It appears that I have finally weaseled my way back into Thursday night hockey as a regular. You see, I abruptly stopped playing with this group after my son was born over 5 years ago. Hey, life was busy and some things had to give. As of last year, I've been playing off and on with this group and since the start of this season, I've been a regular attendee. It's nice to reconnect with people again, even after 5 years later. However, one problem with this group is they don't eat out after hockey. Something about getting home and sleeping... Phffft... Whatever! Tonight, or should I say this morning, I was able to talk Rich Guy into joining me for late night eats once again. This time around, it was going to be late night sushi. No, not the AYCE variety; rather, it would be SD Galleria and Sushi Lounge. Located upstairs on Main Street near 27th, it is one of the few Japanese restaurants that are open past midnight. In addition to Rich Guy, I was able to convince Gordo in joining me as well after the game. You see, I promised to give him a lift to the game. In return, he'd have to join me for food after. I'm sinister, I know...
Now, walking into the place, one would never expect it to be a Japanese restaurant. It's more sports bar than anything else. One look at the menu and we were surprised at the low prices. 2 pieces of Nigiri for $1.75? Maki Sushi starting at $2.00? WTH? This is not a take-out joint nor is it located in a shady area. Alright, price is one thing, how about the actual food itself? Well, let's start with that cheap Nigiri. We got 4 pieces of Chopped Scallop and 2 pieces of the Unagi. Size-wise, they were modest. But given that they only cost less than 88 cents each, we weren't complaining. Okay, the rice was pretty average. The best description for it would be too "ricey". What I mean about that is it resembled rice too much rather than the slightly chewy sushi rice variant. With that being said, it wasn't terrible. As for scallops, they were fine, sweet and not mushy. The unagi was also pretty good. I liked that it wasn't oversauced.
Seeing how the salads were only $2.00 each including the Wakame salad, we all ordered a different one. Luck would have it that they ran out of Wakame... So I went for the Gomae instead. The spinach was cooked pretty well with a nice nice crunch and a bit of chew. The sesame dressing was on the sweeter side of things (and not really the type of Gomae that I personally prefer). The sweetness was tempered by a proper dressing to spinach ratio. Gordo's Ebi Sunomono was pretty decent, especially with a full sized ebi on top. Rich Guy's Green Salad was crisp while laced with the typical sweet gingery soy dressing.
We weren't expecting much out of the Assorted Sashimi and in fact, Rich Guy was quite nervous. He's not used to paying so little for food... Well, to our surprise, not only did the sashimi look fresh, it was quite good as well. The textures were all good including the tuna. Nothing mushy or too chewy at all (including the tako). We decided to try 2 of their deluxe rolls starting with Rainbow Roll. Essentially a California roll with alternating slices of various fish on top, this was pretty good for $6.50. Sure, it wasn't an artistic masterpiece nor was it outstanding. Yet, it was more than acceptable for the price. The same could be said about the Dragon Roll. Usually falling somewhere in the $10.00+ range, this was only $6.00 here. Sure, it is not as extravagant or large as some other places; but it was also good with ripe avocado, crunchy cucumber, unagi and tobiko. Once again, only thing that could've been better would be the rice. If you look at the picture closely, you can see it sliding towards the mushy side of the rice continuum.
Finally, we ended off with an order each of the Assorted Tempura and Prawn Tempura. When it arrived, we were slightly concerned at the ample amount of batter; yet it didn't really have an adverse effect since every piece remained crispy. I'm not sure how it would do if it cooled down a bit. The prawn had a nice crunchy texture and was quite sweet. As for the veggies, they were good as well. Nothing soggy nor overcooked. Well, well, well... We didn't expect decent eats at this place, for this price and at 12:30am in the morning on a Thursday. Of course it's all relative. There are better Japanese restaurants naturally. However, the food quality for the prices they charge makes it worth a look. Considering the fact that there are barely any other Japanese restaurants open this late on a weekday makes it even better.
- Decent eats
- Open late
- Of course there is better Japanese food elsewhere; but not at this price and this late
- Service is friendly but extremely sparse