HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?
TELL US

Sushi by Kazu

tuxedo Mar 19, 2009 05:49 AM

Tried calling for the last few days to confirm that they were open. The phone only rang without being answered, so we got in the car with the hope of it being open anyway.
Very happy we did! It was in fact open because a little sign on the door said it was!
The food was wonderful, I am in agreement with all that think this is the mark to meet for sushi.
We had philadelphia rolls ( with avacado ), salmon, smoked salmon, california roll and a house special roll called snow ocean ( tuna, yellowtail, flying fish roe with white seaweed ) we also each had a bowl of rice. WOW!
Also, even with the place being very small, and 3 other couples there, the noise level was not a factor...it was no peaceful...
Can't wait to go back...Put it on the must try list if you have not already been there..

  1. JerzeyShore Mar 19, 2009 11:09 AM

    Try the wasabi dumplings on your next trip - amazing.

    1. t
      taste test Mar 19, 2009 02:47 PM

      I love this place too. I get the sashimi deluxe...super fresh, proper pieces of sashimi (not those huge slabs like other places serve).

      I also like the relaxed vibe.

      1. r
        Rogsmom Mar 20, 2009 12:07 PM

        What is the address for Sushi by Kazu? Thanks.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Rogsmom
          tuxedo Mar 20, 2009 12:34 PM

          2724 Rt 9 South - Howell - 732-370-2528
          Across the street from the Ivy League in a strip mall with a liquor store

          1. re: tuxedo
            Tapas52 Mar 20, 2009 04:50 PM

            I'm so glad you enjoyed your experience at Kazu.....we have been going there for years & always have been more then satisfied with the high quality and freshness of their menu.......super fresh, super delicious, it's the
            "REAL DEAL"...& YES!!.. Those Wasabi Dumplings....OMG!!!

            1. re: Tapas52
              JerzeyShore Mar 21, 2009 07:07 AM

              Tapas after reading your post and after our start today with scones to sample from the Scone Shop and pastrami from Karen and Irv's waiting for lunch. The wife and I decided to go light for dinner, so it will be on to Kazu tonight for some of the best sushi in the land. And yes we will as always have wasabi dumplings.

              1. re: JerzeyShore
                Tapas52 Mar 21, 2009 07:49 AM

                JS.......I'm jealous...I have to work this evening but I think Kazu opens at 5pm... enjoy your experience....BTW, there is a liquor store right next door for Wine or Saki etc, also.. looking forward to your review.

                Have fun

        2. MGZ Apr 9, 2009 08:18 AM

          We were able to get seats at the "bar" at Kazu this past Saturday. It was good - not great, not special. The fish was pretty fresh and the sashimi was certainly better than that I have had at most places. Frankly, however, given the praise awarded the place on this board, our experience was disappointing.

          First of all, the fish was not that fresh. In fact, I occasionally have had fresher at brunch at Klien's (though, that is always hit or miss). Moreover, the avocado on one of my wife's rolls had not only been permitted to oxidize, it tasted downright lousy.

          Second, the sampler platter I was encouraged to try was boring - the usual selection of California roll, salmon, tuna, blah! The properly-sliced sashmi was the platter’s sole redemption. Be advised: if you enjoy sushi or sashimi (as opposed to maki) - order individual pieces.

          Third, given the "real deal" accolades I've read, I felt particularly disappointed by the lack of quality condiments. Kikkomen soy sauce is fine for the Irish pub sushi that fouls the Shore, but seemed pathetic at Kazu. Similarly, the wasabi was quite dry and devoid of the vibrancy you would expect from a "great" place. Considering the fact that we arrived when the restaurant opened, I could not avoid the conclusion that the wasabi must have been made from a paste at least a day before.

          On the positive side, they did have Monkfish liver as a daily special, so I was able to try ankymo. Pretty tasty in a “fois meets dirty seafoam” kinda way. The preparation and presentation was excellent. Similarly, the noodle salad my wife enjoyed was a treat. (BTW - We did not see wasabi dumplings on either the menu or specials board.)

          Finally, the liquor store next door is pretty dank. I would put it in the “break glass” category (as in “in emergency . . .”).

