Genki Ya "Organic" sushi, Fresh Pond
Stopped in for a solo dinner sunday night as the family is out of town. Had avoided this place due to the "organic" - what the hell is organic sushi and why would I want to eat it anyway.
Started with a spinach appetizer (forget the name) - small balls of cold blanched spinach with a ginger dressing - perfectly cooked, excellent quality spinach. This was really good.
Miso soup had slightly more stuff in it than normal, otherwise unexceptional
Sushi and Sashimi platter - beautifully presented, huge pieces of fish. Came with spicy tuna roll, california roll, Nigiri of eel, shrimp, tuna, salmon and one white fish, Sashimi of tuna, salmon and a white fish. Was offered a choice of brown or white rice - Chose standard sushi rice. The rice was not right - too dry and chewy. Found it difficult to appreciate the rolls or nigiri because of the rice texture. The fish on the nigiri was way too big - there was almost 2 inches of overhang on both sides of the rice. Made it a two-bite proposition. The sashimi was also far too large - both thicker and larger than I like. It seemed to change the texture of the fish (and not for the better). Fish was all flavorful and fresh, knife work was adequate, except for size.
The menu was garish. Full color, blown up pictures of the sushi on offer, including many unique mixtures/combinations. The "Volcano" comes to mind as an example - a cone shaped tower of reddish fish with flying fish roe cascading down the sides. Didn't really appeal to me. Took a long time to find the combinations - I was tired and didn't really want to decide on a la carte items. Although I would have prefered a more adventurous/varied combination - spicy tuna and california rolls are not my prefered items.
It reminded me of sushi in Arizona - quantity and weird combos. I prefer a more traditional harmonious marriage between the ingredients. I would consider returning to try some of the non-sushi items based on the excellent spinach appetizer, but Toraya retains my loyalty for sushi.
890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476
398 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
I've only been to the Brookline Genki-Ya, but completely agree with your assessment. Rice is poor. Fish is generous but nothing special with regard to knife work. I think brown rice with sushi is just wrong.
I've had really excellent quality food from this location. Their sashimi and cooked entrees are overpriced for what you get, but their maki has been very good -- including their brown rice, which was nicely cooked and went well with the rolls.
The "Volcano" is a mayo-heavy creation, but there's a lot to enjoy on their menu. It sounds like you weren't really in the mood to explore or try their more unique items, but I've liked my meals from Genki Ya.