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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Sushi Yasu makes for great dining

Published: October 15, 2010
Section: Arts, Etc.

Sushi Yasu is a small, unpresumptious Japanese and Korean restaurant on Main Street, and makes for a delightful evening of scrumptious food and generous service.

Whenever I enter a restaurant that I’ve never been to before, I pay attention to who’s sitting down and eating, so I was worried when I entered Sushi Yasu and there was only one man with a cup of tea and a trio of friends seated at the back of the restaurant. The place was dead, even considering that it was a Monday night.

The decor wasn’t anything special either: the dining area was uninspiring and dimly lit, making me think that Sushi Yasu might be a place from which you order takeout but where you never actually eat. We had chosen the place because one of my friends had raved about it. Whenever she had a free afternoon, she would walk from Brandeis to Sushi Yasu and eat as much as possible.

If you’re looking for really cheap sushi in large quantities, Sushi Yasu might not be for you. They have all you can eat sushi every Tuesday and Wednesday, but at the price of $24.95. I like sushi, but for a meal, that’s out of my price range. According to their menu, they have decent lunch deals (you can get 12 pieces of sushi for $9), but dinner seemed to be more expensive. However, if you want a filling evening meal at a middling price, then this restaurant should definitely be on your list. For $14 my boyfriend was able to get one of their Japanese meals, 18 pieces of sushi served with miso soup.

The menu was huge. The variety of rolls were intimidating from the common California roll to the Dragon roll and even something called a Waltham roll (basically a California roll covered with tuna). I opted for one of their six-piece sushi dishes at random, a sushi pizza because it had crab in it, which I love.

While the dish did not in any way resemble a pizza (which perhaps is a good thing), the rolls were extremely filling with a complex mixture of flavors. I’m not very skilled with chopsticks, so I found the small heaping squares of sushi difficult to eat without losing some of the roll. The dish, though, had a mound of rice noodles at its center, perfect for soaking up any crab or tuna that escaped my chopsticks. Along with my meal, I had jasmine green tea, which was strong, but not notable except for the fact that it was served in an adorable cup with pictures of sushi decorating it.

For dessert, Sushi Yasu had a short list of ice cream options. While I was not daring enough to try their Tempura or Mochi ice cream, the Green tea flavor was fantastic. The ice cream tasted exactly like chilled green tea, a taste that was both unusual and delicious.

The service was also good and a bit quirky. The waitress had a sense of humor, joking, “Are you ready, yet? I’m not ready” when she checked to see if we knew what we wanted to order. She kindly served me miso soup without an additional charge and refilled my tea cup without me having to ask.

For lovers of sushi, Sushi Yasu is definitely worth a visit, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your meal. Its unassuming decor in contrast to its tasty sushi will make you feel like you have stumbled upon one of Waltham’s dining secrets.