Recession-Time Sushi at Kappo Suzumaru

You know times are tough when even a standard like Kappo Suzumaru in Tustin, still one of the better examples of serving serious Japanese food and sushi, was near empty on a Thursday night like yesterday. I've patronized this place for years, usually Thursdays for purely coincidental reasons, and have always seen it slammed from 6 p.m. until closing. My friend and I arrived around 8:30 p.m.--we were the only ones in the sushi bar the entire night.

Suzumaru doesn't have the best sushi in the county (that's whatever Chef Abe touches on any particular night), nor is it exactly affordable. But here is where I find a happy medium--larger-than-average, reasonably priced, delicious offerings of both the traditional and roll variety. I munched on briny mackerel, sweet red snapper, milky scallop rolls and concluded with spicy tuna rolls, all prepared by the smiling gent pictured. Maybe not an authentic night, but too good to pass up.

You know times are tough when the Indian restaurant next door featured the owner dejectedly slumped on a chair the two hours we spent at Kappo Suzumaru.

Kappo Suzumar, 17292 McFadden Ave., Ste. B, Tustin, (714) 665-1300.

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