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Friday, June 19, 2009

Ariake Sushi - This Space (should be) for Lease

After many years or reliable food, service, and prices, Ariake Sushi on Blossom Hill Road (sorry, they have no website) has been removed from my list of places to eat when in south San Jose. True, there is seldom a wait and have a very nicely decorated interior, but the recent downward spiral of the whole experience is just sad.

I review a lot of Japanese food restaruants, and some do it right, some don't. This place no longer does. It is especially sad when you find a place like this in an area that is overrun with national chains stores and overpriced average/barely edible food. Ariake was a haven for south San Jose residents and shoppers alike who needed a semi-authentic sushi place to call their own. And it was that, for several years. Often, it can be blamed on a change in ownership, and I am not sure if that is the case here, but something definitely has happened.

Last night, I dined here after a several-month lapse in visits, mainly due to some apprehension on the side of my dining partners since our last few visits were so-so. I stuck with an assortment of rolls, which came out VERY slowly during the course of our visit, when we requested they come out before the bentos. They were okay, not as good as Sen-Dai or Tofu House/Chocolate Sushi, or even as they used to be here. Water glasses were left empty for some time before we could get refills (HUGE mistake). The place was not extremely busy, but the service seemed unorganized.

The kicker was in the seafood sampler platter. It comes with an assortment of deep fried fish pieces, which were semi-edible. A few of the pieces were either fried oysters, clams, or some type of muscle, which was absolutley disgusting. I sampled a small piece and could barely swallow. Even my dining partners, who love that kind of stuff, could not eat them. My stomach was churning all night to digest it!!

Fellow foosiasts that have offered their opinions have said the same thing. I give this place 6 more months before they close down. They have a great space next to Wells Fargo, someone will pick it up quick I am sure.

-Tom W Tell

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