My wife and I have often dined at the Dharma Sushi, usually after attending an afternoon matinee performance at the Neptune Theatre. This past Saturday, we decided not to change our routine, although, because we were in California all winter, this was our first time for about six months.
As we have been there often in previous years, we expected it to be as delightful an experience as it has always been. How wrong we were!
We were, as in the past, greeted cheerfully and told to seat ourselves. It started very well, for our favourite table for two right by the window on the street,was asking us to sit at it.
We ordered green tea and a large warm filtered saki. Both came, but when I asked if they had any uni (sea urchin), which many do not like, my prescience proved correct: there was none. Perhaps a common dislike of uni is why many sushi restaurants do not carry them. Nor, our server told us, did they have any tuna. Now, a sushi restaurant without tuna is like an aeroplane without an engine: the engine is the driver and much else fails. Likewise with a restaurant. Nor did they have any red snapper.
We did have yellow tail, scallop and mackerel sashimi, along with the same as Nigiri sushi. We also had yellowtail Nigiri and a second order of yellow tail and mackerel. Total cost (including another small sake and tip) was $74.
Our server was as pleasant and professional as usual, but with several key items missing from the menu, we left very disappointed.
There were few other diners while we sat at our table, so we were left with the question, where were the Asians who used always to be eating there while we were there? Is the economy having a deleterious effect on the Dharma?
Because we have been very satisfied in the past, we will likely try this restaurant again - hopefully with a better experience.
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