San Leandro Reviews
Note: This restaurant has closed. Fat Fish, another sushi restaurant, has opened in its place.
I'm not a big fan of seafood in general and sushi in particular, so you'll rarely see me visiting a Japanese restaurant, much less writing a review of it. Still, a reader of this website had raved about Ozeki Sushi Teriyaki and Mike had tried it and liked it some weeks before, so it seemed like a worthy choice for dinner on a Monday night in October 2005.
Ozeki Sushi Teriyaki is located in what once was probably a fast food Mexican outlet - its architecture is definitely faux-mission. It's quite modest and clearly geared towards a blue collar clientele, and with its yummy food and reasonable prices, it has no problems attracting it. Indeed, the almost-full counter and three or four occupied tables proved too much for the sole waitress, who took almost ten minutes before taking our order. When Mike had lunch there, service was much quicker. The waitress did apologize and service was quite friendly, but such a long wait can be frustrating when you have little children.
The menu includes a wide variety of sushi, which you can order in combos, plates or by the piece. It also has appetizers, teriyaki and some other cooked dishes. Most items are less than $10.
Mike ordered the lion king roll ($10), a California roll with salmon, wrapped and baked. He really liked it, but it was an especially big hit with our three-year-old, who ended up eating most of it. Both of them also really enjoyed the unagi; they started with one piece but had to order two more to satiate themselves. Mike was less fond of the hamachi, which didn't seem very fresh.
I had the steak teriyaki ($9.50) and was very pleased. The long, thin strips of steak were quite tender and had a very pleasant charbroiled taste. The thick teriyaki sauce was also very good, well balanced and not too sweet. I'd definitely order this dish again.
We ordered the Chicken Karaage ($4.50), breaded and deep-fried pieces of chicken, for Mika, but they were probably too crispy for her. I really liked the seasoning, though I felt the chicken was a tad overcooked. I'd probably have liked them even more with some lemon juice.
My dinner came with soup and salad - Mike liked the salad but the dressing was too heavy for Mika. The miso soup was quite tasty, and the two girls enjoyed the few very small pieces of tofu.
In all we had quite a good dinner, and we'll definitely go back.
Ozeki Sushi Teriyaki
14701 E. 14th St.
San Leandro, California