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sushi tonight?

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Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 06:46 AM

Hey all,

My brother is in town from suburan hell and wants to go out for sushi. As much as I'd like to take him to O Ya or Uni, or even Oishii, I am not looking to destroy my budget.

I'm so bored with Fugakyu. I was considering giving Douzo another shot - never have been impressed with it, but am open minded.

He's staying at the Sonesta, so somewhere on the left bank would be great... although I feel like Cambridge's sushi options are limited to Blue Fin (no atmosphere) and Spice & Rice (meh.)

Where am I missing? Totally open to suggestions, as long as it's sushi - it's what he really wants to eat as he doesn't have quality near him.

Thanks!

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  1. kobuta RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 06:59 AM

    If you're willing to go to Boston, go to Sakurabana on Broad St. Reasonable price and good sushi. Excellent udon noodles. Cambridge is definitely lacking in decent sushi - I won't even say good sushi.

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      shellicopter RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 07:45 AM

      I cannot speak more highly of Toraya in Arlington on Mass Ave for their sashimi selection. If you are looking for rolls you might not be as impressed, there aren't too many super creative options and sometimes the rolls have been sloppy, still delicious based on the high quality fish used. It is a tiny little place with a small sushi bar and only a few tables, not impressive in terms of atmosphere but clean and usually pretty quiet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: shellicopter
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        y2000k RE: shellicopter Jul 25, 2008 08:19 AM

        For excellent quality/freshness and variety of sashimi, I completely agree with the suggestion of Toraya. That's where we go every time, and we only order the sashimi entree & sashimi deluxe entree. We like to taste the different flavors of the fish; rather than some "special roll with special sauce".

        1. re: y2000k
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          tdaaa RE: y2000k Jul 25, 2008 10:00 AM

          Sublime scallop sashimi, when available. A few slices with one adjacent to a sliver of lemon - its amazing the difference in flavor that results from mere proximity to the citrus.

          Similar experience with shiso leaf - totally unexpected mustardy bite that complemented the fish (this was a nigiri sushi, translucent thinly sliced white fish with shiso leaf between fish and rice.

          Always perfectly fresh and wonderful.

      2. Bob Dobalina RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 08:05 AM

        You could compromise and take him to get hand rolls at River Gods.

        You could make him feel even worse and drive out to the 'burbs for Oga in Natick or Oishii Too in Sudbury - the latter is actually a nice drive on a warm summer night.

        Why Cambridge/Somerville does not have a real great sushi place is beyond me. Maybe that Toraya rec is the way to go - start there, and eat your way back down Mass. Ave., stopping for snacks at Qing Dao, someplace in Davis, etc.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Dobalina
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          shellicopter RE: Bob Dobalina Aug 13, 2008 12:45 PM

          I've heard a lot about these hand rolls but I dont understand what they are exactly? What comes in them? Are they the cone shaped type that you get at sushi restaurants? Are they enough for a light meal? Thanks!

          1. re: shellicopter
            gini RE: shellicopter Aug 13, 2008 12:55 PM

            The handroll at river gods is one vegetarian roll and yes, they're shaped like maki, but, you know, Korean. They're enough for a light meal.

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          globalevent RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 08:18 AM

          Either I'm getting more particular or the restaurants have been letting down, but the last few times I've tried Oiishi Two (I'm in Framingham), Fugakyu (Brookline) and Douzo I've been disappointed by sloppy work, less than pristine (in one case soggy) fish and smaller than usual portions. Maybe the costs have risen lately and the restaurants are cutting back, but my impression is a general sense of apathy at some of Boston's 'best' sushi restaurants.

          I'm getting over the glitz and glamour of fancy rolls filled with tasteless rice and distracting ingredients and am seeking a transcendental sashimi experience with a fair portion and pristine fish. Maybe I'll take Shellicopter's advice and give Toraya a try. In the meantime, my opinion is they're all the same: Oga, Fugakyu, Oiishi, Douzu...

          2 Replies
          1. re: globalevent
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            Mr Bigglesworth RE: globalevent Jul 25, 2008 08:59 AM

            Agreed. I was completely underwhelmed by Oishii and Douzu, and have been disgusted my last few times at Fugakyu. I'd rather spring for O Ya, or go simple and eat at Mr. Sushi (live in brookline) and get simple but tasty basic rolls. I've heard good things about Toraya.

            1. re: Mr Bigglesworth
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              Gabatta RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 09:57 AM

              If you were underwhelmed by Oishii and don't want to spend the cash for
              O Ya or Uni, your best bet is porbably the aforementioned Toyara.

              Otherwise, you'd be better off forgetting about sushi and going for some other cuisine which you like in the area.

