Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Restaurant Review: I Love Teriyaki & Sushi

Revisit: Yes
Quality of Food: 22/25
Customer Service: 13.5/15
Setting: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Overall Grade: B+

This past Saturday night, I headed to one of my go-to spots for yummy Japanese food, I Love Teriyaki & Sushi in Concord, CA. to fulfill a Sushi craving that had been eating at me all day. My friend and I walked into the packed restaurant at around 8 a.m. and were quickly seated. Our drinks arrived shortly after and we were given about five minutes to ponder over the menu full of scrumptious options. When the waitress returned, we ordered the Spicy Chicken, Spider roll, Lion King roll, and two orders of Unagi.

Above: One of the menu's pages
After we ordered, I informed the waitress that we were in a bit of a hurry and although the restaurant was very busy, she made sure that our orders came out very quickly. First up was the Spicy Chicken which arrived in under five minutes. I felt that the chicken was leftover from a previous batch because unlike with our past visits, the chicken was on the colder side. It was still slightly warm and definitely edible but I thought I'd point that out. Also, I think that because we had told the waitress that we were in a bit of a rush, the chefs didn't bother to make us a fresh order.

And as for the taste? The chicken was slightly crunchy and mildly spicy. I cannot eat food that is too hot so this is perfect for someone who likes a bit of spice but nothing too wild. I also liked the fact that the chicken pieces weren't all skin and no meat -you're getting "real", quality chicken here. The plain rice went nicely with the chicken as the chicken can be "too flavorful" to eat on its own. The small side salad topped with house dressing was also a nice addition to the meal.

Now onto my favorite part -the actual Sushi! At nearly every Sushi restaurant I visit, I order a Spider roll and Unagi. The Spider roll at I Love Teriyaki and Sushi was made up of cucumber, avocado, tempura soft shell crab, and Sushi rice and is wrapped in a ring of seaweed and covered in a light layer of sesame seeds. I absolutely loved the tempura crab in the Spider roll -it was fried perfectly. Most places often fry the crab too much so I end up tasting more almost burnt, overly fried batter than actual crab. The roll itself tasted sensational. The ingredients were fresh and I could easily tell that it hadn't been sitting out.

The Unagi (freshwater eel) was another favorite. It was simple -just eel that had been marinated in sauce (tasted like teriyaki) placed on top of Sushi rice, tied together with a string of seaweed, and topped off with sesame seeds. I Love Teriyaki and Sushi's Unagi is by far my favorite as it's fresh and not rubbery like it is at most other restaurants.

The last item we ordered was the Lion King (baked salmon) roll. What's a Lion King roll? A Lion King roll consists of everything in a California roll -imitation crab, avocado, cucumber, sushi rice -wrapped in baked salmon and topped off with special sauce (spicy mayonnaise).

Although I don't typically like salmon (ate too much of it growing up), I did really like this Lion King roll. I already like California rolls but the baked salmon layer really gives it that extra "oomph" -I loved how the different flavors meshed so well together.

More Photos..

Overall: Quality customer service and good food are what I look for when dining out and at I Love Teriyaki and Sushi, I received both. The service was great -our waitress was very friendly and our food arrived with lightning speed. The prices were fair -no cheaper or more expensive than most Sushi joints. And most importantly, the food was awesome with the exception of the slightly cold spicy chicken. Overall, I Love Teriyaki and Sushi above average (B+) and with a few changes (food that's not cold!), I would definitely give them a solid A grade. I recommend the restaurant to any Sushi lover who just wants to sit back, relax, and eat quality food.

May be important to some: One more reason why I like I Love Teriyaki and Sushi is because they are open all day with no breaks in between (Monday, Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.) So many Japanese restaurants close in the middle of the day (late noon to early evening) and then reopen in the evening. I can't stand when I want Sushi at 4 p.m. but can't get it because the place is closed!

Location & Contact Information:
1985 Willow Pass Road Suite B
Concord, CA. 94520
(925) 680-0888


  1. OMG it looks so good!
    I'm hungry now!!

  2. I love sushi. Everytime I go, I must have some tempura as my appetizer. Your sushi looks great! At least each roll didn't overflow with rice. I hate sushi places that have too much rice per roll and less of the good stuff LMAO.... so where's your dessert? I always have to finish my meal with some Green Tea ice cream :)

  3. Chicken teriyaki is my most favourite dish have you ever tried it?I loooove it.

  4. i haven't seen any of your restaurant review yet =) hehe i dont live in the same area but it's always nice to see foods from diff places =) the unagi looks so yummy !!

  5. OMG I want to eat this now!

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