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By Elena Kadvany

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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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San Francisco sushi restaurant expanding to Palo Alto

Uploaded: Mar 28, 2019
Palo Alto's Hidden Garden Sushi, which carried on its predecessor's tradition of serving brown-rice sushi, has closed and will be replaced by a traditional sushi restaurant.

Hidden Garden Sushi opened about a year ago at 2363 Birch St., the former longtime home of Homma's Brown Rice Sushi. Its windows recently went dark and phone line was disconnected.


Hidden Garden Sushi has closed and will be replaced by another sushi restaurant. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

Eric Peng, who owns Daigo Sushi in San Francisco, said Thursday that he has taken over the space and plans to open a second location there in about a month.

The Palo Alto Daigo Sushi will serve teishoku, a Japanese meal set, for lunch and omakase for dinner, he said.

Stay tuned on an opening date and more menu details.
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Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 28, 2019 at 3:17 pm

:-( This was a good and well-priced restaurant. I'm sorry it didn't work out. I think it was a combination of inconsistency (which is really the death knell of restaurants), and a lack of getting the word out. We loved Homma's and loved this place!

I wish the new owner all the best.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Totally down with brown, a resident of Bailey Park,
on Mar 28, 2019 at 4:22 pm

any other brown rice sushi spots in the area?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Don, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Mar 28, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Pray that Daigo uses traditional sushi rice. (and not brown rice)


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Billy, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 6:30 am

Another Sushi spot.????? Enough is enough. This city is full of coffee shops and Sushi. If you yelp Sushi restarants. Theirs 24 plus locations in PA alone. Lets shoot for 50.


 +   30 people like this
Posted by Tsinjo, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 9:02 am

> Another Sushi spot.????? Enough is enough. This city is full of coffee shops and Sushi. If you yelp Sushi restarants. Theirs 24 plus locations in PA alone. Lets shoot for 50.

That is because most Hakujin (white people) eat sushi as an entire meal.

Sushi is traditionally served as an appetizer (prelude to a meal) or convenient snack. Some people don't know any better as I've even seen people using forks...how gauche.

Big money to be made serving up loads of sushi to hungry people who make a meal of it.

> Pray that Daigo uses traditional sushi rice. (and not brown rice)

Brown rice lacks the glutin of 'sticky' rice but appeals to hippie-style sushi eaters who prefer the health benefits of brown rice.

The mystique of the Japanese sushi chef who has trained for years in Japan has also become a farce.

A business colleague mentioned having gone to SF for sushi with some clients & the sushi chef was Hispanic...trained at 3-day sushi school in Los Angeles. Another reported being served by an African-American sushi chef named Wilson who also learned his craft at a sushi factory school.

As John Lennon once said, "Nothing is real..."


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Healthier appetizers, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 10:32 am

So yah, now that the haters have chimed I'd also like to know if there's a place to get brown rice sushi in this area.
We all know where to get the white rice sushi.

Also, Tsinjo, I'm not "most white people"
You should try and progress away from racial stereotyping. Any Japanese American should be able to explain why, recalling the bad history of racial stereotypes and how they negatively affected people right here in CA during WWII.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Eating Sushi With A Fork Is Like Eating Pizza With Chopsticks , a resident of Community Center,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 12:51 pm

> I'd also like to know if there's a place to get brown rice sushi in this area.

Why not learn to make your own? According to Tsinjo, just about anyone can be a sushi chef nowadays...they have trade schools that teach the skill & maybe someday Parks & Rec will offer courses.

> Also, Tsinjo, I'm not "most white people" You should try and progress away from racial stereotyping.

But most white folks are white people. *L*

> Any Japanese American should be able to explain why, recalling the bad history of racial stereotypes and how they negatively affected people right here in CA during WWII.

Perhaps Tsinjo is from Japan where they measure things on a higher level than in the United States (i.e. manufactured goods, customs & courtesies, sushi et al).

FYI...racial stereotypes also affected Japanese-Americans AFTER WWII as well.

