Sushi Friday VIII

Osaka

130 Main Street

Middletown, CT

860-854-6291

Osaka used to be my default place. And then it crashed. Now it is Japanica (Sushi Friday IV) or if I’m feeling wealthier and not as hungry, Mikado (Sushi Friday VI).

What I liked: (note the past tense). Plenty of free parking. The television is hidden away in the liquor bar and doesn’t intrude into the dining room. The owner and sushi chef recognize me and know that I always order the sashimi luncheon. The former chef gave me fish as the garnish instead of the usual inedible shiso leaves and shredded daikon. On my last visit, the new chef gave me an amuse bouche? lagniappe? (no idea of the Japanese term) consisting of a large plate with three substantial pieces of salmon in a sauce of lemon and grapefruit. Delicious. The sashimi was redeemed by no escolar, but that is the best comment I can make about it.

What I didn’t like: The music is some white-bread top-40 stuff, and the waitresses sing along. The miso soup is too salty but better than the sashimi. On my last visit, the tuna was slimy and inedible. Everything else came in huge pieces that cut down on the flavor. The yellowtail and striper were almost as chewy as octopus, which was never one of the selections. What I liked least was the service. The waitresses won’t bring change unless the customer makes a scene. They say, “All set?” To them this means, “You don’t need change, right?” The owner embarrassed the waitress in front of me and my guests on a first visit. Later then I realized he taught them this trick. I learned to bring plenty of ones, which went to the sushi chef, or I asked to break a larger bill. The waitresses weren’t happy but they obliged. The final straw (along with the slimy tuna) occurred when I was reading a magazine and one of the waitresses started pointing at the photos and commenting, “I like that.” I was so shocked I couldn’t speak!

Overall grade: D (redeemed slightly by earlier visits)

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