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A Sushi Novice Visits Senro Sushi in Pleasanton

Stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to love raw fish.

When it comes to Japanese food I am definitely a huge fan, although I have to admit I have always played it safe by ordering teriyaki or tempura dishes. It wasn't until I got a recommendation to visit with some very specific suggestions about sushi I should try that I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I'm glad I did that! The sushi at Senro is phenomenal.
 
For those of you who need a little sushi lesson, this is what I learned. Sashimi is just raw fish selections, while nigiri is the raw fish laid over some sticky rice. Then there are the rolls, which are both visually stunning and amazing to the palate. It was tricky to get some of the sushi in my mouth all at once, but when I did, it really gave me the full flavor that I was supposed to experience — rather than just a portion of it that wasn't quite balanced.
 
At Senro my companion and I started out with one of the Chef Specialties called a Cherry Bomb. At $3.25 each these tasty bites were spicy crab meat wrapped in raw fish.

We then ordered some of the Senro Signature Rolls. A baked Bikini Roll featured salmon, avocado, crab, butter, garlic and herbs with a pepper cream sauce for $11.99. We also tried the baked Show Time, which had shrimp, avocado and some scallops with spicy cream for $11.99. Our waitress also recommended the Shelby Roll, a restaurant favorite with spicy tuna, crab, avocado,and hamachi and a creamy sauce for $12.99. With our Cherry Bombs, the rolls and a small salad that we shared, we left Senro pleasantly stuffed.

Senro Sushi features a great selection of lunch items. You can have a meal which includes an entree such as beef teriyaki, miso soup, salad and rice for $8.95. If you prefer a bento box lunch, you can choose two items from a list of 11, including teriyaki choices, tempura, katsu or a sushi selection, for $9.50.
 
For sushi at lunch you might was to try a five-piece Sashimi and California Roll for $13.95. There are also lunch roll specials where you can choose two different rolls for $11.95 or three rolls for $15.50. All of the sushi specials include miso soup and salad.

For dinner, Senro pulls out all the stops, with a variety of appetizer, soup, salad and rice choices. 
 
Five tempura choices range from $6.50 to $12.50, and different noodle soups are $10.50 to $14.95.
 
A three-item combination dinner for $17.95 that includes miso soup, rice and salad. Pick from 15 different items: anything from salmon teriyaki to mixed tempura to four-piece sashimi. The restaurant also features entrees similar to the lunch menu, plus some donburi choices. 
 
For sushi there are just too many choices to name. Twenty-one selections in the nigiri category come with two pieces per order and range from $3.75 to $8.50. Sashimi a la carte will run $10.95 for a six-piece assortment to $40.95 for 25 pieces of tuna and hamachi only. You may also try a nigiri and sashimi combination.

And then the rolls: eight different maki rolls, 26 "ordinary" rolls, and a whopping 33 Senro's Signature Rolls.

A child's bento special for $7.50 (ages 12 and under) includes salad, rice and a teriyaki or katsu choice plus either two pieces of shrimp tempura, three pieces of gyoza (potstickers) or three pieces of a California roll.

If you are new to sushi, as I was, give Senro Sushi a try. The fish is very fresh and you can find many choices that are baked or fried if you are a little intimidated by raw fish. I'm now very excited about venturing venture into other sushi selections, since there are so many rolls that looks delicious.

There is also a second Senro Sushi restaurant in San Ramon

30 W. Neal St., Pleasanton, 925-600-8040. Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30p.m. Dinner, Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Dinner, Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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