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Ai Japanese Restaurant

1013 Fair Oaks Ave. (El Centro St.) Send to Phone
A serviceable neighborhood sushi bar with no pretenses of fine dining.

Lunch Tues.-Sat., Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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Ai Japanese Restaurant Restaurant Review

: A miniature Zen garden sits inside the entrance, while oversize, boldly colored art and a cozy sushi bar illuminated by carved wood lanterns make the place appealing enough. Salmon is nicely marbled, seared albacore is not drowned in dressing (like at most suburban sushi bars), as it has enough flavor of its own, and reasonably high-quality toro hand rolls are one-half or one-third the price of more acclaimed sushi purveyors. There are a handful of vegetables listed under starters, such as string beans, asparagus and okra, all of which can be sautéed or tempura fried. The short selection of teriyaki dishes is adequate, but doesn’t generate too much enthusiasm. Quite a few rice and noodle bowls are also available. While it’s hardly among the area’s finest Japanese restaurants, Ai has become a solid neighborhood resource.
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