BashaMichi - Japanese in Millbrae
Anybody else tried it?
I went last night after reading that they have Japanese wagyu. I have to say I was a bit surprised - I had driven past this place so many times and just assumed it to be an American-ized teriyaki type place, based on the signage and location (it's in a motel on El Camino halfway between the Millbrae and San Bruno BART stations).
It was a pleasant surprise - we ordered the wagyu tataki (shown in the picture), a salmon rice ball, root vegetables and chicken stew, and beef tendon stew. We liked everything we ordered - the salmon rice ball was probably our favorite, with a decent portion of salmon in the middle (for a rice ball at least) and just the right amount of salt. I asked for them to sear the tataki a bit more than normal, so the attached picture might not be that representative.
They also had a Japanese F1 wagyu steak for $7 / ounce (avg. portion is 10 ounces), which seemed like a great price compared to other places - the sign didn't say exactly where in Japan the wagyu was from though. I'd be curious to hear any reports about that one - $70 seemed like a little too much for us to risk on our first meal there.
From the menu, the name BashaMichi is apparently the name of a street in Japan that was used by Westerners heavily when Japan first opened up to the Western world. I think it's a reference to the Western influence on their menu.
Finally, this was probably the first restaurant we've come across that served Lupicia tea - we tried an apple / green tea one that was nice.
Also had the wagyu tataki and beef tendon stew, along with Hamachi kama, grilled sanma, miso soup with clams, agedashi tofu, and salmon sashimi. My favorite was probably the tendon stew, which had konnyaku in it to be another gelatinous but crunchier element. The tataki looked very similar to mr_darcy's picture, maybe slightly rarer; the outer crust had nice flavor, and the beef tasted good, but from the taste of it, I would not have been able to distinguish it as wagyu or other generic beef.
I liked the sanma more than the kama because it was generally more charred and evenly so, but the less grilled kama had some really juicy and tender parts. The sashimi cuts were not uniform and some pieces seemed too thick to me. The dishes that were supposed to be hot were piping hot, which I really enjoyed.
We went on a really slow day for them, so I hope they stay in business for future returns.
i ate here last night, and the food was all lovely, perfect of its kind.
we two had
tuna poki (with avocado, nice sesame oil dressing)
chicken karaage (fried, crunchy, thigh meat, not oily)
hamachi kama (they were out of salmon kama)
big rice balls with salmon
half bottle of ozeki nigiri
and it worked out to $70 inclusive.
they were unaware of the positive talk about them on chowhound, and they thought we were tourists staying at the attached hotel. apparently much of their custom comes from that. several japanese people eating there, though.
btw, for those of you who are looking in in this neighborhood, i very much like La Petite Camille, a first class vietnamese place within walking distance of Millbrae Bart, catty corner to Hong Kong Flower Lounge.