Pere and I spent last weekend up in the Sonoma region of California. Instead of our usual MO of flying into San Francisco and driving up, we decided to try Oakland airport instead and save a few minutes on the drive. Since we arrived in Oakland at 7:30, we figured we should probably find something to eat sooner rather than latter since we had no idea how long it would take us to get to Healdsburg.
Moody had mentioned a sushi place called Kirala that he really liked in Berkeley, so we decided to see if we could find it on the way. I texted Moody for the address and phone number of the place. One quick phone call and we were on our way. We actually found Kirala without too much trouble, even though it was after dark, we had no map, and I had never been to Berkeley before.
When we arrived, it was just after 8:30, and the place was packed. Rather than wait for a table, we opted for the last 2 seats at the sushi bar. As busy as the place was, our waitress came over immediately with menus and took our drink order. Since I was driving, I opted for green tea while Pere went with a Kirin. We had decided beforehand that we were just going to have sushi, so we started ordering from the sushi chef right away. We started with a caterpillar roll, shrimp tempura roll, and one of the day's special rolls, crab with asparagus. We also ordered tobiko (flying fish roe), unagi (fresh water eel), and inari (fried bean curd). All of the sushi was very fresh and well put together, especially given how busy they were. When we finished our initial order, I wanted a little more, so we asked for an order of Kani (crab meat). That did it. After polishing that off, we were completely stuffed.
I really enjoy watching sushi chefs work, and the skill exhibited by our chef at Kirala was no exception. One thing I found interesting, though, was his choice of knives. Our chef did all of his work not with a traditional set of Japanese knives but rather a single European style chef's knife. He used a Wusthof Classic 8" chef's knife to be exact.
Kirala proved to be a good start to our trip. If you happen to be in the Berkeley area and find yourself craving sushi, I'd recommend you give it a shot.