San Leandro Reviews
Summary: Good sushi, mediocre meat dishes
We'd had dinner at Makiyaki a couple of times but for some reason or another I hadn't written a review, so when (July 2006) I suggested to Mike that we had lunch together here in town, Makiyaki came to mind. Makiyaki is a small Japanese restaurant in the Pelton Center in downtown San Leandro. It's been around for a few years now, and they recently have increased their sitting space inside. Still, there isn't much in the way of ambiance, you come here for a practical sort of meal. They also have three tables right outside - next to the parking lot - but given the dearth of outside dining options in San Leandro we still welcomed them.
The menu is heavy on sushi, light on meat and tempura options. Its prices are in line with those of other local Japanese restaurants. Makiyaki offers bento and donburi lunches. I went for the former, which comes with your choice of two entrees, miso soup, salad, rice and two gyoza pieces ($8). I had the beef teriyaki and the ton-katsu for my entrees and neither was a good choice. The beef was tough, somewhat chewy and terribly tasteless. Perhaps it would have benefited from some seasoning, though it may be that it was just the wrong cut of meat for this dish. It was somewhat saved by the mediocre, one-tone teriyaki sauce. The sauce had a dark caramelized flavor which I liked, but was very flat - its flavor sensation lasting no longer than a second or two. The fried pork (ton-katsu) had similar problems. It was tough, overcooked and utterly flavorless. Its thin breading didn't add anything at all, though the accompanying sauce at least made it edible. On the plus side (if you want to call it that), the portions of both meats were quite generous. The sides from the bento box were better. The miso soup was perfectly fine, and contained largish pieces of tofu. Mike particularly enjoyed the toasted sesame dressing on the salad, and he had no reason to complain about the gyozas. You can order a bento box with tuna sashimi and a California roll, and that may be a better bet.
Mike, meanwhile, went for the Lion King roll ($8). This consists of a California roll (a roll of crab and avocado) with salmon wrapped and baked in a house sauce. Again it was a generous portion of about 8 pieces. He was very pleased with it; it all came together well. Service was a little bit slow, perhaps because we'd gone during the lunch rush. But otherwise it was a good (for Mike at least) dining experience.
Service was a little bit slow, perhaps because we'd gone during the lunch rush. But otherwise it was a good (for Mike at least) dining experience.
134 Pelton Center
San Leandro, Ca