Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sushi California : Burquitlam location

Four days of consistent bad luck : Day Four Part II.
Finally to an end.

After having a pretty unappetizing lunch at Marutama, we headed to Surrey to look at arcade games for work. And rather than staying in Surrey for dinner, it was my idea to head back for a meal at Sushi California... after driving through Guildford, Fleetwood and King George, without finding a restaurant that interested me. Yeah... I think my fear of eating at a crappy restaurant and wasting money is coming to an end because you never know until you try, and my four days of consistent bad luck were actually restaurants I went out of my way to visit! So, might as well take a gamble and from now on, walk into random restaurants.

Sushi California is known to serve large portions and be a "bang for your buck" kind of joint. And having been here plenty of times throughout high school, there has never once been an issue regarding the quality, as in no foul tasting sashimi. So, I decided to come here because I wanted large portions of sashimi at a cheaper cost. And a cheap dinner. As for the Burquitlam location, the restaurant is known to have long line ups and minimal parking spots. Realistically, there are twelve to fifteen tables and most of the time, there will be a wait. 

The ishiyaki is more like Korean bibimbap and oddly, tastes bland. The stone bowl is missing the usual chilli pepper paste and would have tasted a lot better with it. As for the ingredients, there are chinese mushroom, red pepper, seaweed, lettuce, masago and yellow daikon. In addition, despite the description of "fish roe and vegetables", there is beef as well. Just a heads up for vegetarians!

Despite not being fans of this type of batter, the soft shell crab tastes moist as well as juicy. And as stated in the description, the batter is very light.

TORO ($1.35), SALMON ($1.20), TUNA ($1.20), TAKO ($1.80), UNAGI ($1.60) AND MASAGO ($1.25). 
As expected, the orders of nigiri are heavy on the rice and for those who have a problem with that, just remove half the amount before eating. Starting with the toro, it has no fattiness and tastes old. Furthermore out of all the sashimi, toro is the only one which results in a slight bitterness when it is not fresh. Next, the salmon along with the tuna tastes fine, and I appreciate that the proper lower body portion of the tuna is served. Continuing along, the tako tastes generic and is thinly sliced to prevent a chewy taste. Following, the unagi tastes generic as well and is not heavy on the sauce. And last, the masago tastes like soft tiny crunches (we did not have the rice). If anything, we were interested in ordering black cod, red tuna and uni, but neither of them were available.

There is nothing deluxe about the assorted sashimi. Not the selection, quality or presentation. In addition, if regarding Sushi California as the place to go for "larger" portions, the amaebi are very small and the hamachi is the same size as nigiri fillet, although the tuna and salmon are a good size. Everything tastes pretty generic except for the hamachi.

As for the hamachi, the sashimi has been sitting out for too long and does not have that nice bright burgundy red color. In addition, the slices are the same size as the nigiri orders above. So, not much of a larger portion as one would expect from Sushi California. Furthermore, I am not sure what restaurant started the "trend" of leaving skin on sashimi, but it never tastes good at all. Leaving skin on sashimi results in a fishy taste along with an unpleasant chewiness, not a "soft crunch" which "adds texture" to the sashimi.

TOTAL: $53.40 + TIP $6.60 = $60.00.

Overall I expected more from Sushi California. On my previous visits (although to be fair it was at least five years ago), the restaurant has never served old sashimi and perhaps they have gone downhill. If in the area, as in five minutes away from Sushi California, Sushi & as well as Hanamori are a lot better Japanese restaurants. Nevertheless, Sushi California is catered to those who enjoy spicy sashimi, rolls, and cooked items such as teriyaki or tempura. As for the service, the staff generally tries to be upbeat and friendly, but sometimes it can be hard to get ahold of someone.

- Staff tries to be friendly
- Sushi rolls are large for those who prefer that

- Toro and hamachi is not fresh
- Deluxe sashimi is the worst value on the menu

- Sushi & has a better sashimi value and quality (but perhaps poorly constructed rolls compared to here)

Food: 2/5 (usually 2.5/5)
Service: 2.5/5

Sushi California on Urbanspoon

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