Gen Sushi in Belmont is finally open
Gen Sushi, long awaited in the little storefront next to Golden Garden, is finally open. Tiny place - three tables and a 6-seat sushi bar.
First impressions generally positive. Generous fish portions, nice little touches (sushi portions topped, respectively, with tobiko, mint leaf w/ drop of sriracha, salmon caviar) and good rolls. Knife work perhaps a little bit rough. Brought a complimentary dish of edamame while we waited for a huge order just in front of us to be completed. Tempura at neighboring table was truly exquisite-looking.
Not cheap but a decent value.
I took my parents to Gen Sushi tonight for a delayed celebration of my mother's birthday. My parents are usually dubious of trying new places, but since they only eat Asian food and I didn't want to deal with waiting for a table at Toraya, I figured we'd take a chance on this place, based on the chowhound feedback.
We got a special of black cod miso (delicious, though small), and ordered a Sushi & Sashimi Combo for one, a nabeyaki udon, and tempura mushroom maki and unagi maki with avocado.
My father couldn't get over what a good value the sushi & sashimi combo was. He said that usually he leaves a Japanese restaurant not quite feeling full, but he was stuffed today. At $26, the sushi & sashimi combo came with 9 pieces of sashimi (salmon, toro, hamachi), california roll, and 5 pieces nigiri (I think there was an uni, salmon, black sea bass, striped bass? Not totally sure I am remembering correctly). The pieces of fish were quite thick and large.
My parents said the raw fish melted in their mouth and was very fresh. They said it was better than Toraya -- I think it was the combination of the size of the fish and the quality that they enjoyed.
The menu is somewhat limited for non-raw eating folks like myself. My rolls were fine, but nothing special. I was definitely full from sharing the nabeyaki udon (came with 2 clams, which is unusual) and black cod miso, though. There weren't many vegetables in the nabeyaki udon but my mother said the noodles weren't soggy and just the right texture. They also brought the tempura shrimp separately without us needing to ask.
Upon hearing we were celebrating my mother's birthday, they brought over complimentary mochi ice cream and a chunk of pineapple. Everyone was really nice.
The only negative is how tiny this is - my parents would bring their friends but they are afraid of it being full, so I suggested they go at an off hour. We were there between about 6:30 -7:45 tonight and only 1 other table was filled, with one or two take-out orders occurring during that same time period. I hope that others will check out this place - would hate to see it fail given how excellent the quality of the fish is.
I wish people would support Gen Sushi and spread the word! It is easily our favorite sushi place on this side of the river, and probably the best straightforward sushi in the immediate area. Lunches are a very good value IMO, and dinners seem reasonable compared to the some of the clip joints downtown. The fish is always extremely fresh, and the chef/owner and his wife are very pleasant. They remember all patrons and their likes/dislikes, and are open to suggestions.
When my wife picked up our take out this evening the small restaurant was empty! This follows on a few recent lunches where there were only one or two other people in there. This place needs to stick around as good sushi is in short supply around here (plenty of mediocre). For Cambridge people it is about 3 minutes farther than Genki Ya (and light years better). For us it is also much closer than Toyara and every bit as good. The menu advertises delivery as well, but we haven't looked into the delivery area yet. They are not churning out things like Green Monster Maki, but much more traditional fare. The chef hand picks the fish and it is all beautiful and fresh.
Get over there to support them, and get a great meal at the same time!
The rice has fine on all my visits, but is honestly not the highest prority for me as I eat much more sashimi than nigiri or maki. The fish, value and service can't be beat IMO. I like actually being able to order from and interact with the chef, rather than sitting at a sushi bar and having a waitress handle the entire meal.
Just tried Gen Sushi for the first time, and echo most of the comments so far.
The service is very sweet and they are definitely trying hard. We got some complementary edamame while we waited for a big batch of takeout orders to be finished. I got the sushi dinner, which had some more interesting and expensive types of fish than anyplace else I've been in Boston. Toro, Uni (which they asked to make sure I liked), something which I think they said was white tuna with truffle oil (hopefully albacore not escolar). Complementary pineapple to finish.
Biggest downside was the rice, which seemed too cold and had an unpleasant flavor. To me it tasted more like leftover long-grain rice from the refrigerator instead of sushi rice. The flavor of the rice detracted from the fish. Agree that the portions were generous and the knife work was not the finest. My wife, who mostly eats maki decided that she still prefers Bluefin, which may limit our return trips here.
We tried it this week and echo all of the comments above. The place is tiny but quite nice inside, and the service was incredibly warm and friendly. As mentioned already, portion sizes were very generous. DC found the sushi fresher than our recent visits to Toraya; I really liked the agedashi tofu.
I got takeout from this place last night. Agree that the portions are generous and the fish very fresh. Lovely sweet people, gave me a cup of tea to have while waiting for my order (I had not called ahead, it was an impulse stop). I thought it was quite good but not up to the (admittedly high) standard set by Toraya. Rice was very dry by the time I finished my meal, which never happens with Toraya takeout. Still, it is on my way home some nights and right now anyway, viable as an impulse stop, which Toraya rarely is, as busy as they are. Everything I saw served while I was there was beautiful. Thanks samovar32 for the alert to this place!
I just ate there myself. VERY generous portions. He just got a ginormous slab of Toro this morning.
I agree, not the finest knifework, but just in terms of freshness, flavor, and presentation easily the best sushi I've had this year.
For the $11 sushi lunch I got a very generous amount of absolutely pristine fish with miso and salad to start.
Makes me a little sad, but I don't really have any reason to go to Toraya with this place on the block. The owners (chef and his wife) were very sweet.