I’ve been doing well on finding some decent sushi lately. I was out running some errands and actually just happened upon Ozekii’s. They call themselves a California style sushi restaurant, which usually means more avocado, asparagus, cucumber, and produce in general. They have a lot of different dishes and most of them are very colorful and have plenty of fish and produce. Not to mention, they are probably the nicest group of sushi makers I’ve been to in quite a while.
Sushi Ozekii – Victoria and Ralston in Ventura
This was actually just a to-go order, so I did not sit down and get the full experience, but I definitely will go back to do so. They are very friendly when you walk in and you get the customary everyone-yelling-at-you greeting. They had me sit at the Sushi bar, with a menu, to take care of business and after I ordered they brought me hot tea and edamame without me asking for it. How many places do that for you when you place a to-go order?
I did not order my usual fish to try out because I did not have the time, so I made sure to get a few simple rolls in order to try as much as I could. I ordered the spicy tuna, a shrimp roll, a Tony roll, and an Orange Ring roll. I asked if this was a chain and they said that others use the name, but this place was not part of any franchise. So who knows? I’ve heard the name before, so I had to ask.
They constantly gave me feedback as to my order’s progress and as I said earlier, gave me tea and edamame while I waited. When I asked what a Tony roll was, the sushi chef came over as the waitress tried to explain it to me and told me what it was. They even went as far as to ask me how much sauce, chopsticks, and extras I needed. All around I would probably go back just because of the service alone. They made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Short of giving me a hug, 10 bucks, and some cookies, they were just like moms.
Service aside, lets talk food. The spicy tuna roll actually has a little zip to it. The tuna was fresh and the rice perfect. The shrimp had a great texture and the tempura was light and crispy. The Tony roll is basically shrimp, crab, lettuce and rice wrapped in a soy paper. It was pretty good. I could probably lose the lettuce, as it takes away from the great texture of the roll and makes for a little extra chewing, but it was still very good.
The special roll I got was called the Orange ring. Probably because of the salmon and sauce that comes with it. The salmon was excellent, and so was the roll. They obviously use fresh products and fresh fish. In fact, all of the fish, in every roll, was very good and very fresh. The produce is equally fresh and excellent within the rolls they put together.
The rolls are tight and do not fall apart. They take time and care in the orders and do the same with their customers. My only real complaint, if I had one, is that the special roll prices are high for the area. The average special roll price is 11 dollars, while most of the sushi in the area hovers around 8-9. You could always make the argument that the fresh fish and produce make the price worth it. But if you’re coming in with the family, the kids are probably going to lean towards the special rolls. They have a lot of different flavors and combinations to offer and while you might head towards their menu of fabulous cut rolls, most of the kids will head towards the specials.
It’s a small restaurant, so I would advise against huge parties, but it’s perfect for a great family or couple dinner. They are tucked back in the corner next to a really huge 99 cent store. If anyone ventures out and gives them a try, get daring and order a quail egg shooter or an oyster shooter and let me know how they are. They have a ton of things on the menu I’d like to try. They have many different fish, everything from monkfish liver to mackerel.
If you could also go into the 99 cents store and get me a freezer mug, beef jerky, a bag of jelly beans, a box of ritz crackers, and one of the masks you put in the freezer, all for under 10 bucks, I would really think you’re cooler than most people.