          17 Replies
          1. re: MGZ
            JerzeyShore Apr 9, 2009 09:39 AM

            Alas all good things must come to an end and I guess that time has come for Kazu. I use to be a real fan and a few years back I say they were outstanding. That said however after our last two visits I would have to agree with your comments. I think that they have gone down hill and I would no longer recommend them.

            Aside from the quality of the fish, just OK service and very high prices do not make for a very good dining experience. My wife and I do not plan to go back any time soon.

            1. re: JerzeyShore
              Tapas52 Apr 9, 2009 01:51 PM

              This is sad news.....I hope it was just a bad day for them that you went and not a downward spiral for Kazu......what is youir second favorite Sushi choice in the area.?

              1. re: Tapas52
                MGZ Apr 9, 2009 02:10 PM

                I did not mean to imply that it was particularly bad, it just did not live up to expectations (which, honestly, were pretty high). In fact, I am not sure I can name another in the area that is better.

                Next on the list to try is Nobi.

                1. re: MGZ
                  JerzeyShore Apr 9, 2009 03:42 PM

                  Nobi should be better but who knows in this day and age.

                  1. re: MGZ
                    h
                    HelenB Apr 13, 2009 11:24 AM

                    MGZ, I want to thank you for the great review on Trinity(your birthday one!), I tried it yesterday and met ChefMD! We had a great time! WIsh that there is a way I can send you a message since I am not sure if you will get the chance to read this...anyway, if you are going to try Nobi, call them and ask them if George(sushi chef) is back from vacation. We were there last week and George was out of town! George is really good and you can surely tell him what you like and he will not disappoint!I It is hard to find a great sushi/sashimi place in Central Jersey and I think Nobi is above standard compared to the other places I have been..I am also considering price performance too! There are a few places I have been to in Shrewsbury, they are not bad but Nobi is better when you take everything into consideration.

                    1. re: HelenB
                      MGZ Apr 14, 2009 05:21 AM

                      Thanks for the heads up.

                  2. re: Tapas52
                    JerzeyShore Apr 9, 2009 03:47 PM

                    Nobi in Toms river for the purist but you can't go wrong with TAKA in Asbury for Japanese in general including sushi.

                2. re: MGZ
                  t
                  taste test Apr 10, 2009 04:07 AM

                  I have praised this place highly and I will still stand by the sashimi deluxe platter, at least as it compares to most other places I've tried in the area. We always go at 5pm so it's usually not too busy. That said, my husband gets rolls and is never too impressed and once we ordered spicy pork miso soup which wasn't good (and shockingly cost $6/bowl).

                  I will go back for the sashimi until I have a bad experience. It's too bad most good places end up slipping. I thought this place might be different. Last week I tried Jo Sho in Somerset and the sashimi was great there. They also had some very interesting specials not usually on the standard format Japanese menu. I look forward to giving this place a few trys.

                  1. re: taste test
                    shabbystorm Apr 10, 2009 04:20 AM

                    Taste Test - I really enjoyed Jo Sho - from your seasoned chowhound opinion do you still put Kazu at the top?

                    1. re: shabbystorm
                      t
                      taste test Apr 10, 2009 08:06 AM

                      I've only had one lunch at Jo Sho but I'm thinking that the fish is fresher there and the menu more varied but the service was a little brusque (not bad though).

                      I've had such nice experiences at Kazu- warm, small, nice wait staff, I always go before it gets busy- so I think that's why I put it at the top.

                      I really need to go back to Jo Sho and try more things.

                      1. re: taste test
                        Tapas52 Apr 10, 2009 09:04 AM

                        Hs anyone been to TOKYO on rt37 & mule road in Toms Ruiver for Sushi?

                        1. re: Tapas52
                          m
                          MegDangelo Apr 10, 2009 10:56 AM

                          Tokyo used to be my go-to sushi place. Nice portions decent prices, pretty standard rolls. I'm not sure how it ranks with the rest of the board but I'd be curious to see how other feel about it. We haven't been in a few months since finding Wang Sushi on Chow Hound.

