Yume in Alameda
I just heard about this place and thumbed through the insanely high Yelp reviews. Now, I don't very much trust Yelp, but the level of praise for the sushi is remarkable -- almost Urasawa-like. Oddly enough, though, I don't see any reports of it here on CH and hardly a mention otherwise. No Chronicle review, no Gayot listing, nothing. It's like some kind of secret society that only Yelpers are privy to (which REALLY makes me doubt it).
I also see from the Yelp reviews that the service is extremely... strict, and can be down right rude. I'd seen similar complaints about Sushi Sho, but aside from etiquette rules I thought Aki-San and his wife were very nice people. Then again, some of incidents I read about Yume are down right appalling: yelling at customers; splitting people apart in the middle of a meal; particular individuals denied dishes off the menu; completely ignoring seated customers after a minor quibble over having a party of 4; etc. etc. These are things I would NEVER tolerate from anyone short of God himself. Are these people just misunderstood or truly that arrogant and domineering?
I'm interested in going if it's that good, but if I know they just have bad attitudes I will not support their business. As much as I love good food, I hate nasty service/people even more.
Yay or nay???
i probably went on an off night. sashimi (nigiri) was above average but not spectacular. place wasn't packed either.
doubt it's an attitude problem. look at it as a business management technique. it's abrasive but effective for them to achieve their goals.
i'd give it a middle of the road yay pending another visit.
As a strictly traditional sushi house, Yume's got to be in the Top 10 in the Bay Area. But also keep in mind that there aren't any serious competitors in Alameda.
The wife is never rude (even when turning parties of 4 away), but then again I don't pour a huge amount of soy sauce or rub my chopsticks against each other before I eat. ;-)
Their sake is very reasonably priced. Although, for the same amount of money, I can have a different but comparable (taste-wise) experience at Sebo, where everything is more relaxed, the sushi chef will cook items for you at the stove behind when you sit at the bar, and the conversation is just more fun with the sushi chefs and other customers. Not to mention no corkage for sake from True Sake.
But Sebo may not be a good comparison for Yume. How about Ino? Ino has a few knockout items like ikura and ankimo, but Ino-san himself is really no fun.
517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
560 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Jing and I have eaten there twice, and we like it very much. There is a menu, but it's a bit of formality. The expectation seems to be that you let the chef choose for you. I wish I could remember what we were served last time, but it was spectacular - probably the best sushi I've had. Very fresh and innovative.
There are about eight seats at the sushi bar. There are two small tables, but I've never seen anyone seated there.
Their rules seem peculiar, and I did see them (politely) turn away a party of four once. But we were not made to feel ill-at-ease at all either of the times we went.
So, yes, we'd give it a big yay.