Let's talk about Japanese food. It's varied, balanced, complex, elegant, succulent, striking, rejuvenating, and a tasty bowl of udon cures all wounds. More than once I have considered that my experiences involving Japanese food appeal to all five senses, and I liken it to a spiritual event. As I said, I heart Japanese food.
I have been blessed by living in the Bay Area, so have been able to sample some pretty decent manifestations of the cuisine. We're on the Pacific Rim, and we have a good amount of Japanese people straight representing, and so the non-Japanese people get to benefit from some of the more authentic flavors that have been established in restaurants throughout this region. One such place was near my home: Jo's Sushi Bar.
Don't let the name or wall marlin fool you. This place has outstanding sushi. I haven't been to every Japanese restaurant in the Bay Area, but I've been to a few (Kirala, Uzen, Tachibana, Ta-Ke Sushi, Mifune, Ebisu...), and I was pleasantly suprised to find this gem nestled in suburbia. The appetizer was Albacore Tataki, which is seared tuna sashimi served with a ponzu dipping sauce and red garlic chili sauce. Delicious. Fine. Glorious. The next round consisted of Oshinko Maki, and Ichir-oll (spicy tuna with avocado and tobiko), and a Holiday Roll (tuna with frikake, so it's red and green - very festive, eh?) There was no mayonnaise in the rolls, and they used actual cuts of the tuna, not that particle trim that you find so often in sub-par rolls. The fish was tender and flavorful, and the oshinko tasted fresh and juicy.
Oh it was heavenly. What made it even nicer was that we got to sit next to the giant fish tank and watched what happens in "Finding Nemo 2: Jacques Gets Tanked." I think I'll need to get one of Jo's t-shirts just so I can represent. I recommend sitting next to the tank in the 2 seater if you get a chance to go.