Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yokoz Sushi Bar and Island Grill

Has it really been one month since my last post?  Geeesh!

Ever since I relocated to the southside, I have driven by this place countless times.  I heard mixed reviews but more on the "meh" side.  Yesterday, neighbor and I wanted to check out the new Convoy Pho and Noodle spot in that shopping center.  Rainy weather and greediness had made us crave some good ole, cheap, good portion Vietnamese food.  I guess I didnt see the "Coming Soon" banner underneath the store sign.  Since we were already here, we decided to settle on Yokoz b/c the Chinese restaurant there looked sorta suspect.

Yokoz Sushi Bar & Islander Grill945 Otay Lakes Road, Suite L - N
Chula Vista, CA 91913

(619) 482-0134 Restaurant
Official website for YOKOZ

This is the menu.  The glare could not be helped as we were seated right next to the window.  It was about 4+ pages long and included a half page sushi menu as well.  

Apparently we went on Wednesday Karaoke night.  I was bummed that we were about 2 hours too early for that showdown.  Everybody knows...a little place like Kokomo...thats where you wanna go to get away from it all.  I wonder if people actually come out for this- feel free to chime in, yee who know the answer.  

Interesting choice in presentation.  This was the first item we ordered- Ahi Poke "our original seaweed salad topped with your choice with sashimi grade ahi or fresh tako".  Honestly?  I've had better.  Something was just not complete about the flavoring of the seaweed the balance in taste/ ingredients.  I would have wanted to see more tuna and a better quality in tuna.  It wasnt very melt in your mouth quality that other versions have been around town.  Portion size overall was decent.  

Neighbor's choice: Galbi Short Ribs Kau Kau- "slightly sweet marinated short ribs, grilled to perfection".  These come with either steamed white rice or red rice, as well as Grandma Rosie's Potato, Mama Mila's macaroni, cucumber or house salad.  He liked his dish alot.  I just sampled a bite of the red rice.  Having never tasted red rice, I dont have a previous marker to compare it to.  My impression is that the rice was very buttery.  It seemed good but for some reason I thought it would have tasted more savory or sweet. The meat looked nicely grilled and not too fatty.   Good portion size.  

Final entree of the night: Shrimp Tempura Saimin- "special Japanese style noodle in an Asian broth, garnished with green onion and fishcake.  Topped with shrimp tempura".  This one was mine, regrettably.  Broth was on the salty side, which is saying alot because I love salt.  I had to add a ton of lemon to break up the overwhelming savory taste, which tasted awkward.  I cant put my finger on it, but the broth just didnt do it for me.  I was pleased with the kelp on top and the generous amount of it, since it wasnt even mentioned on the menu description.  I would have rather seen the other kind of fishcakes of the Japanese variety, the kind that resemble shriveled light brown balls for taste and texture sake.  The shrimp tempura was good but they only gave two pieces.  I know its one of the cheaper menu items but two shrimps dont last very long.  Noodle was slightly overcooked and soft.  It did quell my rainy day soup craving however, but made me strangely sleepy on the way home--it is either from being too full, too relaxed or too much MSG.  

Overall, my thoughts on this place are that I would return with a coupon or a group of people wanting to eat here.  Thats more like a C grade I guess.  The service was slow.  It took about 20+ minutes for us to get even the salad on the table.  I asked for lemons for my water at the counter and they didnt even bring them out after the 20 plus minutes of waiting for the salad...I had to ask them for lemons again.  They also left the tray on the table when they brought out our entrees.  In a sit down place?  Is that some kind of restaurant faux pas or something?  The prices are on the high side for the casual service and aura of the place i.e. order at the counter, get your own drinks/ straws/ hot sauce bar, etc.  Unless they didnt hand them out until after karaoke night started, there didnt seem to be a special happy hour dinner or drink menu there.  One thing that might redeem them: they seem to have a cheap lunch special deal, but we were too late for that.  Again, feel free to comment if you have been here before.