Sushi Island: Omakase Disappointment
Having seen various raves about Sushi Island on this board over the past few years, I was excited to finally give it a try this evening. Unfortunately, I did not get what I expected, and I'm curious as to whether my expectations were set too high, or the restaurant simply has stylistic differences from what I'm used to.
I walked in around 7:30 and the place was relatively dead. Maybe three occupied tables, and two groups at the bar. There were two people working behind the sushi bar: an older man, and a middle-aged woman. Upon being seated at the bar, my first surprise was that neither of them bothered to look up or greet me in any way.
A few minutes later a waitress came by to ask if I knew what I wanted, and I informed her that I had been hoping to do omakase. She spoke to the man behind the bar on my behalf, and only at that point did he acknowledge me and ask what kind of fish I enjoy. I thought things were off to a good start. I ordered a beer and was looking forward to a great meal.
My beer arrived, and after five more minutes I was told by the man behind the bar that he was working on a large order and it would be a few minutes before he would be able to start on my prep. I told him no worries and sipped my beer. And waited. And waited. And waited.
I had just finished my beer -- maybe 15 minutes later -- when he handed me a plate containing maybe 10 pieces of sushi. This was my second surprise. I've done omakase at a number of different sushi bars and have always been given a couple of pieces at a time, never a plate all at once.
As I ate the sushi I was not once asked by the people behind the bar how things were going. The waitress did come by to check on me once or twice. After I finished I was hoping to try a few more pieces, and once again I waited, and waited... 10 minutes elapsed, and neither of the people behind the bar could be bothered to even look in my direction. So I asked the waitress for a check, paid, and left at 8:45 -- wishing I'd gone for pizza instead!
Is the expectation at Sushi Island that all interaction will be made through the server? If so then perhaps I received the correct level of service.
I have to say that in comparison to other sushi bar experiences I've had at a number of places throughout the US, this was absolutely my worst ever. After all of the hype on here, I really expected a lot more from this place. The sushi was decent, perhaps even very good for the area (it was slightly underseasoned in my opinion; I like more of a vinegar presence in the rice), but based on that alone I would probably never return.
This is totally inconsistent with my many, many omakase experiences at Sushi Island. Its always one piece at a time. Early on I think Junji explained to us that omakase was one piece of a time, and we sort of said "yeah we understand that, thank you." I highly encourage you to give it another try. I will say that I usually make a reservation and say at that time that we would like to do omakase.
i'm sorry you had that experience.. I haven't personally had omakase but from what I have read here, I think people have usually had it with the owner, Junji (I don't know if I have the name right). Do you know who it was? Maybe you had someone new who didn't know what he was doing.. I am sure people here will help solve the mystery