Monday, March 05, 2012

Dinner @ Eiji

Tonight we went to another new sushi place, on the quest to find sushi that doesn't require 2 hour long waits or cost $100 per person.  So, we went to Eiji, in the Castro.  It is a small place, with only a few tables.  I was surprised to see no sushi bar, all food prep was done out of sight in the back.  We were dining with one vegetarian, and specifically choose to come here because they make their own fresh tofu, and have 3 different dishes featuring it.  They are also known for their strawberry mochi dessert, which I thought our vegetarian friend would enjoy as well.  We ordered an assortment of vegetarian dishes and sushi, cooked and raw.

The good: They take reservations.  Service was friendly and good.  Not too expensive - standard nigiri was $4.95, specials $7.95.
The bad: Nothing was very good.  Plum wine came with ice cubes in it?

I won't return.
Monkfish liver
 It was firm, and really just reminded me of catfood.  Did not like!
Cucumber salad
Nothing bad here, but nothing noteable either.  Just standard cucumber salad.
Cooked bamboo shoot, seaweed
 Decent crunch on the bamboo shoot, fairly pleasant seaweed, but no real flavor.
Toppings for tofu: green onion, sesame seeds, kelp, bonito flakes, diakon, ginger
Nice assortment of garnishes to add on top of your tofu.
Oboro Tofu
This was fresh, warm tofu, prepared tableside.  You could top it with any of the assorted toppings and add tamari for more flavor.  It was obviously fresh, had a decent soy taste, and was warm and creamy.  My tablemates enjoyed this much more than me, I found it pretty forgettable.  Perhaps I just failed to top it well?
Ankake tofu
Warm steamed tofu with some sauce.  This looked good, but didn't really have much flavor.  Noticing a theme?
Eggplant with miso and walnut sauce, pickled daikon
My favorite dish of the evening, but that isn't saying much.  Cooked eggplant with a fairly decent miso and walnut paste on top.
Veggie roll, poke roll, amberjack nigiri, amebi, tamago
I did not try the veggie roll.

The "poke roll" was recommended to us by the waitress when I asked for a roll recommendation.  It was tuna with some spicy sauce and shiso.  The tuna was really crappy, stringy, poorly butchered.  I didn't really taste any spicy sauce either.  Not good.

Amberjack was off of the specials menu, supposed to be fresh and great.  It was flavorless and forgettable, slightly chewy.

I did not have the shrimp, but the person who ordered it said it was horrible.

Tamago was decent, fairly sweet, but the nigiri was far too big.  Hard to see in this photo, but that is basically all egg, with just a few grains of rice.
Strawberry, red bean, mochi
And the dish the Yelpers all rave about.  A strawberry, covered in red bean, covered in mochi.  Meh.  My strawberry wasn't very ripe or flavorful.  The red bean didn't really seem to go with it (everyone at the table wanted it to be chocolate instead).  The mochi was good.
Eiji on Urbanspoon
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