Sushi Love on ElliewoodA local neighborhood rag in San Francisco once published an unfavorable review of the popular low-end sushi restaurant We Be Sushi, and titled it “They Be Mushy.” Another reviewer once wrote of Nobu, the famous global sushi hot spot, “No bull, Nobu is sushi nobility.” Therefore, in what appears to be a long and international tradition of cheap plays on sushi restaurant names, I unofficially dub this review “Sushi Hate.”

That may be a bit extreme, actually. It’s more like “Sushi I Think of You More as a Friend.”

When evaluating a sushi restaurant, we try to order the basics and steer clear of the pan-Asian dishes that many such restaurants feel they have to include. Why are there Korean dishes at a sushi joint? As far as specialty sushi goes, don’t get me wrong – I’m as much a sucker as the next guy for dragon-shaped rolls, especially when appointed with a wasabi schnoz and carrot horns – but such flair can obscure the essentials. We got edamame (boiled soy beans), gyoza (fried meat dumplings), chicken teriyaki, some eel rolls, maguro nigiri (tuna), and ebi nigiri (cooked shrimp). The results? Average to strange.

Standard sushiThe edamame was so salty that even Erin, a bona fide salt fiend who can eat it straight-up as a snack like a deer at a salt lick, had to scrape the beans with a chopstick to make them edible. The dumplings were fried to the same extreme that the beans were salted, though some might find such a crunch appealing, and the overall flavor was decent.

We were pleased to see a nicely plated chicken teriyaki coming our way, but then dismayed to taste it. The meat consistency was strangely synthetic, rubbery without being chewy, and it left an alarming aftertaste that neither of us can figure out how to describe. Kerosene? Plastic? Decay?

The main event, the sushi, was definitely an improvement over everything else, but still nothing to get excited about. The important thing was that it all tasted reasonably fresh, something that had begun to concern me after our previous dishes. The service was also prompt and friendly.

I think we can officially say that this location on the Corner, much like the Trinity and Semolina locations, is cursed. Nothing ever lasts more than a couple of years, and it’s hard to believe Sushi Love will be the exception.

Erin says: “I wasn’t feeling the love when the pickled ginger was the best thing on my plate.”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Atmospheric seating in the back.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: Mediocre food overall, terrible ambience in the front room.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Dinner for two with a couple of drinks, without tip: $70

car famfam 16 iconParking: Small pay lot across the street, two other pay lots within a few blocks.

phone 16 iconContact Info

Sushi Love
(434) 202-0187

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