skim272 | Chicago Reader

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Matsu Yama is to unfresh as Ikea is to unboring and this was not my first time. A friend and I went here shortly after it opened. We ordered an assortment of rolls and individual pieces. Above average in the looks department but below par in terms of freshness, however edible. This time I was driving past with a friend and saw that the restaurant was crowded. I thought perhaps this was a good sign and there was a parking spot right in front so we walked in on a whim. Seventy dollars later....

We were hungry so we ordered a lot of sushi. They offer you one of those check-off menus like at dim sum and its easy to get carried away. I made the mistake of ordering individual sushi pieces: yellowtail, tuna, salmon, sea urchin and mackerel. I noticed that there were copious amounts of rice underneath the fish so I ate a piece of the yellowtail without the rice. This piece was so incredibly spoiled it was inedible. I had to spit out onto my napkin at the table. I've suffered through less than fresh without complaints, I've even come to expect it, perhaps sometimes laugh at it. but this was too much. the smell was very strong. I don't know if this would go undetected if: A. Matsu Yama raised the house lights up B. the sushi chef didn't stack so much rice under the fish (perhaps to mask the obvious decomposition). The tuna, sea urchin and mackerel all were in various stages of unfreshness. you probably think I was asking for it when I ordered the sea urchin but i had a craving for the buttery orange topping.

To be fair when I told the hostess about the yellowtail and the tuna she removed them from our check.

The cooked items on the menu are good. We had both dragon roll and soft shell crab roll. We also had a shrimp tempura appetizer, the batter was above average : really light and not at all greasy. The miso was mediocre.

Go for the cooked items and find fresher and cheaper sushi elsewhere.

Posted by Susannah Kim on 02/04/2005 at 10:40 PM

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