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Best sushi bar in the East Bay

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What is the best sushi bar in the east bay? I searched on Yelp and Benihanas came up. I put my phone down and sobbed.

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  1. Sushi Sho in El Cerrito is outstanding. Sushi counter only, with an overwhelming emphasis on nigiri. No reservations, so you'll probably want to time your arrival accordingly.

    A few reports here:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/899950
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/685007

    1. Yume in Alameda. Tiny (be prepared to wait). Very traditional. I'm thinking the Benihana listing was a paid listing.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Yume is fantastic, but please make sure you are familiar with their rules before going. They will not take parties of more than 2 - they are very strict about this. Three seatings a 5, 7 and 9. If you get there at 5, they will give you a reservation for a later seating the same day. If you get there much after opening, it may be full for the day.

        1. re: Martin Strell

          It's much easier to score a seat (or two) at Sushi Sho than at Yume. I was there once for over 4 hours on a Saturday night, and no one ever had to wait for a seat. Its selection of fish is much more limited than Yume's though.

          1. re: Martin Strell

            last time we went to Yume (July), they had a $45 minimum per person.

            i was a little shocked since at the beginning of the year it was still the same $15 per person it's been for awhile.

            anyway, if you do Omakase, it will be > $60 so the minimum is kinda moot.

            1. re: Martin Strell

              Is there reservations available at Yume? If you get there by 4:30pm can you get seated at 5pm? Do they take credit cards?

              1. re: hhc

                No reservations.
                4:30 is risky. It's 8 seats.
                Visa/MC, no Amex.

                1. re: drewskiSF

                  We went last month on a Friday. We got there at 4:30 and were too late for the 5:00 seating, as was the couple in front of us. The woman at Yume give us a playing card which allowed us to come back for the 7:00 seating.

                  1. re: Martin Strell

                    If I want to eat at 5pm what time to wait outside 3-4pm?? Aiya this place sounds painful.

                    1. re: hhc

                      I think 4:00 would be safe. Maybe try a Wed. or a Thurs. - I suspect it would be a little easier. Note that they are closed Sunday - Wednesday. Yume has its funny rules, but I'd say it's worth it.

          2. geta @165-41th St. oakland gets an honorable mention.
            sashimi/sushi is very fresh and cheap

            counter has 6 seats? only 6 small tables here.
            most people do take out here.

            1 Reply
            1. re: shanghaikid

              Geta is indeed a great value, but it's like an In-N-Out compared to cooked-to-order burger restaurants when we are talking higher-end sushi bars.

            2. We have not braved Yume yet, but will. I have had some delicious meals at Kirala - really should sit at the bar. It gets loud and busy, but I have had incredibly fresh fish here.

              Some adjacent diners at a favorite restaurant recently recommended Kiku Sushi in Berkeley. It was very good. Small place. Simple with a few new-to-me offerings. We've only tried the omokase.

              Sushi Sho is on our must try list now.

              Kiku Sushi
              1316 Gilman St
              Berkeley, CA 94706