I don’t like the Backstreet Boys but when an apt title comes you gotta grab it. Last Sunday we were out celebrating ZuChu‘s birthday with her favorite: sashimi. I was fully expecting a glamorous meal since I’ve come to like smoked salmon and figured all thinly sliced raw fish must have that silky springiness too. Besides, there are those pictures of translucent peony and phoenix made out of fugu sashimi. The Japanese get you by the eye.
This modest stop on Shattuck has the biggest selection of fishy cold cuts in South Berkeley, with 13 individual kinds and 2 combo plates. Word of mouth is it also slices up the freshest, gruesomest sashimi around.
For $18.95 we preempt 16 chunks of maguro (tuna), shiro maguro (albacore, or “white tuna”), sake (salmon), and hamachi (yellowtail, but red meat). The salmon is best (just like La Bedaine’s smoked salmon, but thick). The tunas slide down my throat with some stickiness, as if stuff were crawling up… The hamachi fans apart into a string of cubes, each as bland and bare as the next. Suddenly I understand the presence of wasabi, but I don’t use it.
In the end, I don’t understand the thickness. It’s like eating a blob of gooey rubber, the more you chew the more you realize it’s not cooked, but once you try to swallow it it clings to your tongue. Soy sauce makes it twenty times better.
Address: Sushi Ko Berkeley
64 Shattuck Square
Berkeley, CA 94704