Editors Eats: Masu Japanese Bistro

Steve Perotti, TSV Staff Writer

Located at 79 E.3rd Ave. in San Mateo, “Masu Japanese Bistro” is, bar none, the best value for your dollar.

The restaurant has two deals that run daily, a lunch and dinner special, that is unmatched at any sushi restaurant in the area.

The stipulations of the lunch special are simple: three rolls for $12.95. In most cases this would force customers to assume that the available rolls would be substandard fare or simply minuscule in size. This is most definitely not the case at Masu.

I took advantage of this lunch special and was pleasantly surprised by the size of the rolls as well as the taste and quality. I ordered a crazy California roll, a samurai roll and a lion king roll. Of the three, the lion king roll, consisting of shrimp and avocado over a California roll with the restaurant’s “special sauce,” was my favorite.

A local woman, Stephanie Racine, was kind enough to spare the time to tell me why she came to Masu and what her favorite menu items were.

“I eat here at least once a week and most of the time it’s for the lunch special,” Racine said. “The food is delicious and I don’t have to break the bank to enjoy amazing sushi.”

Racine had ordered the “Masu Roll,” the “3rd Avenue Roll,” as well as the “Tiger Roll.”

“I’ve ordered everything on the lunch menu at least once,” Racine said. “The Tiger Roll is one of my favorites because I love spicy tuna and California rolls and this is a great combination of the two.”

My server of the day, a pleasant little woman named Mai Lee, was very attentiveand always made sure that I didn’t go without water during my lunch, regardless of the packed house for the lunch special.

When I asked if the lunch special always brought so many people to the bistro, her face lit up and she nodded emphatically.

“We have many regulars who come just for the lunch special,” Lee said. “We have two different menu[s], one for lunch and one for dinner, but lunch is always busy.”

The hours for the lunch special last from 11 a.m. to 3 p. m. from Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant stays open until 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and until 10 p.m. on Sundays. The dinner special, offering rolls of equal if not greater size and variety, is two rolls for $16.95 or three for $19.95 and lasts from 3 p.m. to closing everyday of the week.

I’ve had the pleasure to dine at numerous sushi houses throughout the Bay Area, from San Francisco to San Jose, and my lunch at Masu Japanese Bistro ranks high above the rest. The quality of the food as well as the quality of the service were leaps and bounds above the rest, and I left satisfied and well fed without having to spend too much money.

For any sushi lover, this place is a must. You will not be disappointed