Orinda >Food & Dining > Yu Sushi
19 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA | Directions 9456337.879031 -122.181827
Mon - Thu, 11am - 3pm, 5 pm - 9:30pm; Fri, 11am - 3pm, 5pm - 10 pm; Sat, noon - 10pm; Sun, noon - 9pm
Neighborhoods: Northwood - Tara, Northwood/Tara
Always Great Sushi – YU SUSHI serves the BEST sushi in the LAMORINDA area – BAR NONE. The nigri (raw fish on a square of spiced rice) is generous; the maki/norimaki (fish-inside rolls) uses sashimi cuts of fish; the Uramaki (inside-out rolls) are gigantic; and the temaki (hand rolls) are inventive and well spiced. The tempura is light, flaky and delicious – a real treat.
Don’t let the negative “yelpers” get to you. THIS IS AN OUTSTANDING SUSHI RESTAURANT.
RESTAURANT FACTS: The Sushi Chef, Charlie, and his wife, Wendy, are the managers of Yu Sushi. Although ethnic Chinese, Charlie studied the art of sushi preparation in Nakano, Japan for 10 years. He speaks fluent Japanese and is licensed to serve blowfish (torafugu) in Japan (the most challenging sashimi because of its neurotoxin).
DÉCOR: Minimalist. Whiteboards with menu specials are hammered to the walls. 11 tables with 5 seats at the sushi bar. As you enter you’ll hear Charlie, staff, and some customers yell, “ira sya i ma se” or “Welcome!” Open seating. Service is quick and friendly.
QUALITY/QUANTITY: If you want quality sushi, this is your place. Charlie knows his vendors and only purchases the finest A Quality fish from Bay Area vendors. Sushi lovers know by the Saba (mackerel), and Yu Sushi serves sensational Saba! Some sushi bars slice fish so thin you can read a newspaper through them. Not Yu Sushi. The slices are always thick and generous.
Yu Sushi uses a lightly spiced and vinegar laced sushi rice and the thinnest nori (seaweed wrap) possessing only a hint of salt. Simply scrumptious!
Lastly, the wooden disposable chopsticks or Waribashi tell a lot about a restaurant. Yu Sushi uses the very expensive, hardwood, waribashi-otemoto for dinner. Little things count.
PRICING/COMPETITION: I visited three competitive restaurants and Yu Sushi on the same day to compare quality and prices. I ordered the same thing at all three restaurants: Yellowtail, Mackerel, Salmon and, if they had it, Sea Urchin with Quail Egg Sushi.
NIWA: Hamachi: gray-yellow. Saba: oily, smelly, sour. Sake: sweet, tasty. Uni: not offered. Price: $12.25. Rating: POOR.
FUZ: Hamachi: stale, fishy. Saba: smelly, fishy. Sake: chewy, flat. Sushi rice: dry, tasteless. The place smelled bad. Uni: N/A. Price: $12:75. Rating: VERY POOR.
KANE SUSHI: Ground fish in most of their Maki rolls. GROUND FISH?? You must be kidding. Saba: gray-black, skin wrinkled. Hamachi/Sake: all PRE-CUT into thin slices and sitting in the cooler. Smelled like decaying fish. Forgive me, but I walked out.
OYAMA SUSHI: Presentation very smart. Sushi served on banana leaf. Hamachi: OK but thin. Saba: gray, blackened edges, smelled “fishy.” Sake: Thin but very good. Uni: Outstanding, except very thick and salty nori wrap. Price: $15.50. Uni/Quail Egg: $11.00. Rating: GOOD (actually, considering the price… MEDIOCRE)
YU SUSHI: Everything was wonderful. Price: $11.40. Uni/Quail Egg: $7.95. Rating: OUTSTANDING.
CONCLUSION: You won’t find any Mukimono (carved vegetables and banana leaves) at Yu Sushi. But you will find outstanding sushi, tempura and countless other traditional Japanese dishes served up to perfection. Enjoy!
bad service – my girlfriend and i tried this place to get out of the normal routine. the customer service was BAD. we ordered water twice, never recieved. i understand on a weekend night, but it should not be an issue to get water!
during our meal, which was pretty good, we never were asked "need anything"? the whole time we were waiting on our water. ;-O
You get what you pay for – We gave Yu Sushi a try when they first opened a few years ago and frankly, I am surprised that they are still open given the discerning tastes of the surrounding community. Certainly, they must have found a niche with the inexperienced sushi fan.
Better options abound in the East Bay for marginal more expense. Certainly, the prices are reasonable, but not a value given the quality of the cuts. The maguru was watery, the hamachi fishy and the tomago overly sweet; quite disappointing.
Best hamachi in the East Bay – I've never had hamachi that just literally melted on my tongue until I discovered Yu Sushi. The chirashi is an exceptional value, and the variety of rolls is impressive. I won't eat sushi anywhere else in the East Bay any more.
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