Recession-friendly sushi may sound like an oxymoron (or a recipe for gastrointestinal disaster), but it doesn’t have to be.
The first time I visited Geta Japanese restaurant right of off Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, I was worried that something must be lacking for their menu to be so affordable. Toro nigiri for $7.50? Suzuki rolls for $4.50? Spider rolls for $5.75? Seriously?
I was apprehensive, but as it turned out, there was no need to be. After being seated inside Geta’s busy and cramped quarters, my dining companion and I ordered a plate of gyoza to start.
The gyoza were hot and super crispy, and while the filling was a little lacking flavor, the accompanying dipping sauce made up for it.
Next came our avocado tuna roll, tekka maki, and Philly roll.
The bluefin tuna was fresh and tasted wonderful, almost slightly sweet. The texture wasn’t as firm as the tuna I’ve had elsewhere, but I liked it. I won’t comment on the Philly roll since I don’t like those to begin with. Cream cheese and raw fish just don’t mix in my world.
We moved on to our next plate: salmon skin sushi and a suzuki roll.
The roll’s bits of crispy salmon skin and crunchy cucumber were a delicious combination. The roll was a little light on the salmon, but I can’t really complain at the price.
The suzuki, or striped bass roll, was my favorite of the meal. Perched atop a thin strip of fragrant shiso leaf, the bass was drizzled in a light sauce that was incredible.
We were full at this point, but we still had one more roll to tackle: the spider roll.
I love soft-shell crab so spider rolls are usually one of my favorites. This was definitely fresh, but the roll was pretty heavy on the rice. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t finish this one.
Dining at Geta is a very casual affair, so don’t expect upscale ambiance or formal service. Service is brisk and friendly and the restaurant is very small, so be prepared to stand in line. At these prices and quality, the wait is easily worth it.