Time: Saturday. August 09, 2014. 7:30 PM. Reservation.
Address: 3347 Fillmore St
Cuisine: Sushi (American)
Party Size: 2 (M&V)
Order: 2 appetizers, 7 nigiri, 3 rolls
Cost: $93 [$85 food & drink; $8 tax]
Verdict: Looks like on the outside, average on the inside.
Yuzu is a Japanese joint located near the Fillmore & Chestnut intersection that we walked past any number of times. The wood slatted exterior was appealing enough to pique our interest in checking it. However once combined with a dining rewards program, we finally had the incentive needed to check it out.
Going in, our expectations were not very high. For one, we had been on a run of incredible sushi experiences (including Maruya) and for another, the general quality of the restaurants that participate in dining rewards is lower.
With that being said, the exterior is appealing and the sign is inviting (the clouds in the background, not so much).
The inside is rather sizable and when we arrived there were only a few tables occupied so the place felt hollow and vacant. There are two bars, a sushi bar in the back and a drinks bar off to the side.
All in the service was acceptable; there really wasn’t anything to complain about or to specifically praise.
On to the food. We ordered some appetizers, a selection of nigiri and a few of the “speciality” rolls.
A little sticky to the fingers from the sweet/spicy glaze but tasty enough.
Nigiri Selections: hamachi belly, salmon belly, albacore belly, king salmon, red snapper, mackerel, aburi belly
It was interesting to see the number of different “belly” cuts. The fish was cut to a nice thickness with a nice flavor in line with my expectation based on the cost ($5 or so per set of 2).
The rice on the other hand was not very good and was a noticeable detractor to the overall taste. In all honesty, rice quality wasn’t something that I had noticed or given much thought to until recently thanks to a combination of eating more “next level” sushi (see again, Maruya) and hearing some expert chefs declare that their sushi is really 90% rice. Then again, I also expect a difference between a place that charges $5 for 2 pieces and a place that charges $10 for one.
On to the rolls.
Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll
Not a bad roll but with all the sauces it is a little easy to over do it and nullify the taste.
This roll had a lighter flavor. The red stringy things that were layered on the poke made a return appearance.
Hotate Volcano Roll
The burnt flavor from the maki wrapping was nice as was the lotus root used as a plate to serve the scallop, however the red strings are back again.
I do not want to make this all sound negative. In terms of value, quality, and flare I would say that Yuzu met the expectations that I had when I walked in. I could see the place being a great option for groups looking to try a wide range of specialty rolls without breaking the bank.