Tribes: Who likes this place?
What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
Which Gogobot Tribe do you belong to? Join now
- 98%Business Travelers
- 98%Family Travelers
- 98%Budget Travelers
Member Reviews (3)Write a review
- Nama SushiMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6
I miss Monsoon Masala which formerly occupied this Downtown Pleasant Hill space. I'm a big fan of Indian Cuisine, with Sushi being far down the list in terms of dining out preferences. I'm just not a big fan of raw fish, better know from my Iowa days as Bait.
Gayle and I went out on a Date last Friday night after work. It had been a busy month for both of us. She had her usually long days working for the City, while I was coming off a 2 and half week business trip to Alberta, followed by a multi-day external audit soon after I returned. Movie, Dinner, and a chance to reconnect sounded like an excellent plan. We enjoyed "Trouble With The Curve" at in Downtown Pleasant Hill and then decided to give Nama Sushi a try. Actually, I let her choose since I didn't have a viable alternative within a short walk or drive from the Cinema.
We had to wait ~10 minutes for a table as Nama Sushi was hopping and much more so than in the old Monsoon Masala days. The restaurant space hasn't changed that much, except for maybe the Sushi Bar up front and the change in the ethnic makeup of restaurant staff. The Bar and the Sports TV were the same, as was the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere and service.
We snagged a table near the back and had a wonderful time relaxing and catching up. Gayle enjoyed here Spicy Tuna and Zesty Rolls, while I really liked my Yaki Soba (cooked noodles) with chicken. I ordered a draft Sapporo beer and Gayle had a house Chardonnay. The total bill after tax, but before tip was a very reasonable $38. Maybe I could warm up to this Japanese food thing....Recommended for:
- Nama Sushi
Like some others, I had a groupon to eat here, but was going to the wrong place a few weeks ago, and there they made me feel entirely stupid because I should be checking the address before asking them to accept a groupon, first rule - don't mess with the customer's feelings and expectations. In fact, this is or could be a good teaching opportunity, [bold]exceed the customer expectations[/bold] by saying, "this is for the other location, but we'll accept it here, because you're here already, and we want you to be comfortable.
Anyway, I finally got to the right place last night with the family and dinner was so so, but I ordered a portion of the meal late and it took some time to come, so we finally asked them to box it up, we'll take it home. Then with the bill they tell me they can't honor that part of the meal on the groupon, because we are not eating it at the table. Another teaching moment.
This place could be good, food is basically good, somewhat on the high side for the quality of what you get. But the service just stinks. If you want repeat business, DO NOT INSULT THE CUSTOMER'S INTELLIGENCE. Go the extra mile and quit with the nitpicking about some rule, for god's sake. Do you want me as a customer or not?
Was tempted to ask them to put the portion in the box on a plate and then bring it to the table, then I'd scrape it back into the box and go home. I think I'd call this a Jack Nicholson moment, or something.
I'll not be eating here any more, probably not the other location on Sunnyvale either, I am not welcome, so you haven't earned my business. Good luck with that, I wish you well.
- Nama SushiMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11First to Review
Nama Sushi just opened up in downtown Pleasant Hill in August, 2012, taking over the location that used to be an Indian restaurant I really liked. They remodeled the restaurant, adding a marble sushi bar area in the front that is pretty good size, and many tables in the rear. The space is pretty large, and perhaps the rent helped to doom the Indian place.
Nama Sushi is actually a Bay Area group of restaurants. Starting with the first restaurant on Potrero in San Francisco, this is the newest location of a total of 5, with 2 in SF, 1 in Oakland, and another in Walnut Creek. They are all Korean owned and operated.
There is a hostess/waitress/cashier station on the left just as you walk in, playing K-Pop softly, and then followed by the sushi bar, with two counter top fish refrigerators. We sat at the sushi bar in front of Jason, the sushi chef and part owner of this location, around 5:30pm.
There was only 1 other person at the bar. Besides Jason, who was directing all the orders and making all the Nigiri, there was an assistant roll maker, who was still learning the ropes. Likewise, the waitresses were still learning how to do things (it only opened a week to 10 days prior) which isn't uncommon for a new restaurant. I kept getting served my dinner mate's food, instead of my own from the staff (not the Chef). And unlike more seasoned Japanese owned sushi restaurants, their entire staff was too busy trying to figure out what to do, rather than pay ultimate attention to the customer.
There was a neon light board with the fresh specials for today. Uni: $12.25 (sea urchin), Toro $13.95 (tuna belly), Aji: $6.95 (Spanish Mackerel), plus there was some other specials for shooters and other rolls.
So I tried Uni, Toro, Aji and Maguro ($4.95 regular Tuna). In a Japanese sushi-ya, the chef would make these and serve them to me on a wood stand with ginger one at a time, perhaps interacting with me and seeing how I responded to the sushi. In a Korean place like here, they would wait for my dinner partner's Beef Teriyaki to come out of the kitchen before serving me the entire sushi platter together with the kitchen dish.
This is perhaps how Americans would expect to be served, but not Japanese. So for awhile, I was wondering if he had forgotten or ignored my order, as I sat waiting for 10 minutes right in front of him as he was making other orders for other tables.
I ordered green tea, but they gave me "popcorn" tea, which is roasted and more brown, not green. The waitresses also never came by to refill my tea, even though they weren't busy and sort of standing around.
The fish was fresh (well, I ordered the daily specials!) and the Nigiri was constructed more Japanese-like than many Korean places know how to make it.
The Beef Teriyaki bento was uninspiring in looks and a bit pricey for what was served.
As is typical for a Korean owned Sushi place, they offer a ton of rolls, perhaps this is what makes them have 5 locations, serving tons of yada yada rolls dripping with thousand island dressing to Americans who are drunk with Sake oyster shooters with Mexican hot sauce, what most Americans now consider sushi.
Don't tell Jiro, the Michelin 3 star sushi chef in Tokyo that this is what Sushi has become in the US. He may croak on the spot!
Nama Sushi has a clean, new ambiance, which could be a little warmer and much more customer focused. But they just opened here and I am sure kinks will be worked out to make it better (I hope!).
I will return to check on their progress.