the state

– of sushi. by vastate
Friday, 28 November 2008, 17:33
Filed under: -of eats, -of jhumphrey, -of localism

sushi jako (or cafe jako, depending on who you ask), we really want to love you.  really, we do.


everyone else does:

but we paid $19.76 for this:


that’s the chef’s special, entitled, “winter in the shenandoah” – with a puzzling, but delicious, filling of mango & spicy tuna, topped with krab and strawberry cream cheese sauce.  beside it is a basic avocado roll.  behind, are two tiny portions of miso soup – without the usual tofu or seaweed.

we thought it tasted great, but was tiny, tiny!  and expensive!  and i missed slurping up the tofu cubes and seaweed that usually sits at the bottom of miso until the last sips.

what did we do wrong?  i feel convinced that this was a case of “me, not you.”

the chef and staff were lovely.

the decor was cozy.  well done enough to fool you into believing you were not eating in a strip mall.


we have eaten a lot of sushi before.  really.  we used to go to koibito sushi in olympia at least once a week.  it was across the street.  and it doesn’t even get as good of reviews as cafe jako.  but we always got a lot more (like four rolls, two big portions of miso, and tea) for our money.

anyone have suggestions about what we should order for 1.) taste and 2.) value next time we head to this place?  we love sushi.  we love that there is actually a sushi place in harrisonburg.  we want to do better next time.



6 Comments so far
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Their lunch sushi specials used to feel like a pretty good deal but all of their prices have gone up. It seems impossible to get out of there for less than $10 at lunch, even sticking to the bento boxes and sushi specials. 😦

Comment by Josh

that doesn’t look good, although I think sushi is something that should be eaten in restaurant and not taken out. I mostly order a la carte, although my wife orders the sashimi deluxe. Sushi ain’t cheap but I think his prices are reasonable. The sashimi deluxe is an excellent deal. When he has toro it is unbelievably cheap. I was just there on Sat. and had a wonderful meal.

Comment by Mike Ritchie

the “don’t eat sushi as take out” is a good point. next time, we’ll be sure to eat in person at cafe jako. i am not usually a fan of the cream-sauce covered rolls, so that was also a mistake. next time, i’ll stick to clean classics. any other suggestions?

Comment by vastate

I can see why you would be concerned about the price. It’s true, Cafe Jako did raise their prices by a few cents but that’s justifiable by the price of almost everything going up nowadays. And as per the amount of food you receive, please note the quality of the food. I guess that this is hard to do since you ordered take-out, but dine-in one night and notice how different in quality and taste the food is compared to the other cliche “low-prices, sushi special” places. I guess I’m on too much of a defense for my regular restaurant, but I really want to express my view. The miso soup, seemingly a small proportion in the styrofoam cup is actually the same amount you get in a standard bowl, and to mention that it comes along free of charge with any sushi order, where normally you would have to order it for at least a dollar, is a good thing. Also, keep in mind that the food sales tax in Harrisonburg is 11%. Anyway, don’t mean to barge or anything. This restaurant is fine by me, with fair pricing, but of course, every person has their own cup of tea.

Comment by sushilover

again, a good point is raised by one of cafe jako’s devoted fans! i am so inspired by the passion for which people have defended this place that i am now extremely eager to go back… thanks sushilover. we all (including blogging sushi lovers) need to keep in mind the various variables at play in determining both price and quality of food. i’m just happy that a local place has such a lovely following.

Comment by vastate

[…] been part of some conversations about sushi jako, and we remember discovering phó back in the day at thai cafe, but we’d never had the […]

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