After being married all of these years, the Missus knows when I'm feeling a bit run down.....I'm not sure if it's work, the weather, old age, or maybe a combination of everything, but I think I've been moving at a bit of a slower pace recently. The Missus knows just how to pull me out of it; "why don't you go and get some sushi tonight....have a nice dinner!" I couldn't help but perk up.....plus there was a place I had in mind. A new place called Sushi Tadokoro. Now the first two recommendations I had for the place mentioned rolls and jalapeno rolls...stuff I really don't eat. But when Rodzilla asked if I'd been here yet and mentioned Edomae sushi....well I just had to check it out.
Plus, it's not that faraway from home, just South of El Agave and Old Town.
There are only three or so parking stalls in the strip mall, but this being an early in the week.....a weeknight, I had no problems parking. The restaurant is quite minimalist, but very nice looking. The bar is long, with quite a bit of space. I sat to the very left on the bar and did recognize Take from Surfside Sushi....I'm guessing all the guys form there are starting open their own places.
For me, Edomae sushi revolves around nigiri, so after Take asked me what I would not eat....basically a non-factor, unless he was planning on doing something with hoya, I asked him to make me whatever he felt. There was an "Omakase Special" on the greaseboard for a very low $25.....but hey......I wanted some good stuff.
Things started off with Hirame (halibut) cured in kelp with some of his own nikiri....his personal soy sauce mixture intended for sushi.
This was a nice start for me....I love shiromi(white fish) and the nikiri, while mild added a nice component to the dish allowing the mild smokey flavor imparted from the kombu (kelp) to come through.
Next up was some Ahi from Hawaii also dabbed with nikiri.
It was a beautiful piece of fish. Ahi (yellowfin), of course has a stronger, more oily flavor than maguro (bluefin). Take-san had given it perhaps a bit more wasabi than I would have appreciated. I did start to notice how nicely shaped his shari was....not humongous carb-blasting pieces of rice, nor huge slabs of protein, but nicely proportioned overall. I did expect a stronger sushi-su(vinegar), but this was mild and nice.
Loved the shari with the hamachi belly....not too tightly packed, not falling apart, it basically exploded in your mouth.
The fish was decent, not as silky smooth as what I would expect, but still good.
The chu-toro was also decent.
It did indeed almost melt in your mouth. Not magnificent, but nice.
The saba topped with a paper thin slice of kombu was just awesome.
Saba is not my favorite thing in the world, but this was just fantastic. The milkiness of the saba was tempered by the kombu, which imparted a smokey, flavor of the sea. This just made my entire day better.....I hope to have it again, soon!
One of the things I enjoy the most about neighborhood sushi places, is that the Itamae gets to know you, understand your tastes.....you can put yourselves in their hands knowing you'll get a good meal. At this point, Take-san started understanding what I enjoyed......and came up with an engawa duet. Engawa is the dorsal fin muscle of the halibut, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it. Crunchy and mildly sweet, it's one of my favorites.
The first piece was typical engawa, a slice of lemon was lightly rubbed against the fish, then a few drops of ponzu, giving it just enough of an acidic touch.
Crunchy, sour, mildly sweet, this was classic engawa.
For the second piece, Take-san brought out the torch and took it to the fish.....I'd never had this before. After squeezing 2-3 drops of lemon on it he placed it on my plate.
Man, this was great. The torching had brought out sweetness that I never knew existed in engawa. While cutting down on the crunchiness, it had developed the fat and collagen, making this a real treat.
Take-san really nailed it for my final item....I usually will have negi-hama to finish things off. I watched him scrape the hamachi belly and combine it with hamachi. It seemed that he read my mind......negihama. As you notice, I ate a piece before I remembered to take a photo.....
The folks here are very nice. I did wonder how they'd do....Take-san said they don't get many Nihon customers, so having a fairly diverse selection is a challenge, but they did quite well. Plus, from what I could see on this visit, they treat you nicely whether you want a spicy tuna roll or omakase. Something that some places don't do.
Needless to say, I'll be back.
2244 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110
Mon - Sat 5pm - 10pm