For months I have tried to book a weekend table at Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant in Chandler, but one was never available before 8 p.m., so when I tried in the middle of a week and saw openings I grabbed one. What is the mystery about this restaurant?
We received a nice welcome and with our reservations in order we were quickly seated. This is a small restaurant with an active sushi bar, so my guess is that tables are booked well in advance as this restaurant seems to have a loyal following. I was a little concerned about the sushi bar as the sushi chefs were Anglos and busy jib-jabbing as they worked. A little too noisy for me and besides what do these guys know about sashimi/sushi?
The menu was nicely diversified and since I came for sashimi, I limited myself to the other selections. My wife and I both enjoyed the House salad which was a combination of mixed greens, onion, carrots and bean curd mixed in a very nice miso dressing as well as a Miso soup. From there I moved on to Fried Oysters that were Panko breaded and served with home-made Worcestershire sauce and creamy dill-tar tar sauce. These were nice, but I would have been much happier if they were done yakitori style. I find that when Panko breaded, they simply become too large.
My wife, who does not enjoy sashimi, selected a Chicken Cutlet which was also Panko-breaded, deep fried and served with Tonkatsu sauce. While she indicated she enjoyed the cutlet, I sensed that the Panko breading overwhelmed her. Again, yakitori for the choice of the chicken would have been preferred.
The star for the evening was the three types of sashimi; tuna, yellowtail and a white fish. Simply incredible. This compared well to the sashimi I enjoyed over the years working in Tokyo. This is world class sashimi! Hard to believe that this restaurant has been under my radar. Now I know why they have such a fan base. It is difficult to find sashimi of this quality in Arizona.
We will be back……….frequently.
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