Berkeley >Food & Dining > Sushi California
2033 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, CA | Directions 9470437.871143 -122.272783
Lunch Hours: Tue - Fri, 11:30am - 2pm. Dinner Hours: Mon - Sat, 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Sun, closed
Neighborhoods: South Berkeley
I can't say enough bad things about this place. I wrote an extensive yelp review about the TERRIBLE service experience I had here (and this was before the groupon rush, I might add). Since I've already enumerated in great detail the horrific meal I had here on yelp, I'll just say in brief: the slowest, rudest service I've had in my life, subpar sushi and fish, extremely overpriced, barely sanitary. My tip: DON'T GO HERE
Eclectic neighborhood sushi place – I've been a regular at this sushi bar/restaurant for several years and highly recommend it if you're looking for a stimulating place to eat fresh, quality sushi in a friendly setting. The owner is delightful and seems to attract a really diverse, interesting group of patrons which, on any given night, can include Japanese judges, Berkeley doctoral students, cops, public defenders, Italian mathematicians, Oakland tradesunion activists, and local members of Taiko drumming groups, among others. The sushi chefs are always willing to point me toward what fish is best on any given day, and make creations that I come up with (and then remember them the next time I come in). In addition to serving good sushi, they have live music a couple of times a week -- usually on Mondays and Fridays (though sometimes when I've gone recently, they've been closed on Monday and have music on Tuesday instead. There's a guitarist who has played there for many years named Hideo Date, whose music is great. One thing I've noticed is that the atmosphere can be totally different from one night to the next, because it's so affected by what interesting people show up, so it's hard to judge after just one visit what the place is all about. If you go a few times, you can see whether it's a good fit for you and eat some tasty food while "investigating." If you're looking for upscale decor or to impress a hot date, this is definitely not the place for you -- the decor is simple and down home. On the other hand, it's hard to beat the place for its good sushi, interesting conversation, and free live entertainment. I could save a lot of money if I cut this place out of my routine, but it meets so many needs that I find myself there more often than I care to admit.
Sushi California - one of my all time favorites – My partner and I have been going to this restaurant since just after it opened. The fish is always good quality, the atmosphere is very relaxed and comfortable and the prices are great. It isn't a fast restaurant, it's a place to sit down and enjoy some time with friends and food. There's live music at least once a week, the staff is very stable - they've all been there for years, friendly and attentive. One of the things I like about Sushi Cal is that they're a little different in how they present some of the sushi - it isn't like every other restaurant in the bay area. The rolls are unique and very tasty. I read the earlier review reviling the spicy tuna roll and I have to laugh - everyone has such different tastes! I love the spicy tuna roll that they have much more so than any other restaurant I've been to - go figure :). Anyway, my only complaint over the years has been how slow the food hits the table sometimes.
My favorite sushi bar – I have to write about Sushi Cal, if only to turn the tide back towards positive reviews. I've been a regular at this restaurant for several years, but I also eat at several other sushi places and have eaten at the high-end places as well (Pearl, for example). It's true that it's not the best sushi in the bay area, but I disagree that the rolls are poorly constructed or that the ingredients aren't fresh. The food is very, very good almost every time. And it is cheap. You will not get similar quality for the money anywhere, period. That plus the friendly staff, live music at least twice a week, and the fact that it's a sort of hang out for local (mostly Japanese) artists and musicians, plus all sorts of academics, makes it a great place to unwind. This is not a student in-and-out but a local treasure.
Sushi not worth the price. – I agreed to one of the reviewer that that sushi and rolls there are kind of pricey and poor make. I ordered Spicy tuna roll and Dragon roll and it turned out to be quite different from the other Japanese restaurant. They are kind of mushy. They are rough make and the dragon roll does not have the dragon like shape. The spicy tuna roll is more like a lump of rice with some mushy tuna on top. Very disappointed.
Much better sushi close by – I read okay reviews of Sushi California, and since it was just around the corner and I was craving sushi, I decided to try it out. The atmosphere was pleasant, the staff was friendly and I like how it is kind of underground, but the food is just not very good. I ordered two simple rolls (12 pieces total) for $9 and felt like it was worth much less. The restuarant was almost empty, yet the rolls looked like they had been made in a rush as they were falling apart. The fish did not look or taste super fresh, the seaweed was tough and the avocado was beginning to brown.
I feel like there are much better sushi restaurants worth your money in the neighborhood.
Mediocre sushi – I read the (4) preceding reviews on this restaurant and thought "Hey! This place sounds good." The moment I saw it, I was like oh gawd, what am I getting into? It's literally a hole in the wall, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
The sushi chef was hilarious, but it did not make up for the food. Even the edamame was mediocre. I mean, I've had worse sushi, but this place is nothing special. I really think the (4) previous reviews were done by the staff or friends of the owner.
It is cheap but I wouldn't suggest taking a sushi snob here. It's just average.
best sushi-period – Easily the best sushi I've had in the east bay. Though there are other places that are comparable in the city when it comes to the food, no on can beat the price. For this level of quality food, you have to pay a lot more. I just love this place and recommend it all the time. The staff is great-they always make great recommendations.
Sushi Cal is delicious. – Sushi Cal is my favorite sushi restaurant in the Berkeley. The fish is fresh and delicious, the sushi chefs are friendly, and the service is quick. I love the dragon roll and all of the nigiri. The sushi chefs also make great recommendations.
Best Sushi in Berkeley!! – I've been going to California Sushi for 3 years now, mainly because the atmosphere is warm, the chefs have terrific personalities, and the fish is always fresh. The sushi preparation is superb as well as the sake selection. There's also an additional menu with dishes that changes with the seasion. I highly recommend this resturaunt if you're ever in Berkeley and in the mood for some great sushi.
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