There is a popular Japanese restaurant called Kamakura in Alameda, California.  I often notice it driving down the street because there is always a line of people waiting out the door.  After catching a Sunday matinee at the Altarena Playhouse in Alameda this past weekend, I decided to catch an early dinner at Kamakura.

The menu is pretty standard for a Japanese restaurant and the tables were all filled within minutes of it opening.  The food, however, was a disappointment.

I got their “Kamakura roll”, which had broiled yellowtail, avocado, cucumber, scallions, fish eggs with unagi sauce.  I figured since it was their namesake roll and it was $9.75 for 4 pieces, it would be amazing…but I was wrong.  This was terrible.  First of all, no one should broil a perfectly good piece of yellowtail and it actually tasted like they boiled it instead of broiling it as advertised.  The fish was dry and flavorless.  The addition of the unagi sauce was confusing.  I am never ordering that again.

For my main course, I got their chirashi bowl…afterall, the best way to evaluate a Japanese restaurant is in the quality of their sashimi.  The sashimi was actually pretty fresh and flavorful.  The “bad” part of this was their unagi – you could see the little bones in the piece of fish and one bone actually got lodged into my tonsil.  It’s been a few days and my throat is still sore.  Sadly, that is the one thing I will remember most and take away from this meal.

IMG_9590 There must be a reason for the popularity and perhaps I just got the wrong stuff.  Alas, it will be a while before I venture back…


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