Sakae Sushi Noboru
243 California Dr
Burlingame, CA 94010
Sakae Sushi moved to this location in 2009. It was originally called Noboru, but morphed into Sakae Sushi when their other location located. They also run Yuzu in San Mateo. It earned a Michelin guide Bib gourmand rating in 2010. We have been here several times, with our latest visit in March 2010.
Decor, Vibe – Clean modern new decor with a big Sushi bar up front and a back lounge area. Families, couples, sushi fans in their 30’s and 40’s were dining.
Sakae Sushi has traditional sushi and sashimi along with Japanese tapas or small plates. A friend told us that they have a special menu in Japanese that contains authentic Japanese dishes.
Sushi Moriawase set B ($29.50) included 1 piece each of tuna, salmon, Yellowtail, shrimp, albacore, sea bass, sea urchin, salmon caviar & tamage with tekka tuna roll. Fish was very fresh and cut just right. Quantities were good for this price range. This is where Sakae Sushi shines.
Jidori Yaki Yuzu ($14) or grilled free range chicken from Petaluma with Yuzu (Japanese citrus) pepper & sweet spicy miso sauce was pretty good. Lots of chicken, well cooked, good, slightly tart yuzu sauce on top. $3 for a bowl of rice!
Today’s special – Seafood, chicken, vegetable in hot clay pot ($30) included oyster, shrimp, salmon, hamachi Kama in a very hot broth. Quite a lot of ingredients. This dish is great for cold day and it’s good for more than one person.
Yakitori chicken ($7) included 2 big skewers with good quality meat, and a sweet Teriyaki sauce.
Chawan mushi ($8) or steamed egg custard had soy sauce topping with 3 big crab pieces on top. Excellent, especially with the fresh shrimp inside.
Today’s special – Deep fried small white Shrimp from Toyama, Japan ($8.95) were crunchy, airy, flavorful, and a ‘shelly’ texture.
Okra Kani ($12.50) had several very crunchy and delicious deep-fried pieces of okra filled with crab and included some green tea salt on the side.
Sauteed Asparagus Beef roll ($10.50) with teriyaki sauce had an asparagus wrapped with chewy meat, and a nice sweet sauce.
Salmon Skin Cucumber Salad ($11) Crispy Salmon skin salad tossed with cucumber, yamagobo, daikon sprouts, yuzu tobiko was a good sized salad with lots of crispy salmon skin and sliced up cucumber. A nice combination of different ingredients.
Yama Uni Tofu ($7.50) or tofu marinated for 6 months in miso and sake was almost like a thick tofu pate. The tofu had a strong, slightly sour flavor. This tastes like Chinese preserved bean curd.
Hotate Yaki ($14.50) Grilled Hokkaido Scallop served with spicy mayo sauce on a Kelp Base had several warm scallops with caviar on top. The scallops were really fishy, making this dish a little iffy.
Lamb chop Misoyaki ($12.75) had 2 ok sized ribs with thin but tender meat on a bed of salad. Fair flavor not great, slight miso flavor.
Sakae Sushi Noburu had decent service, with the server being accessible and refills happening fast. On another occasion surface was fair with the server or not coming around to often. On several occasions, the place smelt like it had a huge fried fish odor problem. They need to improve fan system.
The food is decent but expensive. $3 for rice is pushing it, and upwards of $15+ for appetizers… If you seek high quality Japanese food like Omakase (chef’s choice) Sushi at equally high prices, do not hesitate coming to this boutique restaurant. Hotaru and Sushi Sam in San Mateo can satisfy the masses at a lower price. The decor barely justify this premium. Sake is available at $10 – $30 a cup. They charge for sitting at their sushi bar plus $20 minimum.
Better value, visit Yuzu, San Mateo, which is more informal, charges less, and probably gets the same fish.