Three words: Japanese power ballads. I should end my review there, right? I feel like that’s enough to get anyone over to this small sushi restaurant in the Greenhouse Marketplace Shopping Center at Washington and Lewelling in San Leandro.
But let’s consider that you maybe think of running out of restaurants that boast Japanese power ballads. In that case, there’s the food.
On a Saturday night Minami has decent patronage, which is always a good sign. The menu selection is good: there is a huge appetizer list, lots of donburi bowls, sashimi plates, sushi rolls, and a huge list of gourmet sushi rolls (I love these; think deep fried sushi rolls). This is, of course, in addition to dinner selections (tempura, teriyaki, katsu), udon noodle bowls, bento boxes and dinner combinations.
The menu was almost too large for such a small place, but one thing that did strike me on their menu (since most Japanese restaurants have a similar selection) was the half-and-half dinner combso. I love being able to have a taste of everything, and I often Mr. Burns Disease* when checking out Japanese menus because I just can’t decide. This combo helped me out, and the Boyfriend and I both ordered it.
The half-half dinner combo includes seaweed salad, regular salad, a small bowl of udon soup and a small order (a half order, to be exact) of one of their sushi bowls. Brilliant. Not that this is wholly original, really, but it’s still nice to see a good combo available. K ordered the Spicy Donburi and I the assorted raw fish over rice (Chirashi, it’s called) for our final course; the remainder of our meals were the same.
Everything was great. I love whatever salad dressing they use at Japanese restaurants, so good. The udon was delicious and the tiny sushi bowls were yummm. K loves his spicy tuna, and this was a pretty good one (although he idealizes the one from Luna such that it’s always the basis of comparison). My sashimi was delicious and I was really struggling to finish.
Additional points were that the service was lightning quick and that Minami is next door to San Leandro’s Loard’s Ice Cream, which is a wholly different experience from my normal Castro Valley location. More on that another time.
*This is a phrase we use in our house to mean that there are too many options or things happening at once to make a decision or move forward. We verbified** a condition that has kept Mr. Burns from the Simpsons alive past any reasonable age — he has so many ailments that they are all fighting to kill him at once. See video clip below for further medical clarification.
**Case in point, I’m verbifying the word verb.