In the meantime, hoping you source your brown rice sushi.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by sushifan, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Gee, Tsinjo... I'm only white folk, but I did live in Japan for a few years and attended many "sushi as dinner"s with the locals... it was usually sashimi as appetizer, and sushi as main course accompanied by copious amounts of beer and shochu! Onigiri are snacks, but not sushi far as I could tell.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Healthier appetizers, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 2:15 pm

"Why not learn to make your own? "
HAHAHA, You know this is a restaurant blog right? RIGHT? HAHAHA.

"But most white folks are white people."
Solid. I can't argue with nugget of wisdom but its off the topic stereotyping behaviors based on race.

"racial stereotypes also affected Japanese-Americans AFTER WWII as well."
Which is why it is wrong to use them, and exactly why I brought it up in the first place! There. Now you're up to speed :)


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Eating Sushi With A Fork Is Like Eating Pizza With Chopsticks ,, a resident of Community Center,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm

I'm only white folk, but I did live in Japan for a few years and attended many "sushi as dinner"s with the locals... it was usually sashimi as appetizer, and sushi as main course accompanied by copious amounts of beer and shochu! Onigiri are snacks, but not sushi far as I could tell.

Sushi is sometimes offered as an after school snack. Not quite the same as cookies & milk or downing junk food...perhaps more of a native tradition as stateside 'white folk' probably don't do this regularly.

As for dining with the 'locals', they were probably accommodating the American penchant for sushi based on what they had seen stateside while on business or pleasure (i.e. mainlanders gorging on sushi).

Besides, countless Japanese prefer to do certain things the 'American' way as they are very westernized in some practices.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Market Price, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm

I've had some really good brown rice sushi at Oh Baby Sushi in Redwood City.
They would substitute brown rice for white in any dish.
That was about a year ago but I would expect they still do. It looked fairly popular.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by More chains, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 3:11 pm

And another chain operation moves into Palo Alto. Why can't a mom and pop operation risk their savings and open up in that spot. That is what our council wants.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by AnthroMan, a resident of Stanford,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 6:08 pm

Sushi has become a mainstream dish in America. 50 years ago, it was not as popular as it is today. The same goes for sashimi as the thought of eating raw fish was repugnant to many American tastes. Today not so.

The 1980s brought about a further awareness & appreciation of sushi as Japan Inc. was in full swing globally & many US business travelers spent time in Japan. Up until then, Japanese food was more popular among Japanese people & those Americans who had served overseas in the US military during World War II & the Korean conflict.

Many servicemen brought back a penchant for teriyaki & tempura but it took awhile for sushi & sashimi to catch on.

Now many 'white folks' act as if they themselves invented sushi along with its dining customs. Not so.

Like Mexican & Chinese food, sushi has gone mainstream & so there are no longer any epicurean guidelines...just scarf & wash it down with a Sapporo or some sake.

And if you must use a fork, so be it...just be sure to wear a cowboy hat or trucker's cap while doing so. Then it will be accepted.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by More chains, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Mar 29, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Anthrowman- here is a funny take on sushi: Web Link


 +   11 people like this
Posted by AnthroMan, a resident of Stanford,
on Mar 30, 2019 at 8:19 am

> Anthrowman- here is a funny take on sushi:

Excellent commentary/observation by Mr. Mason.

Raw fish or burnt fish...just give it a distinct name & people will buy into it.

Another example...Raw egg + raw meat = steak tartare.
Thinly sliced & minus the egg = carpaccio.

Curing raw ish or meat by seasoned marinades (i.e. ceviche & some Thai/Korean dishes) is another form of the concept.

Getting back to the raw fish...45+ years ago, my uncle went fishing with a Japanese friend. They didn't catch anything that day & the Japanese fellow just started cutting up the bait (mackeral) & ate it for lunch! My uncle was repulsed.

Now the idea is recognized as sashimi & by savored by countless white folks, many of whom just can't get enough. Go figure.





 +   4 people like this
Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on Mar 30, 2019 at 10:13 am

Quite a comments section on this one. (AnthroMan's the most entertaining, for my money!)

"50 years ago, it was not as popular as it is today. The same goes for sashimi as the thought of eating raw fish was repugnant to many American tastes. Today not so."

Agreed. Keep in mind, safely eating raw animal foods demands much stricter freshness and cleanliness than were usual in 20th-c. US cooking. You need preparation regimens to fit the food (plus inspection or freeze-treating to avoid nasty parasites found in some raw fish) -- or else the consequences can be repugnant, by any standards.

