Restaurant review: Sushi California

By Sherman Chan,
Special to The Post
 
Sometimes, you don’t need to go out for good sushi. There are situations where average sushi will do, particularly when the kids are with us. With that thought in mind, we visited the new location of Sushi California out on Broadway and Yukon. We've been to the original North Road store a few times and it is more or less mediocre sushi on the cheap.
Already bustling before 6:00 p.m., it appeared that many other people were looking for large portions and average quality food as well. We started with an order of Gyoza, and they looked quite sad. With a pasty-white appearance, they tasted as bad as they looked. The skin was lifeless and chewy while the filling was inundated with vegetables. To make things worse, the gyoza was cold. Next, we tried the Ebi Tempura, which was thankfully served hot. The batter was light and crispy, and the ebi inside had a nice buttery snap.
We also ordered the Seafood Salad, which included mesclun greens dressed in a sesame oil vinaigrette, topped with cold udon, prawns, hokkigai, one mussel, half an egg, and baby scallops. The salad was okay and the udon was texturally on point. 
With impressively large slices of tuna and salmon, the Deluxe Assorted Sashimi provided good value but not great quality. I like a good deal, but when tuna is cut the size of a hockey puck, the textures are all wrong. Would one cut beef carpaccio that thick? Otherwise, the sashimi was okay.
Moving onto the maki sushi, we ordered the Chopped Scallop Roll and Double Spicy Tuna Roll. This was some of the worst sushi rice I’ve ever had. The texture was softer than rice you would find at a typical Chinese dinner. It was mushy, wet and bland, and made the rolls nasty to eat. I also did not like the scallops as they were too soft. Luckily, the half Futo maki had more ingredients to counteract the bad rice. The crunch from the vegetables and oshinko added nice texture and acidity.
Lastly, we ordered the Tempura Udon for the kids. As expected, the broth lacked body, but at the very least, it resembled dashi. This was a good portion and featured a side of crispy and hot tempura. As you can probably guess, our meal was not that enjoyable. Remember what I said about good value trumping quality? I take it all back if the food resembles anything like we had here at Sushi California.
 
Sherman Chan is the #1 ranked food blogger on the Vancouver portal of Urbanspoon.com. Read more of his reviews at www.shermansfoodadventures.com.
 
 
Sushi California
388 West Broadway   |  604-873-8284
 
The Good:
• Cheap
• Large portions
• Food comes out quick
 
The Bad:
• Bad sushi rice
• Overall below-average quality
• Not friendly service
 

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