Impression: CU Sushi: Recommended

2152 Center Street, Berkeley

I stayed late at school the other night, and on the way home I decided that I was in the mood for sushi. I pass CU Sushi every day on the way to and from school, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a cute little space, and the staff is friendly. I ordered four orders of sushi: tuna nigiri ($2.75), albacore nigiri ($2.25), tuna roll ($2.98), and cucumber roll ($2.25). (As you can see, my taste in sushi runs simple.) I also got an order of gyoza ($4,25), because I was hungry. And a can of soda ($1.25).

CU makes a big deal of all its sushi being 50% off; that seems a little weird, seeing as you never pay full price. I guess it’s a way to be reasonably priced without coming off as a place for cheap sushi. They do make a fine piece of sushi, too. The nigiri were nice and hefty, with a hint of wasabi. The rolls held together well, but I’m thinking I need to move on from tuna rolls; they’re sort of boring. The gyoza were good, but not exceptional.

I also appreciated the little extras; I got a complimentary bowl of edamame, which was nice. There was also a cute little ritual where my server put a little tablet that looked like an earplug on a dish in front of me, then poured hot water over it. It promptly expanded into a tightly wrapped hot towelette, which I thought was pretty darn cool.

Originally published on Tournedos

Impression: KoKo Express: OK

2433-F Durant Avenue (inside Sather Lane)
Berkeley, CA

I had a review half-written about a really dismal hole in the wall called Sumo Burger which made some mighty grim teriyaki chicken worthy of my second Not Recommended label. However, it folded before I finished. Its storefront is now filled by KoKo Express, which has a similar menu, but better decor.

I had a cheeseburger ($4.00), with onion rings and a drink ($1.99; it’s a combo special). Their cheeseburger is fine, but not exceptional. They use shredded cheese instead of a slice, which is unusual, and they use a lot of it. The onion rings are pretty good — very oniony, with a light crunchy breading.

They have a happy hour deal, whereby you can get various snack-type things for $1.99 — chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and “macaroni noodle with ham”, among others. I haven’t tried them, but it looks interesting.

Originally published on Tournedos