Mike, my 11-yo daughter Mika and I, enjoyed a nice family dinner at Tsuru Sushi a few weeks ago. We hadn’t gone in years, and we had, overall, a very good experience. It was expensive – very expensive – but we had won several gift cards so most of the dinner was covered. Good thing, as it came to close to $100 for 3, and only one of us actually ordered sushi.
I deciced to make a dinner out of appetizers and ordered the gyoza ($5.75), the fried chicken wings ($6.25) and the beef kushi ($7). The portions are small enough that while I had some food leftover for Mike to share with, it wasn’t much. The gyoza, in particular, were delicious. The filling was full of flavor and I could have gone on eating them forever. The chicken wings, on the other hand, were very plain and monotonous. You probably could do better at Pioneer’s chicken. The sauce helped a little, but grew boring too. I wouldn’t order them again. The beef kushi, on the other hand, was quite good. It wasn’t too different from teriyaki, but without the sticky sauce, and I enjoyed it.
Mika had the combination dinner ($20) with gyoza, shiu mai and a california roll. The enjoyed the roll, loved the gyoza but the shiu mai was sort of plain.
Mike had two orders of unagi ($5.50 each), which we all enjoyed, though it wasn’t a particularly outstanding version. He also had some kind of roll that he thought was very good.
In all, it was a good meal. Service was good and efficient, though they could have done a better job of timing the food.
The one thing I found a bit tacky is that they actually charge you for the after-dinner mints.
1427 East 14th St.
San Leandro, CA
M-Sa 11am-2:30 pm, 5-9:30 pm
Su 12:30 – 9:30pm
May 2011 Update
A couple of days ago, Mike was in the mood for sushi and I was in the mood for not cooking, so when he suggested that we go to Fat Fish Sushi, I got in the car and went with him. Clearly, we had all forgotten about our previous experience at Fat Fish Sushi – which we proceeded to replicate almost to the letter.
Fat Fish Sushi has become a very, very modest restaurant. Your order at the counter, but dishes are brought to the table. Prices don’t seem to have increased much since our last foray. Once again, Mike ordered the Lion King roll and the unagi, and once again the thought the former was unimpressive and the latter was OK. I ordered a bento box with beef teriyaki and chicken katsu. The beef teriyaki was just like the time before, bland with an overly sour sauce. The chicken katsu consisted of very small, thin strips of breaded fried chicke with an overwhelmingly sour katsu sauce. Neither was particularly tasty. Mika had a kid’s bento box with two huge breaded & fried shrimps (the breading had no flavor), a California roll, which she sort of liked, and chicken teriyaki, which had a weird consistency.
In all, a meal that should not be repeated.
June 2009 review
I’m not a big Japanese food eater (indeed, I don’t eat sushi), but my husband and kids like it, so we go to sushi restaurants from time to time. Of the handful of sushi restaurants in San Leandro, Ozeki Sushi Teriyaki was our favorite. I even liked their teriyaki. It changed names (to Fat Fish), and probably ownership, quite a while ago – and we hadn’t gone back since. Today, however, when I agreed to have Japanese food for lunch, that’s where we headed. I’m sorry to say that the food quality has gone down considerably. Even though I’m not crazy about the other Japanese restaurants in town, I would definitely not go back to this one.
I had the beef teriyaki plate ($8). The beef was tender and lean, and the portion was quite generous, but the beef had not been salted and, in the words of my husband, it was “the blandest piece of meat I’ve ever eaten”. The teriyaki sauce tasted mostly of soy sauce (and yet, not a salty soy sauce). A little salt improved the meat considerably, but not the point of actually calling it “good”. Unless you like bland food, take my advise and skip it.
You may also want to skip the Lion King roll (a California roll with baked salmon & tobiko). Mike speculates that the salmon & tobiko had been added to the top of the pre-made roll and quickly microwaved – the roll had both hot and cold spots. Needless to say he was not impressed.
The miso soup and unagi ($1 per piece) were fine.
In all, a disappointing experience.
Fat Fish Sushi
14701 E 14th St.
San Leandro, CA
M-Sat 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Sun: 5 – 9:30 PM