April 16, 2006

Seductive Sashimi & Salmon Salad - Yuki of Tokyo (Danville)

They don't do "stunt sushi" or saketini's (though there's the occasional sake bomb). While they've got some interesting preparations you don't see everywhere, you won't pay $30 for some strange fusion of American food products presented sushi-style and named after a regular. Or fifty variations on a California roll.

If you want a full-blown Iron Chef experience (with a pricetag to match), I might suggest a flight to Morimoto's in Philadelphia. But if you're looking for consistantly top-quality sushi, sashimi or tempura at a reasonable price in the East Bay, Yuki of Tokyo in Danville is the place to stop.

John's favorite is the Tiger Roll which really sounds more 'kitchen sink' than it turns out to be. Soft-shelled crab, tempura shrimp, "California" roll and crisp Japanese vegetables wrapped in nori and rice strike a wonderful balance of texture, temperature and taste. Occasionally Frank experiments a bit with it, and I've really enjoyed versions that add a bit of spicy tuna to the mix. Warm, crispy tempura batter. Succulent shrimp. Soft-but-spicy tuna. Yum.

Speaking of spicy, another must-have is what Frank calls the Tuna Poki Salad. Firm red tuna. Buttery albacore. And often a bit of negi-toro. Tossed in a smokey-spicey marinade and served over a bed of salty-sweet wakame. Yum, indeed.

One of our favorite parts of the sushi experience is that as we get to know the chefs (and they learn our preferences) we get the benefit of their creativity with some of our favorite ingredients. Frank's Special Unagi Nigiri won't appear on the menu with my name or John's, and that's okay. Part of what made it special was it's now-or-never-ness. Frank knows what we like, and he knows what's fresh. And he's got the creativity to combine that knowledge to create some of the best one-off sushi we've ever had.

Yuki of Tokyo
200 Hartz Ave # E - Danville


Anonymous said...

Great sum up of the special experience that getting to know Frank is! If you think of it, head over to yelp.com and give him some love- he's going underappreciated for his sushi genious there!