Fuji Japanese

Today I escorted the parents and some family friends around the Bay Area and ended up in an unknown neighborhood looking for Japanese food. Though it can be confusing, I love how every other street in San Francisco is considered its own distinct neighborhood–apparently we were in the “West Portal” which sounds like something out of the Matrix.

As usual, my mom requested Japanese, and this was the first place we passed.

A super cluttered albeit colorful aerial view. Let's take a closer look for fun...

The udon portion of I's tempura udon.

Fuji has a lot of crazy rolls but my mom was the only one smart enough to order them. A Tanzania roll with yellowtail&Co. and unagi roll.

I’d just eaten breakfast and was planning on picking off my parents’ plates, but after we finished ordering I spotted a “Special Salads” menu. I immediately I flagged down the waitress and ordered a roasted vegetable salad (7.5). Turned out to be a bed of lettuce with a mayo-heavy sauce and a few vegetables (the same they use for tempura)--kabocha, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, asparagus and broccoli. I know a Japanese restaurant is not the place to get my greens on but the idealist in me believes that a hearty salad in every Californian restaurant is not too much to ask.

I’ve been working too much and eating cheap takeout lately but after Fuji I’m determined to start making kick-ass salads at home again. Stay tuned for Actually Special Salads!

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Get Me Geta Sushi

the street adjacent to geta. perfect, i've been looking for a no-frills laundramat without a real name in sea-foam

the street adjacent to geta. perfect, i've been looking for a no-frills laundramat without a real name in sea-foam green

Oh, another Yelp favorite. Geta Sushi is your typical hole-in-the-wall that people want to keep a secret so the whole town won’t form a queue up the streets of Oakland. And these street are sure cute – it wasn’t a happenin’ place originally, but now we’re seeing stores called Posh Bagel and the Bees Knees.

get...A? for avocado

get...A? for avocado

Lots of people come get takeout, so I was surprised that there were a good 7 or 8 tables in the building where you could eat. I was expecting an upturned pail and an ironing board (<3 Bakesale Betty’s) or something…but this is pretty legit. They have decent sushi – keep in mind I still have no conception of sushi quality – for CHEAP. I do have a conception of our numerical system.

miso soup that came with C's combo and my wakame/cucumber salad (2.5)

miso soup that came with C's combo and my wakame/cucumber salad (2.5)

I have been craving seaweed! And corn nuts. But I only have pictures of the healthier one, how convenient. I felt like vinegar, but next time I’ll probably get the thin, neon green kind instead. It tasted like everything my mom has ever made – Mama Beans likes pickling. Comfort food!

Anyway, commence sushi overload:

somethingefi roll (), seaweed roll (), and spicy tuna roll ()

what looks like an avo tuna roll (4.25), seaweed roll (2.5), and spicy tuna roll (4.15)

Yes, marvel at the prices. This is in the Bay Area! Not Wisconsin, or the 1900s!

ranbow? roll (), hufiefd roll (), my vegetable roll (4)

ranbow? roll (5.75), tuna? roll (4.25), my vegetable roll (4)

All four of us loved our rolls and especially the sticky, chewy rice that was seasoned and sprinkled with sesame. Hungry just thinking about it. Perhaps the low prices have rendered us delusional but it was just as delicious as any of the standard rolls in other places. I obvs can’t say anything about the sashimi or fancier fare though.

These sushi chefs know the way to my heart – my veggie roll was packed with avocado , along with carrots, lettuce, and cucumber. We liked that the spicy tuna roll and many others included avocado without charging more, which is rare. Go Geta!

salmon teriyaki/gyoza special (7.5)

salmon teriyaki/gyoza special (7.5)

C got super excited to see a daily special combo of salmon and gyoza, two of her favorite things. Very impressive amount of gyoza when we were only expecting two, and the salmon was small but she seemed happy with it. The salad has a miso-based dressing which I prefer over carrot/ginger.

I love the simplicity of Japanese food! This place is rave-worthy and we all wish we lived closer.

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Sushi California

This place has one of the worst names I could think of. Why is Sushi the modifier and California the noun? I would’ve kept accidentally calling it California Sushi if G didn’t keep harassing me to say it correctly.

The place is on an abandoned side street and halfway underground, making it impossible to notice from any major road. Totally suggests hole-in-the-wall, which, paired with 4 stars on yelp, gained our attention. We went in on a slow Monday night around 8 o’clock, so there was only one guy eating at the bar and three professional-looking diners at another table. The guy in particular talked extremely loudly to the sushi chef about the costs of running a restaurant whilest the chef looked bored and simply answered him in nods. I wish they were drowned out by the guitarist sitting next to the entrance but I honestly can’t remember any music during the meal, so he might have given up trying to entertain such a small crowd. Or I was too hungry to notice. Note to self: remember not to eat sushi when hungry. It is one of those rare foods that do not fill me up at all and I might as well treat it like a luxurious snack or instead of dessert.

We started with some free edamame and C got the veggie tempura, which was exactly how tempura should be – freshly fried and crisp, with immaculate veggies showing through the transparent, crackly batter. I tried a mushroom, but it was a bit greasy for me, perhaps because it was on the very bottom and soaked up the oil. At least, I hope that was the case. This was a huge serving, but at 11 dollars, it’s what you’d expect. 

Sorry for the phone pic quality!

cali and spicy tuna. nice of them to put a tuna/mayo mixture on top as well as within. never mind the fact it looks regurgitated..

cali and spicy tuna. nice of them to put a tuna/mayo mixture on top as well as within. never mind the fact it looks regurgitated..

Don’t trust the specials posting online though. It said my crazy roll (9) with hamachi/tobiko/tuna/avo/cucumber was a dollar off but it was not on the actual specials board, and neither were many of the others. I apologise for being the least sophisticated sushi eater ever. Everything tasted..as sushi should taste. I don’t enjoy or understand sashimi so all I know about this meal is that I had the rare occasion to eat some animal protein and didn’t like it much. I didn’t think I should/could give up fish last year when I ate it once a week, but now I can’t enjoy it. This is also a guess, but I think the fish shouldn’t have been in tiny chunks in the roll, but in larger pieces. Wow, my lack of sushi knowledge is really hurting this post. The whole experience was kind of unremarkable, though. I’d sooner get some at Berkeley Bowl than come back. I don’t use the ginger/wasabi much, but G is a wasabi gal and she didn’t think it was strong enough.

my crazy roll with G's rainbow roll (12) behind. both half eaten

my crazy roll with G's rainbow roll (12) behind. both half eaten

It was nice of them to include some slices of oranges and grapes at the end. The waitress forgot to charge for the spicy tuna roll, so we made up for it in tips. All in all, ho-hum ambience, acceptable price and portion for sushi, and a reminder that I don’t know anything about sushi except that I can inhale a roll in a few minutes and feel no different.

Like a lot of sushi places, this is what they specialize in and there aren’t many other options. You have the option between one kind of udon and a couple teriyaki bowls, along with traditional appetizers like agedashi tofu, oysters, or natto. But I’d go somewhere else.

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