Sushi California~ Meep and I lived a block from here for the 2.5 years and would eat here at least once a month. I always order the same stuff and it still hits the spot each time. So, on my short 3.5 days in Vancouver, I ventured out to Burquitlam (Coquitlam/Burnaby) to eat here. It felt strange eating alone and I felt so limited because I had to make sure not to order too much food.
The restaurant looks the same. With about a dozen tables, mostly filled and a crap load of take out orders piling up at the sushi bar. You can phone them to order your stuff, then pick it up and pay for it 30 mins later. Pretty good during meal times when waiting for a table could take up to 1/2 hour.
Menu has been updated since I was last here. It is a lot more concise and well categorised now.
Toro Nigri $1.35
Pretty good. More rice that I expected but the fish was presented well. The toro was firm, fatty with slight lemony aftertaste. Pretty fresh (comparing to other Toro I have had that week in Vancouver).
Saba Nigri $1.25
Not bad. I was a tad disappointed with the mackerel/saba because it was not completely raw. It was almost like a ceviche. Intense vinegar taste, firm and almost string-y. I prefer it seared lightly or just raw served with some grated ginger as they do in the Bay Area.
Alaska Roll $3.95
I love this roll. It didn’t matter that the sushi rice was not seasoned well or the piece fell apart each time I try to pick one up… The flavours are just so good. Their special “sauce” is sweet and tangy, complimenting the avocado and salmon sashimi so well. Delicious. I did notice how they have really skimped out on the salmon sashimi this time. Rice cooked well but underseasoned.
Deluxe Chirashi Don $13.95
Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Yellowtail (Hamachi), Red Snapper (Tai), Octopus (Tako), Sweet Shrimp (Amaebi), Surf Clam, Scallop, Tobiko
OMG! Can you believe the amount of sashimi in this bowl? It is an unbelievable deal at $14! I was almost worried that the fish would be borderline fresh and they just needed to get rid of inventory but NOPE. Fresh, thick cuts of great quality sashimi.
Salmon – They were literally mini steaks of salmon that is almost the size of my soup spoon. Firm, fresh and fatty with a sweet aftertaste. Not a hint of fishiness. *loves*
Albacore Tuna - Another 3 huge cuts (larger than the salmon) but not great. I find tuna to be mushy unless they r top notch. Even if they are fresh, I am not a huge fan of the texture. It was not fishy but not firm and a tad on the mushy side.
Hamachi - 2 slices of delicious firm lemony yellowtail. I love ordering hamachi sashimi because it is more “meat-y” than most sashimi and have this citrus-y aftertaste. Really good and fresh.
Tai – 2 smaller slices in comparison to the 3 above but just as amazing. Tai have a little crunch to them when they r really fresh. Less fatty than salmon or yellowtail. A lighter sashimi but just as good.
Tako – I have never been a fan of Tako/Octopus. Too chewy and tough to swallow.
Amaebi – Smallest sweet shrimp I have ever been served. Not the least bit slimy. Sweet with a nice crunch.
Scallop – Loved the scallop. It was the size of a “Toonie” and about an inch thick. (For non Canadians, a toonie is about 1.5 the size of a dollar coin). I feel like I am starting to sound redundant but here goes – Firm, sweet and lemony (a lemon slice was shoved into a small slit in the middle).
Surf Clam – Not a fan in general so I took a small nibble. Didn’t care much for it.
The rice was just OK. Cooked well but not seasoned very much at all… pretty bland and missing the nice tang from sushi vinegar.
Total Damage: $27.55 (including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Very good)
Some of the stuff here might not be of top notch quality or preparation… Nonetheless on average the food are generous portions of good to great quality items. And the best part is the prices – very affordable, almost “cheap”. Service is still as bad as I remembered. The servers are always so overwhelmed and all over the place. I was seated at the sushi bar so I get forgotten and have to try to get their attention each time they come over to pick up items for other diners… then they would tell me to wait and forget (again and again).
Food is always quick to hit the tables. They have 4 sushi chefs putting together rolls, slicing sashimi and tossing things in bowls like a well oiled machine.
501 North Road
(604) 931 8284