Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Apr 26, 2009 09:11 PM

Reliable fresh uni in the East Bay?

Presumably from a Japanese place... My girlfriend and I have never been fans, but recently had a really good uni pasta sauce and want to revisit sea urchin roe in a more elemental presentation. Where do uni lovers go in Berkeley/Oakland?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Tokyo Fish in Berkeley
    Best source in the area

    Berkeley Bowl
    Second best place

    Berkeley International food festival
    berkeley, ca, berkeley

    1 Reply
    1. re: kungful

      Thank you for that; I was really thinking about a restaurant, so I could just order a bite. But perhaps Tokyo Fish would be a good choice- I assume it's served cleaned, so do I do anything else to it, or just eat it up? I can't remember the last time I had it.

      Restaurant suggestions anyone?

    2. You can buy as small a portion as you like at Tokyo Fish or Berkeley Bowl. You can eat it plain, with a little soy and wasabi, or with a little lemon juice.

      In the East Bay, Uzen's the best sushi bar when you want top quality and classic preparation. Priced accordingly.

      The best sea urchin roe I've ever had was at Sebo in SF. We got the first pieces from a tray of Grade A that had just arrived from Hokkaido.

      Berkeley Bowl
      2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

      Tokyo Fish Market
      1220 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

      Uzen Japanese Cuisine
      5415 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        We went to Uzen on your recommendation and had an excellent experience. I caution that I have never been a sushi lover per se; but have frequently and regularly consumed it in the company of others more enthusiastic, but I thought that the fish quality here was above most places I've been to over the years. The salmon sashimi in particular stood out as a particularly good piece of fish, as did the mackerel sushi. (I personally never use added soy or wasabi).

        Clearly my SO and I had not had good uni before; the samples presented here to us in sushi form tasted rich, unctuous and creamy. Chewing allowed us to enjoy its moist fattiness and brought out the mild ocean flavors (not fishiness) in the background. My previous experiences with uni as sushi or sashimi had never been so creamy; much drier, often with an unpleasant bitterness or god forbid, fishiness.

        I also ordered the ankimo; I am a foie gras lover, and had had ankimo in the past that reminded me not at all of foie gras, but of poor quality dried out liver pate. This was nothing like that, very reminiscent of a mild, firm foie gras torchon, and very nice with the ponzu/radish/scallion sauce and garnish.

        All in all well worth the slightly higher than average price. Thanks for the rec.

      2. I have never had bad uni at Kamakura in Oakland or Sugata in Berkeley/Albany. Always served absolutely fresh!
        Also, Kamajura has uni paste - delicious with ika or yama imo!