After reading some of the reviews on Sushi Yasuda‘s website (unfortunately, subsequent to my visit), I began to comprehend why my experience was sub-par. First of all, the owner, Chef Naomichi Yasuda, left the restaurant and returned to Japan late 2010. Secondly, on their site, the most recent review / endorsement was from Nov 2011. That should clue me in to the fact that the restaurant was passed its glory days. Sadly, this is my second (and last) time visiting the restaurant; my first visit was a couple of years ago for dinner.

The reservation process was cumbersome and unpleasant. One cannot reserve online, and when someone finally picks up the phone, they are usually impolite. I can say this with confidence because I have called the restaurant over 4 times (at least twice each visit). First of all, once some Japanese gentleman answers, he puts the customer on hold immediately, without giving you the chance to utter a word. The restaurant obviously has no consideration on the fact that sometimes customers may be calling long distance to make a reservation. On top of that, they put the onus onto the customer to call back and confirm their reservation. When we called back, they made it abundantly clear that the table will only be on hold for 10 minutes. All of this made me think I am perhaps going to be Sukiyabashi Jiro, a three star Michelin star sushi-ya in Tokyo.

The service in the restaurant was not much better. One we walked into the reception area, there was a group of greet staff, none of them smiling, and not really greeting anyone either. The sushi chef was very quiet and impersonable. At the end of the meal, he reluctantly looked up and asked “is everything ok?”

I appreciate the restaurant’s gesture to follow custom in Japan and not accept any gratuities. However, I do not believe that should be an excuse for the lack of service.

On a slightly more positive tone, not all is lost…at least the fish and seafood were still fresh. But again, I question the chefs’ sushi craftsmanship…...

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We ordered the lunch sushi set for USD $28, which comes with soup or salad, five pieces of nigiri sushi, and two rolls. This was probably a great bargain, but the size of the nigiri was pitiful. Bass and orato served together.

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Sea scallop ~ fresh piece of sushi, and thank god for my nearly perfect vision, I could see that the chef already added rock salt on top. Otherwise if I dipped in soy-sauce, it would be overly salty. As to why he did not say anything about the salt? Who knows…

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Orange clam ~ I am a big fan of sushi clam. This was by far my favourite piece of nigiri.

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Branzino

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Tuna

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Tuna roll ~ for the rolls, they were supposed to come as a hand-roll. It was a nice gesture from the chef to ask us if we wanted him to cut them up so we can share. Like I said, not all’s lost, and I like to give credit where credit is due. But for the next three pictures, it clearly showed that the chef’s knife was dull and the seaweed wraps were soggy. Rice was sticking out from the maki.

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King salmon roll

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Yellow tail roll

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After the meal, we were neither full nor hungry. We contemplated ordering something on the side; however ONE piece of nigiri sushi ranged from $5 to $10, which sounded outrageous. I would recommend this restaurant to you, if you are a celebrity, like Martha Stewart (rumour has it that Sushi Yasuda is her favourite sushi restaurant in the States). A 1-Star Michelin? Seriously?

Sushi Yasuda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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