Arigatoo for coming

Arigatoo for coming

Akshay Agrawal

New American-Japanese fusion restaurant makes its home at The Oaks.

From a distance, Sushi Ya, an American-Japanese fusion restaurant located in The Oaks alongside Quicklmy and Jamba Juice, appears to be a grab-and-go place. Christmas lights surround the top of the huge windows, giving the restaurant a modern feeling. The smell of fresh paint and wood from the new currently constructing restaurant distracted me but after a while, the smell slowly disappeared. Sushi Ya opened on Nov. 23 after moving from Palo Alto to Cupertino. Due to Cupertino city regulations, Sushi Ya lost the opportunity to have a sushi bar, which was the main hit of the restaurant.


New Japanese restaurant located in the Cupertino Oaks Center, Sushi Ya, recently opened in mid-November. Photo by Ingrid Chang

Many parts of the restaurant were not ready for customers when I went in on Dec. 2. Some of their decorative bamboo separating the bathroom and a table were not put in place, leaving one table very close to the bathroom. The menus were in the making, and some items weren't available. The big problem? Location. The dance studio, Dance Academy, is right across from the restaurant and was visible through the large windows. Seeing people across the restaurant at their daily dance practices isn't exactly a good incentive for enjoying the food. Though the restaurant was small compared to regular restaurants, I didn't feel cramped.

But on the brighter side, everything was new from the chairs to tables. The environment was friendly and the restaurant was quiet with tranquil music playing in the background.  Decorations in the restaurant gave off a contemporary vibe.

Trying the new restaurant's food, I found out that the quality of each item was contrastingly different, though most of the food did not reflect the prices. The quantity offered was also less than what was expected.

Dishes that I tried were some of the classic California rolls, the udon, and many others. The classic California rolls ($5.50) were not as appetizing as those of other Cupertino Japanese restaurants like Miyake and Tomokazu . Some of the food was salty, such as the Japanese noodle soup, Udon Soup ($7.25) and the soft shell crab roll ($7.95). However, the noodles were cooked to a chewy texture. The tempura, which came with the noodles, was of little variety but fit with the amount of noodles. Some of the disappointing items were probably due to the new cook that the waiter informed me about. Sushi Ya was supposed to be one of the best japanese restaurants in Palo Alto. Again, the slight change might be due to the change in cooks.

Other than that, the starter miso soup was warm and nice and it came free of charge. It was served hot and ready, great for those chilly days that come in December. One stand out item was the Canape Sushi ($15), an assorted plate with seaweed, sashimi, and other Japanese delicacies. The Godzilla ($7.50), a sushi tempura of tuna and avocado, was of a creamy and warm taste. Other sushi rolls were priced from around $6 to $12, the cheapest at $5.50 and the most expensive at $11.75.

One great thing about Sushi Ya was the ginger. It accompanied each plate of sushi and was fresh and appetizing. Thankfully, the restaurant gladly offered more.

Sometimes the wait was long and the service was slow but most of the time it was good. As a new restaurant, Sushi ya is doing well. Although the items are pricey, the restaurant is right in Cupertino and also a comfortable place to be with friends. The traditional Japanese greetings made me feel right at home. Customers, as well, left with warm smiles on their faces and the lingering irasshaimase's (welcome) and arigatoo gozaimas' (thank you).

Service: 4 stars
Environment: 4 stars (quiet)
Price: 3 stars (relatively expensive)
Quality: 3.5 stars