Sakae Restaurant

 243 California Dr
Burlingame, CA

High quality, but unrefined sushi

So here’s my thing on Sakae. The chef surely knows how to pick excellent fish. Whether he gets up to go to the fish markets at 4:30 or trusts someone else to pick them for him, he’s got a great source. The fish quality is nearly top notch. Additionally, he has an excellent variety of fish, including several things I had never had before, including Mishima beef (more rare than Kobe?), seki saba (mackeral that must be line caught, killed and treated in accordance with strict standards), and baby eel (looked more like thin, white fettucini with eyes in a bowl).

However, my problem with Sakae is in the preparation of the sushi. I must have the most unfortunate luck, but on this occasion, I not only encountered a fish scale, but a SEA URCHIN SPIKE in my uni. The rice is barely packed together at all, so that even when picked up gently with my hand, and lightly dipped (fish side down!) in the soy sauce, several pieces of sushi fell apart. Furthermore, the o-toro still had chewy tendon cutting through the piece. Otoro should just melt, no chewing necessary.

I may have come on the chef’s off or busy night, and I’m willing to give it another shot, but while I was very impressed with the fish quality, the preparation left something to be desired.

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