                          1. re: MegDangelo
                            Tapas52 Apr 10, 2009 03:58 PM

                            meg Wang Sushi is my goto place also....I love it there the Suschi is fresh & very tasty I love the kawasaki roll YUM......& to be able to also choose so many Asian Fusion dishes that are also. Not only that they have the best prices on Sushi anywhere in the area....$3.99, $5.99, $7.99 tops.....funny how things change in the chowhound world. I'll also try Tokyo also on your suggestion.

                            Thanks

                        2. re: taste test
                          y
                          yCf Apr 13, 2009 06:40 AM

                          how's the non-sushi / sashimi menu at Kazu compare with Jo Sho. We used to go to Jo Sho a lot because we live 5 minutes from there. Sushi are great at Jo Sho but we really enjoy the other hot food. I especially enjoy the bento which seems as authentic as they come in NJ.
                          Now that I just moved into Monmouth County no long ago, i am wondering what kind of offering Kazu has in terms of hot dishes.

                          1. re: yCf
                            n
                            newfie29 Apr 13, 2009 10:28 AM

                            I can't really speak to the bento or hibachi items, as I can't seem to forego the sushi when I'm there... As I said, if the breaded oyster appetizers were any indication, I'd bet everything is top notch. Their menu is listed at www.kanjisteakhouse.com.

                      2. re: taste test
                        JerzeyShore Apr 10, 2009 01:55 PM

                        This is one of the turn-offs at Kazu - they are to cheap to give you even a small salad with ginger dressing or a miso soup. You therefore are forced to pay extra or do without. This additional expense will drive the price of the meal up to the - this is really not worth the price meal. To make matters worse they rush the meal. For example our last visit the cost was about $80 and we were in and out the door in under 45 minutes. This is one of the prime reasons that they do not provide a soup or salad. The space is small and their primary concern is to turn tables. It is no longer a dining experience but the bums rush. Sorry to say this place is no longer recommended.

                        1. re: JerzeyShore
                          n
                          newfie29 Apr 13, 2009 05:39 AM

                          Had an EXCELLENT meal last evening at Kanji in Shrewsbury, which remains my favorite. Took my mother there for her birthday, and everyone in our party enjoyed it tremendously. Started with the oyster shooters (oysters in sake with diced jalapeno - so good!), some sea urchin sashimi - first time trying it on the advice of our server, who couldn't have been more attentive - followed by the breaded oysters - light and crispy, served with a curried mayonnaise dipping sauce. We scarfed down two orders and seriously considered a third, but moved on to the sushi rolls - they were fresh, beautifully presented, and the variety from which to choose was impressive. We'll definitely go back!

                    2. shabbystorm Apr 9, 2009 01:43 PM

                      Hubby was super busy this week, but has promised to take me to the Great Kazoo and he calls it.

                      Maybe next week if his schedule calms down.

                      Still want to give it a try even with the updated posts by seasoned chowhounds.

                      1. shabbystorm May 3, 2009 05:43 AM

                        We had dinner at Sushi by Kazu.

                        The restaurant was very cozy and unpretentious, about 8 tables and sushi bar.

                        Have never seen a wait staff move so fast, but it was Saturday night.

                        The most impressive thing about our meal was watching Kazu create his art.
                        No doubt a master.
                        He is the only sushi chef, works alone.
                        It is worth it just to see him in action!

                        For appetizers we had Edamame and tried a special from the board, spring noodle. This was good, like a tuna macaroni salad with thinly sliced cucumbers, carrots and ramen noodles. They did not have Wasabi dumplings on the board.

                        We had a large assortment of Sushi, yellowtail, Salmon, Tuna, it was good.
                        He places a thin layer of Wasabi between the rice and the fish on every piece.

                        Tried the Mixed Tempura Roll – Shrimp Tempura – Yellowtail – Crab also good.

                        Wasabi was eye watering hot, ginger and standard tabletop low sodium soy all good.

                        The presentation exceptional!

                        Over all the quality of fish here at Kazu was similar to so many other restaurants.
                        Wonder what goes on behind the scenes, supply and demand, saturation of the fish market? Glad, after all these years, finally got to visit - c'est la vie!

                        Some pictures of the outside, it was such a small restaurant taking pictures inside during dinner would have been inappropriate.

                        Show Hidden Posts