          2. fmcoxe6188 RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 09:05 AM

            Actually- Id hop over the river and head to Ma Soba on Cambridge street-- I love it! Not too far from where hes staying either.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fmcoxe6188
              rlh RE: fmcoxe6188 Jul 25, 2008 02:10 PM

              I went to Ma Soba reluctantly for a business dinner recently - and really enjoyed the sushi/sashimi - pretty much across the board. White tuna, eel in several forms, and "Hungry" roll (a choice of the many, many CA rolls wrapped in various other fish combos, etc - not a favorite approach for me) were the standout items.

              The starter dumplings (shumai and Hunan) were lukewarm/flavorless and will not be repeated.

              Be careful with wine - the French white (Crozes-Hermitage) we ordered was 10 years old and pretty cooked, but they took it away and brought a different one (Sancerre - probably a better choice with the food anyway) from 2007 that was fine.

              Also, ask to sit on the lower level to start with - we had to move there when the aerobic dancing or treadmill use started right above our heads. Again, they were very accomodating of the request.

              The service is nice but rough around the edges was prompt. It's no bargain, either.

              That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the food qualit.

              1. re: rlh
                fmcoxe6188 RE: rlh Aug 5, 2008 08:08 AM

                I agree with you- Ive always been REALLY impressed with their sushi/sashimi but their appetizers/warm dishes not so much. And yes- it is beneath BHAC which can be a bit loud haha.

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              Taralli RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 09:13 AM

              So what about Shiki on Babcock in Coolidge Corner? http://www.shikibrookline.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: Taralli
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                Mr Bigglesworth RE: Taralli Jul 25, 2008 09:54 AM

                My shiki experience was marred by the fact that my meal took FOREVER to come out. I wasn't blown away by the food but I have a feeling I ordered poorly. I plan on going back but intend to do so when I can go with someone who really can guide me a bit better. Ma Soba is an option. I adore River Gods, but actually booked music there for several years and as such, have eaten there over 150 times (yep, once a week, weekly for 3+ years.)

              2. GretchenS RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 10:03 AM

                Toraya is my local and my favorite and a great rec. It is small and can be crowded on a Friday night but we have been known to leave our cell phone number and go for a drink at Jimmy's or Tryst (it is Arlington so you have to order an app to order a drink because of the blue laws) when the wait is too long.

                I will also second the rec for Sakurabana in Boston which is reliably good.

                4 Replies
                1. re: GretchenS
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                  NoAddedSweetener RE: GretchenS Jul 25, 2008 11:26 AM

                  All of the positive feedback that Toraya is getting is really giving me a hankering for some sushi! Is this place T accessible at all?

                  1. re: NoAddedSweetener
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                    y2000k RE: NoAddedSweetener Jul 25, 2008 12:22 PM

                    Not Really. You can take Bus #79 from Alewife. The Bus goes along Mass Ave, so you can reach Toraya by bus.

                    -----
                    Toraya Restaurant
                    890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                    1. re: y2000k
                      itaunas RE: y2000k Jul 25, 2008 12:39 PM

                      The Arlington Heights 77 (as opposed to the North Cambridge 77) from Porter Sq (or even Harvard if you must) should also pass right in front. If you are willing to hoof it from Arlington Center (10-15 min), you can add the 80 and 87 from other points to your arsenal. Its easily accessible from the Minuteman bike trail, Mill Street (left and right on Mass Ave) and Grove (a bit convoluted) are closest, but its probably simplest to just go West on Mass Ave from the Center.

                      With the temperature creeping up again, don't overlook the zara soba to go with sashimi!

                    2. re: NoAddedSweetener
                      rlh RE: NoAddedSweetener Jul 25, 2008 02:12 PM

                      Absolutely as long as you consider the buses part of the T - and it's worth the trip - keep going another 10 minutes or less on the 77 or 79 and you can also get to, Something Savory, Lakota Bakery, and a Trader Joe's.

                  2. almansa RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 11:20 AM

                    A friend of mine tried Samurai on Boylston two nights ago, and he was shocked to find himself enjoying it. He proclaimed it the best he's had since moving to the area two years ago, and he's had it everywhere you can think of, save for Oishii, O Ya and Uni. The best of the also rans.

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                      FoonFan RE: Mr Bigglesworth Jul 25, 2008 01:21 PM

                      Try the new kid in town - Genki Ya at 398 Harvard Street Brookline, formerly site of Nori. Very high quality, all organic veggies and such. Sushi and sashimi are fabulous. Highlights - a special maki roll of shrimp tempura, raw tuna and flying fish roe, and immaculate sashimi with sliced scallop that was delicious. Oishi quality at half the price.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: FoonFan
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                        Mr Bigglesworth RE: FoonFan Jul 25, 2008 01:58 PM

                        Hey, Anyone else have any experiences with Genki Ya? I read one other post on the board and it seems good. A former co-worker also suggested hana sushi. Any thoughts on either of these two places?

                        Thanks everyone as always!

                        1. re: FoonFan
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                          NoAddedSweetener RE: FoonFan Aug 14, 2008 10:22 AM

                          How does the pricing match up with other sushi places around the area? ( I went to Mr. Sushi the other day for reliable/somewhat affordable fare)

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