***Reviewed by guest reviewer, Platinum Palate***
Teriyaki, Sushi, Bento, Yakisoba, the list goes on. Japanese food seems to have something for everyone whether you are looking for a delicate fine dining experience or quick lunch on the go. Hiroshi’s on Eastlake Ave. is one of those middle of the road Japanese restaurants where you go for a comfortable, moderately authentic experience while maintaining the feel of a local sports bar. The pinkish-purple sign will pull you in to the tiny strip mall Hiroshi’s calls home.
As you enter the restaurant there is a delightful juxtaposition of design with a big screen TV playing the Mariner’s game on the right of the restaurant and a full sushi bar complete with fish slicing chef on the left. If you are anything like me, the site of an active sushi bar gets visions of flying fish roe, inari and spider rolls flying through your head.
Because Hiroshi’s is known largely for the lunch crowd it has a wide variety of foods to get you going at pretty reasonable costs ($5-15 a plate). I decided to start out with some gyoza. Gyoza is a pretty standard starter for any Japanese restaurant and it turned out to be a strong choice. It came out piping hot (the only way it should be served) lay across a black tray. The flavor of onions and pork were well balanced and the texture of the half sticky half crispy dumpling shell was perfect. From there it was on to the Sushi for the main course.
The Chef’s choice for the evening was a five fish selection sushi tray with a spicy tuna cone roll. It was elegantly prepared in a traditional bowl with all the usual fixings of ginger and wasabi. We also ordered a Dragon Roll for a little variety. The Dragon Roll is a combination of a shrimp tempura roll covered with sweet glazed broiled eel (unagi) and avocados. When paired with a light soy and wasabi mixture the dish is a medley of sweet, spicy, and bold flavors.
All and all the food was above average but not great. The presentation was refreshing and authentic as far as American Japanese restaurants go. It met my expectations but was not overly impressive in any way. If you are feeling like a good meal and a little culture at a moderate cost Hiroshi’s in Eastlake will be the right choice.