"The 1980s brought about a further awareness & appreciation of sushi... until then, Japanese food was more popular among Japanese people & those Americans who had served overseas in the US military..."

Generally that's true. The 1980s were sushi bars' yuppie-fad era for the western world, but they weren't unheard-of earlier. One little-known restaurant-history book includes a 1930s photo of one such (with the actor Charlie Chaplin among the customers). And the Bay Area had Japanese restaurants long before 1980, they just emphasized sushi and sashimi less (demand was smaller).


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Fresh Water Fish On Tuna Is Not Advised, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Mar 30, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Another way to tell a 'white man' sushi eater...ordering salmon, steel head or even trout on their sushi. This is a sign of an ignorant sushi eater as fresh water fish often contain parasites & small nematodes.

The Japanese only incorporate pure salt-water fish on their sushi...unless catering to those diners who don't know any better.

Though steelhead & salmon migrate to the ocean, they are still considered freshwater fish.

I imagine that some Americans would even order goldfish on their sushi if a TV chef recommended it.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by A Traditional Sushi Fan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 31, 2019 at 2:40 pm

@Fresh Water Fish On Tuna Is Not Advised

Your title was a bit confusing...did mean Fresh Water Fish On [Sushi] Is Not Advised?

That makes sense based on your explanation.

Cooked fresh water fish on/in sushi is probably OK & would be quite tasty.

I could even see smoked salmon on sushi.

But nothing Middle Eastern or East Indian on sushi...that would be an abomination.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Hommas!, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Apr 1, 2019 at 11:25 am

Incredibly tasty and so non of the white rice guilt. I miss it so much :(


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Homma's Had It Right, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Apr 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

There is ZERO nutritional value in sticky, white rice...just starch.

Brown rice + various sushi ingredients far more healthy.

Non-traditional but a worthwhile alternative.

Surprised this style has not become more readily available

Perhaps most sushi-eaters do not care for the bran factor in brown rice...more coarse than traditional white rice.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by California made it better, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 2, 2019 at 6:11 am

Bring on the delicious and healthier alternative of brown rice. Brought to you by tradition, then improved by people who understand the nutritional value, or lack there of, of the rice portion.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mumbai or Tehran Style Sushi?, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 2, 2019 at 12:19 pm

> But nothing Middle Eastern or East Indian on sushi...that would be an abomination.

And it couldn't be called sushi as even the Japanese wouldn't go near it!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Normal diner, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Apr 4, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Such an interesting discussion and such a collection of snobs (not everyone here but the ones that are can be spotted easily). Personally I don't care if my sushi is made by a Japanese chef or a hispanic or a person of color. As long as they know what they are doing and practise good hygiene I am happy. I also could care less if someone at the table is using their fork, their hands disposable chopsticks or very expensive custom chopsticks. Why is this so important to some of you, just being snobbish? No cowboy hat or trucker hat needed, in fact most cowboys and truckers I have met are much more polite and social that the person posting that comments seems to be...

People should be able to go out and enjoy a meal without having to worry about the likes of some of you people posting here. Go out, have what ever food you want, enjoy it and don't worry about the people who disagree with your choices, they have much bigger problems that they should deal with...


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Sushi Is A Global Food...Even In Iowa, a resident of College Terrace,
on Apr 4, 2019 at 1:55 pm

> People should be able to go out and enjoy a meal without having to worry about the likes of some of you people posting here.

I was in Des Moines once...they have sushi bars there too.

One diner was eating a roll of sushi like a burrito!

The sushi chef (who was from Cambodia) later told me that the customer preferred it in one piece rather than sliced.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by A Line Must Be Drawn Somewhere, a resident of College Terrace,
on Apr 4, 2019 at 6:20 pm

> One diner was eating a roll of sushi like a burrito!

How gauche.

> Go out, have what ever food you want, enjoy it and don't worry about the people who disagree with your choices, they have much bigger problems that they should deal with...

Yes. Visual problems watching a Neanderthal eating sushi!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by MD, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on May 1, 2019 at 4:35 am

Scrolled through the thread hopeful for a positive/negative review for the local restaurant but nothing but “politics". Ugh :/


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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