Restaurant Review: Yotsuba Japanese Restaurant

What and Where:

Yotsuba Japanese Restaurant | 2222 Hogback Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105 | (734) 971-5168

Ratings (1=terrible, 5=mind-blowingly great)

  • Tastiness: 4
  • Service: 3.5
  • Price (1=super cheap, 5=super expensive): 3.5
  • Value: 3.5
  • General vibe: 4
  • Comments (as of 1/17/06)

    • This review is based largely on the lunch I had there yesterday with Annette and Will, though I’ve been to Yotsuba a couple of times before, both for dinner and for lunch.
    • Of course, they’ve got sushi and it’s darn good, probably the best I’ve had around Ann Arbor (though I haven’t had that much sushi around Ann Arbor, to be honest). Interestingly enough, Will loves sushi, which strikes me as odd for an 8 year-old. His favorites include the tuna roll, and also the California roll (Annette likes those, too). Yotsuba’s California rolls are a little different in that they roll the rice on the outside and there is some kind of crab salad sort of filling. Very good, though.
    • But there’s a lot more than sushi. I’ve had good luck with various teriyakis (chicken, beef, salmon), the tempora (sweet potatoes are awesome fried up like this), soup and salad (which you get with a meal), etc. The best thing I’ve had there was a stewed tuna Annette and I had one night as part of a bento box we shared.
    • Speaking of the bento box: that’s my general pick for lunch, largely because it’s usually a bit of a surprise. Yesterday, for example, it included three or four of these weird little red squid or octupi. They weren’t a whole lot bigger than an inch around and I’m guessing they were pickled or something, but they included the tentacles and everything. This made for much “eww”-ing from Will and even a bit from Annette. They didn’t taste like much, by the way.
    • The servers are nice, but our waiter yesterday seemed a little over-worked and his English skills were a little suspect.
    • Price and value-wise, it’s kind of a hard call. On the one hand, Japanese food in general is kind of expensive, and this isn’t any different. On the other hand, Yotsuba has ample portions and they include a salad and a cup of miso soup with every entree.
    • They don’t bring you silverware– chopsticks. I have never seen anyone in here eating with a fork, though I assume if I asked for one, they’d bring it. But I’ve always been too embarassed to ask, so I muddle through with the chopsticks.
    • It’s lovely decor– blonde wood everywhere, a sushi bar up front, a couple of different dining rooms, very clean, etc. I went to lunch there one time with someone from work who was a bit surprised by this because she had been in the place one time years before when it was a kind of skanky bar called the Red Bull or something like that. Fortunately, the walls don’t talk.
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