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Surprisingly Good Sushi, Good Bang for the Buck

Somerville restaurant has lots of food choices, good prices.

You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:

Yutaka Hibachi Steakhouse

Overview: Yutaka is one of the bigger sushi restaurants on Main Street in Somerville, and one of the only ones on that stretch that offers hibachi as well. It's a big restaurant, with the hibachi toward the back, and the sushi tables in the front—comfortable place, good food, nice options.

Décor: The restaurant has dark lighting, and is very beautifully decked out in cultural symbols and other pictures and such. There is an actual fountain at the front of the restaurant, and overall it is a very nice place to eat.

The Drinks: The restaurant offers classic soft drinks and others, and of course the classic tea, which is my drink of choice. It's served in a nice little mug with Japanese characters written inside. The tea was delicious, very hot of course [though I didn't burn my tongue this time] but very good.

Entrees: Normally when I go to this restaurant, I order a standard sushi fare, nothing extra special because I'm not the hugest fan of raw fish. I admit, I still wasn't terribly original in my choices, but my dining partner and I did try a few new things.

I started with the Sweet Potato Tempura, which I normally wouldn't get because it's fried. But I figured, why not, it's something different, and I have to say it was delicious. The plate comes with five large rectangles of the sweet potato in a breaded covering. The breaded outside was not too crispy, but delicious and it in no way overpowered the sweet potato itself.

From there, I opted for two sushi rolls, starting with the Asparagus Roll. I know, it's very vegetarian, but it was good—two pieces of asparagus in each roll, wrapped in the seaweed and rice. And then I ordered my standard Philly Roll—salmon and cream cheese wrapped in the seaweed and rice. It's like cream cheese and lox without the bagel. I have to say, I have had this roll at many different sushi restaurants, and Yutaka is the only place I enjoy it—it's a good mix of all ingredients with nothing extra.

My dining partner opted for one roll, which unfortunately I don't remember the name of, but it was topped with white and pink salmon, and the seaweed wrap contained uncooked tuna. As I said, I don't normally eat raw fish, but I opted to taste one just out of curiosity—and I was pleasantly surprised. I could taste the tuna inside, but also tasted the salmon itself, and it all worked together nicely.

From there, my dining partner ordered what they call the Teriyaki Lunch Box, which, for $10, includes soup, salad, teriyaki chicken, white rice, four California Rolls and something else that I could not pronounce, and which he didn't really like. But the rest of the dish he enjoyed, and while it was a lot of food, it was a good mix, good spices, good sauces and enough food for an entire meal.

Desserts: The restaurant has what you would probably call the standard desserts for a sushi and hibachi place, namely the various types of fried ice cream. Admittedly, I was too full from my main meal to try any, but to say the fried banana and ice cream didn't look delicious when it was brought out for other patrons would be a lie.

Service: The service varies based on the waiter, which I guess is fairly normal for a restaurant. I've had meals where the service is actually very quick, and this last time was a little bit slow, at least in getting the attention for ordering our meals. But overall, the service is usually good, and the food comes out in a fairly timely fashion.

Yutaka Hibachi Steakhouse
Address: 90 West Main Street, Somerville
Phone: 908-218-5523
Cost: $$

Laura Madsen January 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM
The food looks really good!

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