Desperately seeking sushi

The best sushi restaurant,given certain minimum standards of cleanliness and competence, is the one you feel most comfortable in. Ideally, you should sit at the bar, the chef should (over time) recognize you, and you should be able to ask “What’s best today?” with a reasonable expectation of getting a straight answer.

Goro’s does seem to have regulars that are recognized by name, and that’s a good thing, but we suspect we’d have to hang out longer to get the really good stuff if our $14 sashimi platter was typical. The touted hamachi was clean and true, and so was the white tuna; the salmon was acceptable, but the maguro (red tuna) seemed mushy, and cooked shrimp were as usual a yawn. There was a sliver of tolerably springy giant clam; the octopus was faintly fishy; and we were mortally offended by the two spears of imitation crab. Falta charlar más con el chef. Goro’s Sushi, 2619 Mossrock, (210) 349-8117

Goro Pitchford, formerly of Goro’s, now holds forth behind the sushi bar at Godai, and you should entrust yourself to his able hands, being sure to set a budget if that’s a concern. Beware the wasabi-laced tobiko and cast a critical eye on uni, but otherwise, go for what’s recommended. And if rolls resound, try the asparagus with crab, and the better-than-you-might-think Roberta’s Roll of spicy tuna and avocado wrapped in rice and deep fried. Godai, 11203 West Ave., (210) 348-6781

There were three sushi chefs behind the bar at Sushihana during our most-recent visit, but most of the communication was with the gaijin waiter on the civilian side. Still, the assorted nigiri sushi selection was impeccably presented and very good — especially the rare fatty tuna (assuming it was) and the firm uni. Yes, the dynamite roll could have been more explosive, but the specialty rolls served from the bar were impressive, including the Spurs Roll wrapped in variegated nori. The layout of the bar is such that you can’t easily watch preparation, but the unobserved act turns out well regardless. Sushihana, 1810 NW Military Hwy., (210) 340-7808 

Glossary: What’s (not) wasabi

Yakimeshi — Rice

Yakisoba — Noodles

Yakitori — Skewers

Donburi — Bowls

Temaki — Hand Rolls

Sashimi — Pieces of raw fish without rice

Unagi — Eel

Nori — Dried Seaweed

Kanikama — Crab

Tako — Octopus

Ika — Squid

Ebi — Shrimp

Masago — Orange Caviar

Maguro — Tuna

Tomago — Egg Omelet

Nigiri — Two Pieces

Correction: Goro's does not serve giant clam. Although our critic says the server identified it as such, he admits it could have easily been something else in the same vein as abalone and giant clam.

Correction: This story originally identified Goro Pitchford as a former owner of Goro's, which is incorrect. The information has been updated in the story.

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