Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sushi To Dai For

119 4th Street Santa Rosa, CA

First impression / Atmosphere:
CocoCarina: I have walked by Sushi To Dai For many many times but had yet to actually go there to eat. But today I finally got to try it! When you walk in you can either sit at the sushi bar and watch the sushi chefs at work in the kitchen or you can sit at one of their tables which are situated alongside the wall so one person gets a bench seat and another sits in a seat. We opted to sit at the sushi bar to watch the sushi chefs do what they do best! Plus I think Sonoma Bento was eying their techniques so she an tackle sushi making next!

Sonoma Bento: I've never been to Sushi To Dai For, but I've walked past the location many times. I liked the blue walls in the interior, and I loved the fact that they had lots of Japanese dishes besides just sushi. We decided to sit at the sushi bar and it was fun to see the action in the open kitchen.

CocoCarina: This was probably the 5th time I've ever tried sushi in my life but after venturing into this world of delectable raw fish I'm getting more adventurous and am enjoying every bite... well most bites! Many people had told me about Sushi To Dai For and one lady told me that I must try the Candy Apple appetizer (imitation crab, with bits of tempura wrapped in tuna with teriyaki sauce dribbled on top). My mouth had been watering for weeks to try this so it was the first thing we ordered.

Sonoma Bento: I loved the Candy Apple appetizer! It was a fun mix of textures and flavors. We also tried a veggie gyoza that was made in a green wrapper. They were crispy fried and then steamed, really quite tasty. And their ponzu dipping sauce for the gyoza was amazing, super citrusy.

CocoCarina: We were really hungry after a long day at work so we decided to order the Veggie Gyoza as well.

CocoCarina: Both appetizers were quite delicious. I particularly enjoyed the Candy Apple appetizer... the crunchy tempura mixed with the crab and tuna with the salty sweetness of the teriyaki sauce was an excellent mixture of textures. The Veggie Gyoza were pretty good as well. These were the first Veggie Gyoza I've ever tried and I must say that I liked them much better than your typical Gyoza which usually have pork in them. They seemed lighter and not as filling making it the perfect appetizer!

CocoCarina: Before dinner we ordered our drinks first. I wasn't in the mood for sake so I ordered the 2007 Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc. It was a nice refreshing wine to pair with the variety of sushi dishes we ordered.

Sonoma Bento: I decided on Onigoroshi sake, which is kind of my go to sake choice. I like it's smooth flavor and it's floral accents. My sake was $13, which is kind of steep for one glass, but oh so tasty.

CocoCarina: For dinner we decided to share two rolls: the Mojojojo (2 pieces of shrimp tempura, cream cheese, shiso topped with albacore tuna, tempura bit, tobiko, green onion, and teriyaki sauce) and the Mahalo (tuna, avocado, pine nuts, tempura whitefish, and cilantro with a japaleno sauce).

CocoCarina: I really enjoyed the Mojojojo. The display was aesthetically appealing and was super fun to dive into. I was a little hesitant to try the tobiko (fish eggs) but I went ahead and tried them with a roll and they were okay. They honestly didn't have much flavor, a bit of saltiness, but the pop in your mouth was kind of fun... kind of weird... but kind of fun. The Mahalo roll was pretty good too. I really liked the spicy mayo that came with the roll. It was just the right amount of spice to go with the rest of the sushi mixture. When I come back to Sushi To Dai For, because I will be coming back, I'll definitely order the Candy Apple and I'll probably order the Mojojojo - though this particular roll could do with out all of the tempura bits surrounding the rolls. It was a bit much and it was a little hard to find the roll underneath all of it. But it looked nice and tasted delish!

Sonoma Bento: The Mojojojo was more fun to say than to actually eat. The mound of tempura bits was really overkill, and it was hard to tell if there were any more sections of sushi roll under all the debris. They could have done about half or less of the tempura bits and it still would have been fun and tasty. The roll itself under all that tempura fluff was somewhat bland, and it was not easy to get the tobiko eggs onto each piece of roll. I prefered the Mahalo roll. The tempura whitefish was really good and I love the addition of the pine nuts.

CocoCarina: The service was pretty good at Sushi To Dai For, we were seated promptly and given the choice of where we would like to sit, the bar or a table. Once seated at the bar our waiter, was very friendly and attentive to us. Giving us more time when we needed it but not waiting too long to check on us either. The sushi chef behind the bar even tended to our needs and took our order when our server was too busy.

Sonoma Bento: We had a very attentive waiter and he made sure to check in with us often even though he appeared to be the only server for the whole restaurant. I thought perhaps that he had forgotten that I had also ordered unagi nigiri, but that showed up as well after we finished our rolls. And I am proud of CocoCarina for trying the unagi! She also tried tobiko for the first time! Way to go, Coco! :)

Atmosphere: **** I liked the blueish decor when you walked in. The lighting was dim but not too dim where it made it difficult to read the menu. It was someone's birthday tonight and the turned the lights almost all the way down before presenting the birthday boy with his candlelit dessert. I thought that was pretty cool... way to make an entrance!

Food: **** All of the food I tried was really delightful. I was happy with the freshness and overall taste and textures of the rolls. I would definitely go back again.

Service: **** Friendly & prompt. The server even took a picture for us!

Price: *** I thought the price was pretty comparable the other two sushi restaurants I had been to before. The only thing I thought was a bit pricey was the sake... but then again I don't really order sake so I can't really compare. I did, however, like how you could order a small or regular sized sushi roll.

Parking: **** There are a lot of options for parking by Sushi To Dai For. There's metered parking on both sides of the street, and metered parking lots around the corder. Luckily we got there after 6pm so we didn't have to pay for the meter!

Overall cost of dinner for two with two appetizers and one glass of white wine and one sake was $73.

You know you want to try the unagi, CocoCarina! :)


  1. The better the sushi was, the more it would be wasted on me. I do not have an educated palate; I would be just as happy with the variety sushi tray from Costco!

  2. You gotta branch out, dragonmamma! You can try smaller pieces, like nigiri, which are just two pieces of sushi with a bit of rice and the fish. It lets you focus on the taste of the fish, instead of getting caught up in the variety of a sushi roll. Plus it is less expensive. :)

  3. Hello,

    I work at Sushi to Dai for and would love to post a few of your great pictures on our Facebook page. Please let me know if you'd like me to take them down ^_^

    Thank you,