Delage - Oakland

It was recommended in a response to my Sushi in the East Bay? thread, and I found a good opportunity to visit recently.

crystal bread, smoked salmon, wasabi avocado cream

Cute bite.

katsuo tataki salad

Katsuo was good. Red onion & black garlic pearls were a bit gimmicky. Salad was tasty but didn’t feel like it had to be in the same dish as the katsuo. Wasabi foam was unnecessary. Too busy, overall.

sushi, wrapped in bamboo leaf
unagi / vegetables (avocado, lotus root, cherry blossom leaf)

Surprisingly good. Don’t think I’ve had anything quite like this in LA before. I liked the unagi a bit more; I couldn’t really detect the cherry blossom leaf in the vegetable one. But the rice infused with the bamboo leaf was the highlight for both of them.

akami / isaki / saba / ika

Much better than I was expecting for having come out as a set. Both the fish and rice were better than any $100-tier sushi place I’ve been to in LA; I think you’d need to go to one of the $250+ places to do better (especially for the rice). The toppings were sometimes interesting but mostly unnecessary. Mostly just made me really want a slightly more traditional sushi-focused omakase served by the same chef. The akami and isaki were the highlights, though none of them were slackers.

palette cleanser
ume soda, yuzu foam


gindara katsu

Perfectly cooked; nice riff on the usual “miso black cod”. The white miso sauce wasn’t sweet, which was a nice change of pace. Chili strings on top were interesting.

mini donburi
???, tobiko, sea grapes / uni & ikura

Neither of these were particularly exciting, though the rice remained very good. Ikura was just ok and I have no idea what was going on with the other one.

hamachi / salmon / aji / hotate

Salmon and aji taking the lead on this one, but once again, all quite good.

kombu broth, yuzu zest, arare

Nice broth, though the arare didn’t really feel like it fit the dish.

pomegrante mochi filled with soft raw chocolate, seasonal fruit, kuromitsu, whipped cream, mint leaf

Very good mochi. Chocolate filling was nice, not overwhelming. Fruits were clearly farmer’s market picks (at least, the nectarines & berries; no idea about the starfruit). Kuromitsu was a good fit.

Very happy I made it out here. Mask policy is kind of silly - being asked to wear a poorly-fitting surgical mask while placing your order (which you do online, by scanning a QR code, after being seated) is security theater.

$100 feels like a steal, mostly because of the sushi. Other stuff was hit or miss - most of the misses just had too much going on, or just weren’t cohesive enough. But nothing was actually bad and quite a lot of was good.


$100 is not that much these days.

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I agree with Robert. $100 is more than reasonable for the great food and multiple courses served at Delage.

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Price is up to $125. Menu was largely similar to T3t’s and I think the amuse, bamboo-leaf sushi, palate cleanser, and gindara katsu were identical.

This was very good ($48). The winemaker is Japanese and seeks to make wines that pair well with Japanese food. He says this one is modeled after daiginjo sake. If I’d been tasting blind I might have guessed it was from the Loire.

Tasty bite but when I picked it up the fish slid off the “bread” onto the stones, so I lost some of the wasabi cream.

Salad was ridiculously pretty. The salmon should have been seared more, it was too raw and thus chewy, and cut in big strips, so it really needed a knife and fork. The salad on the plate was under-dressed.

Bamboo-wrapped sushi was OK, my friend really liked the shiso with the unagi but I didn’t taste any. Both flights of nigiri were good and nicely varied with some unusual seasonings, e.g. one had a little slice of cape gooseberry. Palate cleanser was nice.

Cod was the first highlight of the meal. Best fried item I’ve had in years. Great sauce.

Avocado and uni chirashi was another highlight. Never had anything like it. The other one (fried tuna? with salmon eggs) was fine.

The miso-mushroom foam soup was the third and last highlight. Just great.

Dessert was good though except for the grape the fruit was out of season so didn’t have much flavor.

Pacing was good and we were done in around 90 minutes, so no problem with the “give up your seat after two hours” policy. Service was good and everybody was very friendly. Overall a good experience and solid value for the money.

I’m in no hurry to go back, but I might take a friend from out of town the next time he’s visiting.