Midori – Sherman Oaks

For my birthday on Friday, my roommates basically woke me up after my post-midterm recovery nap and took me out to Midori in Sherman Oaks, which I’ve been dying to try for quite a while now. It’s sort of a far drive from Westwood, but totally worth it. Thanks for the awesome surprise, guys! I’m not much of a birthday person, but I’m glad to have celebrated it with y’all.

The restaurant is located in a 2 story plaza, and pretty inconscipuous by any means. I liked the hanging lanterns and the use of empty sake bottles as ceiling decorations though. Made the place a bit trendy looking. It’s pretty packed during lunch time, too.

All of us got the all you can eat sushi. For $21 a person, you can order unlimited amounts of sushi, rolls and appetizers. However, the catch is that everything must be eaten within an hour, and the plates must be empty before ordering a second round. This didn’t pose much of a problem for us, especially me, since I was raised for AYCE meals. My parents have conditioned me, both physically and mentally, from an early age to tackle buffets head on.

Throughout our meal, we basically ordered sashimi and rolls, interspersed with one another. The preparation was a bit slow, but the quality was pretty decent for an AYCE place. The slices of raw fish were generous and pretty fresh, as far as I could tell. I’m not a fan of sashimi, but I sure love them rolls.

As for the appetizers, we ordered teriyaki chicken and gyoza. The teriyaki chicken was a bit dry and nothing special. The gyozas were similarly dry and a bit on the salty side, but still pretty tasty. But I must emphasize that you don’t go to Midori for the appetizers.

The baked salmon rolls were especially memorable, although I liked the tempura rolls too. I wish I had a menu with me to identify my favorite rolls, but off the top of my head, they were the dragon roll, sunset roll and clipper roll. I think presentation could’ve been better, since the sushi chefs seem to have gotten sloppier as time went on. But, it’s the content that matters, not the fluff, since everything ends up in the same place anyway. 🙂

Our party ordered about 5 rounds of sushi, but I think I could’ve handled another round or two, had we been given a bit more time to digest. I was a bit disturbed by the fact that Midori’s inari is $3 for a single piece, which is exorbitantly expensive if ordered separately. It’s a bit too sweet for my tastes though. I could buy a pack of 20 at 99 Ranch Market for around that price.

And if you ask about the birthday special, they treat you to a bowl of green tea ice cream with a candle on top. Sweet deal, if you ask me (especially considering that they don’t check ID). Their ice cream is amazing—faintly sweet, really creamy and almost like gelato. I’m a fan!

Score: 4.5/5

– Justin

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