Friday, June 09, 2006

surprisingly good sushi

Mr. Cupcake spends every Wednesday playing poker with his mostly geeky friends. Because I don't feel like sitting around at home alone, I've spent the past few Wednesdays eating dinner with a new friend. On this particular day, she wanted to take me to her favorite sushi place in the area. I have not had great experiences with sushi since being in the Bay area, so I was skeptical. Our destination was Hanamaru in Sunnyvale.

The menu at Hanamaru is extensive. They have a huge selection of rolls. I was a bit taken aback by the sheer number. The other surprising thing is that most of the sushi is priced at about $3. They also had the typical fare, but we opted to get all sushi and share.

We ordered (from left) yellow tail, tuna, the local girl roll, spicy tuna roll, scallop, and the bluefin toro. I"ll start with my favorites which were the yellowtail, spicy tuna, and the toro.

Toro - The toro was priced (market) a bit high at $9 for two slices, but I'm weak, and must order toro whenever I see it. The toro was pretty good. It was very delicate, soft, and tasted very fresh. I was pleased.

Spicy Tuna - The spicy tuna was also good because it wasn't swimming in mayo. I could actually taste the tuna without being overwhelmed. This is probably one of the best versions of spicy tuna I've had.

Yellowtail - The yellowtail also tasted very fresh. I really liked the texture.

The rest of the sushi was pretty good, but didn't stand out like the others.

Local Girl - The local girl is my friend's favorite roll. If I remember correctly it's prawns with coated with tempura, avocado, and topped with a red hot sauce. She subs the avocado with cucumber because she likes the crunchiness. It was pretty good, but not really my kind of thing.

Scallop - I don't know why I always order scallop when I go out for sushi. I usually like the softness of it, but I just wasn't feeling it that day. I guess I need to venture out more.

Maguro Tuna - This was pretty good. It tasted fresh, but I just wasn't as taken with the texture as I was with some of the others.

When we were done, we ordered two more rolls including another local girl. I forgot to take a picture though, so you'll have to use your imagination while you read my description.

Spider Roll - When I was first discovering sushi, this roll was my absolute favorite. As I've ventured out more, it's becoming one of my least favorites. It's a safe choice because it's deep fried soft shell crab. Every interpretation of the spider roll is different, so it'll never taste the same. I did not like this roll at all, and at $7, it's not exactly a deal.

Our final tally including tip was about $45. If you take out the spider roll and the toro, this place is an absolute steal. The sushi is very fresh, and since it's close to where I live, I'll visit often. I also realized it's time to quit ordering spider rolls because I'm continually disappointed. So, to all you readers out there, I vow to never order another spider roll. We'll see how long it lasts.

**Update**

I went back to this place recently and the experience was less than favorable. I wrote a tidbit about it in this post. Scroll down to the fourth paragraph to read it.

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