Fuji at Kendall
I just wanted to throw out some thoughts from our first visit to Fuji at Kendall. We had dinner there on Friday night, and we'll definitely be returning. There was a solid crew there the whole time, with no more than 1 or 2 parties waiting to get seated at any time.
It's a somewhat awkward space, with two separate rooms. We sat in the main room with the bar and the host stand. The other room looks to be all dining tables. Neither my wife or I were in the mood for sushi, but the stuff we watched being prepared looked quite good. We started with the steamed shu mai stuffed with crab. They were really nice and light, and the crab flavor came through quite well. They were served with a yellow mustard, which I found kind of odd (especially because this wasn't listed on the menu). My wife ordered the quite boring chicken teriyaki, which ended up being shockingly good. It came with some pretty fantastic noodles and a nicely seared medium rare piece of steak. You also got a choice of two from their rice, salad and soup. I was craving something ramen-like, so I went with the soba noodles in a clear soy broth, served with a side of shrimp and vegetable tempura. I don't have much to say about it other than it was just ok. Probably wouldn't order it again, but at the same time I was happy enough when I left. They had some interesting flavors of house made ice cream on the menu for dessert that I would have tried if not for being lactose intolerant.
I didn't get a long look at their drink list, as we both went for the Sapporo they have on tap. I believe the only other tap beer was the Sam Adam Winter. It sounds like they'll be switching over to the Spring beer shortly.
I'm eager to see how they do in that increasingly competetive stretch of Third Street. There's now EVOO, Za, Kika, Abigail's and Fuji in that 2 block stretch.
300 3rd St, Cambridge, MA 02142
I was there recently (end of January) for lunch with an old friend I haven't seen in years who works close by. We both like sushi and both found it nothing special (we got two of whatever the lunch sushi special was). Neither of us had been there before and we just went because it happened to be close by and it was new. I didn't much care because the point was to catch up with my friend and the food was just because it was lunch time, but it's definitely not a place I'd steer chowhounds to.
For reference, I like Toraya in Arlington, and loved Oishii in Chestnut Hill back in the early 2000s. I don't get out for sushi much anymore...my kids eat a lot and it's way too expensive for all of us to head out for a sushi dinner.
We got take out sashimi and maki from Fuji last night and found it to be average at best. The fish was just OK, not super fresh or expertly cut. Also each type of sashimi (ordered a la carte) was topped with some garnish (tobiko or other), which was unwelcome and off putting. The RBI was good, however we ordered that one as nigiri and it came as sashimi.
My wife picked a few make where we're typically overdone Americanized creations. The Golden Gate make was OK, but way too heavy on the tempura bits. The dynamite maki came with a hot sauce that was more harsh and flavorful. I couldn't taste much seafood in either maki. My wife appreciated the fact that they didn't use much rice in the makis.
I didn't look at the prices for the lunch bentos, but our dinner cost almost $70 for 4 orders of sashimi and 2 maki. That's pretty pricey for average (even for this side of the river) sushi. Heck, those prices are on par with Oishii CH.
I don't think we will be going back to Fuji anytime soon.