and garnished it with lemon. You eat it whole in two bites. I added just a dap of low salt soy. Terrific meal. My wife had chirashi. We smiled all the way home.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Afar

                      We had lunch Tue. Super as usual. The bento box special never ceases to amaze me..

                      1. re: phelana

                        We went for the bento box special today. No need to sup tonight. Even though we arrived at 1:30, Misaki was packed; and, as fast as people left there were new arrivals. This young couple, Sean and Karen are on a roll. Watching them enjoy success is pure joy, hard earned and well deserved.

                        1. re: Afar

                          We returned to Misaki tonight for a memorable meal. We were served steamed Tai in a soy broth with diced negi, grilled Shishamo with lemon, sashimi salad with broccoli, and cooked tofu in a tempura batter with red pepper flakes. Terrific meal. Chef Hamada never ceases to delight and surprise. 5 star, blue ribbon, best of the best.