“Now this is good food, Chinese food made by Chinese guys, Japanese food made by Japanese guys and not some smuck totally indifferent to the style of cuisine he’s cooking.” Anthony Bourdain once said. There’s nothing better than authenticity.
Many sushi restaurants claim to be the best but when you walk in, you spy a Vietnamese guy making your California roll and you get skeptical. At TGI Sushi, that is never the case. You’re greeted by the obligatory and friendly welcome in Japanese the moment you open those doors by the sushi chefs, fine craftsmen of their trade.
These actual Japanese chefs make the best sushi and sashimi in Santa Clara, and the awards littering the walls speak for themselves. It’s been voted 3 times as the best place to get your sushi fix, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. These plaques do not lie. Everything here deserves all the credentials it gets.
Take a bite of their popular Country Girl roll, filled with delicious crab, shrimp tempura, unagi and avocado and your chopsticks will just gravitate toward it the next time you lift them up. The crunchiness of tempura and savory crab meat is good enough then you’re hit right in the kisser with the sweet, almost caramel flavor of the unagi.
If you’re looking for something a bit more decadent, the Flying Duck roll is just right up your alley with a plethora of tasty seafood goodies such as crab and scallops inside and not one hint of duck. Perhaps the moniker doesn’t fit but it sure is a witty way to get their customers to try it. Once they have, who’s going to care if the name is appropriate?
Oh and it’s topped off with a tempura shrimp head, a huge one with the brains still inside for those adventurous enough to suck out its creamy goodness.
Brave-hearted and curious customers can also try the uni nigiri, or sea urchin roe. Its smooth, buttery taste and texture is exotic and new but inviting at the same time.
The quality of the award-winning rolls at TGI Sushi are not only worthy of their title, they just plain dwarf their competitors in size as well. You can fit two regular-sized rolls inside one of theirs. You need to see it to believe it.
The sashimi is super fresh and sliced with finesse. Their sashimi moriawase comes with a wide assortment, from tuna to yellowtail to salmon to halibut. The taste is different from other restaurants, not mushy at all and a chewiness that’s not too tough but enough to give you a sensation like you were actually at a sushi bar in Japan.
If you still have a little room after the best wave of awesome Japanese flavors to grace your mouth, the green-tea ice cream is an excellent way to end the meal.
The seating area is very small and there’s usually a waiting list but for those looking for the best in authentic Japanese fare, it’s very well worth the wait. You will leave with your belly satisfied and raring to come back for more at TGI Sushi.