I hope that every dining experience will be a delectable treat. That I will leave the restaurant and immediately text/Facebook message/Tweet all my friends to tell them where they absolutely must go for their next meal out. However, I can not say this of Amasia Hide’s Sushi Bar.
Amasia Hide’s Sushi Bar is nestled in a narrow corner space at Henry and Noe in the quaint Duboce Triangle. The interior is much larger than the facade suggests, with ample seating, including two-tops, four-tops, and seating on benches along the wall in the back of the dining area.
There is a quaint feel to the place, like you’re hanging out in someone’s dining room. Strings of paper cranes dangle from the walls. Stuffed animals and other knick-knacks fill the nooks and crannies of the restaurant. Square origami papers fill little boxes at each table, with a tiny instruction pamphlet for folding various creations. I tried the butterfly, but couldn’t get past Step 9.
The servers greeted us exuberantly and were attentive to our needs, eagerly answering questions, pointing out the specials on the board, including the half-off sake specials. There’s always some deal on the sake at Amasia Hide’s Sushi Bar. Some of the specials are a little quirky. If it’s raining, they offer large hot sake for $2 ($1 for a small). If you’re lucky and happen to be the ninth customer on say, the ninth of the month, you might just get half off your sake. Perhaps if the wind is blowing from the west, they offer half-off sake.
Once the food came out, I began to understand why Amasia Hide’s Sushi Bar needs all the gimmicks. I don’t pretend to be a connoisseur of sushi, or of any cuisine for that matter, but I’ve had enough elsewhere to know good cuts of nigiri and well-made maki rolls when I see them.
The aji, which was on the specials board, was over-powered by a big glob of wasabi, possibly a ruse to mask its poor quality. In the height of crab season, the spider roll–not something I typically order, but usually a safe bet at even the worst sushi bars–came out dry and stale. The highlight of the meal was the seaweed salad, clearly made fresh in-house and not served from a bag.
Maybe they were just having an off night. Every place does. Maybe my opinion is jaded from years of going to my regular sushi joint, where I know I’ll get good cuts of fish. Maybe I just didn’t have enough of their half-off sake. Whatever the case, I don’t think I’ll be back to figure it out.
But if you’d like to give it a try, here’s the contact information:
Hours: Mon through Sun, 5:30pm through 10:00pm