This evening I was sitting in a new sushi restaurant I’ve never been to before, critiquing what I like about the place and what I’d suggest they change, when I realized it been derelict my duties to my readers and haven’t written anything in a very long time. My sincerest apologies, life has been really busy. I also stopped traveling on business for a year and a half so didn’t have the opportunities to try restaurants in all the diverse areas like I’ve done in the past. Once again, I have a traveling job. It’s sort of a love-hate relationship.
This evening I ate at Momoyama Sushi in Concord California. I’d read good things about it online so decided I should go ahead and try it. I’d read that it was right next door to a Zumba place and some other diners had complained about the noise. When I arrived, yes in the class was in full swing, but once I got inside it was not noticeable.
I perused the menu, all the usual offerings there although they did have some interesting rolls and most interesting, they weren’t all covered with sauces. I find too many sushi places offering different combinations of the same old thing with the only real differences being what overused sauces that they’d added.
One of the complaints I read online was the service can take a very long time to get here sometimes it’s a half hour to get in and then another half hour before your orders taken and maybe another half hour before the food arrives, this was not true the evening I arrived. I walked in and was promptly seated and was ordering a few minutes later. Before even had a chance to order my waitresses brought me miso soup, salad and edemame. The edemame while fresh was completely lacking salt, sea or otherwise.
The salad with peanut dressing was fine, the miso soup was fine. I ordered the Deluxe Sushi/Sashimi Combo which came with three pieces of tuna, three pieces of salmon, a tuna roll along with the aforementioned soup and salad. Now I’d read that there they tend to be generous with their portions are locally famous for including a free roll with each meal. When my food arrived, this rumor was confirmed.
Now I know there are people that equally quantity with quality; I don’t happen to be a member of that camp. The first thing I noticed was how large, unusually large the portions were. When it comes to sashimi this doesn’t bother me, but when it comes to sushi, I think there some magic rule about proportion, kind of like 3 x 5 rule for windows. Here the sushi was prepared with a normal sized portion of rice, but the fish itself was about 4, maybe 4-1/2 inches long. Now I’m a big guy, 6’3″ and 275lbs, to me this is so large as to be unwieldy. I just can’t pick something that big up with chopsticks. Space I tried with the first piece it just seemed awkward, so much that afterwards I carefully lifted the fish off each piece of sushi, dipped in the wasabe and soy sauce, then ate the rice seperately. Sushi should be fun, not an adventure in trying not to get dinner (or it’s sauces) all over oneself.
I was almost remiss in not mentioning that part way through dinner, true to form, my waitress arrived with a complimentary (Hey, you look great…did you lose weight?) roll. Mine was almost a California Roll, only with shrimp, with spicy salmon on top…and no superfluous sauces! That alone is worth an extra half star, so you’ve been bumped up.
Quality the fish was fine, it certainly wasn’t the best sushi I’ve ever had, but it was very far from the worst I’ve ever had. I’d probably give it 3.5 out of 5 stars, slightly above average, but as mentioned, they get that extra half star, so a final score of 4 out of 5.
The one thing that constantly confounds me is why a sushi bar plays American pop music. I think it would add so much atmosphere if they played either traditional Japanese music, or if they want to play pop music, play Japanese pop music! I’m there for the experience, and not the experience I can get driving with my wife or daughter in the car. I will give them props for their decorations, I hate sushi places that are decorated with him in such a way that they could turn into anything else, Supercuts, dog groomer, etc the following day. It’s about the experience people.
In conclusion I’d suggest:
- · Smaller portion sizes on the sushi, but feel free to give more of them
- · Sea salt on the edemame is an absolute requirement
- · Free rolls are a great and unique marketing idea!
- · Relevant music would only add to the atmosphere.
And the perennial question, what I eat here again, yes. I did just bring some scissors to cut the portions down to a manageable size.