“Although I have only ordered from a fraction of the menu, I can confidently say that Goshi has quality food that is worth the price.”
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Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang Daily food columnist.
As I was nearing my third week at school and desperately missing my regular sushi trips, my friends and I decided to pile into a car and head downtown to indulge in some authentic Japanese cuisine. As a freshman, it can be difficult to get off campus and experience all San Luis Obispo has to offer. Whenever I have the chance, I snatch the opportunity to embark on a new food adventure.
At the intersection of Higuera and Nipomo streets sits Goshi, a small Japanese restaurant hidden in a small shopping center. It’s a wonder that people can even find this restaurant, since it’s set so far back from the main street.
Fortunately, those factors do not seem to affect Goshi’s business. It only took 15 minutes to get a table for five, even though restaurant was lively and bustling with customers. It’s a pretty small restaurant, so I was surprised at how quickly we were seated.
In addition, the interior of Goshi is visually appealing — high ceilings, large windows along the entire back wall, lanterns strung around the restaurant and a small roof over the sushi bar added to its ambiance. Even the physical appearance of the restaurant was misleading. Goshi looked a lot smaller on the outside than the inside. However, once past the cloth curtains at the door, it was like entering an optical illusion. There were stairs leading to a second floor and secondary seating behind the sushi bar.
Our waiter brought us to a table near the back of the restaurant and left us to peruse through the vast amount of choices. After a lot of indecisiveness and consultation among the table, I ended up ordering a half-and-half roll, a pair of salmon roe and a side of miso soup with a bottomless cup of hot green tea.
My food came soon, with each of the orders presented elegantly and creatively on decorative plates. I’ve always loved the aim of Japanese food to visually feed the eyes before the stomach. I started off with the bowl of miso soup, which warmed me up nicely from the cold weather outside. With each sip, I enjoyed the slightly gritty texture of the miso that contrasted with the smooth seaweed and soft, delicate tofu.
I moved on to the two pieces of salmon roe, which were paired nicely together on a small square plate. The saltiness of the roe itself was enough for each piece, eliminating the need for any soy sauce. With just the slightest hint of wasabi in each piece, the salmon roe was one of my favorite dishes of the night.
To finish off the meal, I started on the half-and-half roll from the dinner specials section of the menu. One half of the main roll featured four pieces of the eel and shrimp tempura sushi, while the other half of the roll had four pieces of salmon and avocado. The eel and shrimp tempura had a complex flavor fusion of sweetness from the eel sauce and oil from the fried tempura, while the salmon and avocado was creamy and tender. Each piece was bite-sized, not too overwhelming and complemented nicely by the stark, salty flavor of the soy sauce.
Even after multiple experiences, sushi continues to perplex and amaze me. Not just because of the intricacies and details of each roll, but also because of how deceiving the serving sizes can be. I ordered ten pieces of sushi in total, which did not look like a lot of food. However, because of the bowl of miso soup and multiple refills of tea, the rice in each roll expanded and left me satisfied.
Although I have only ordered from a fraction of the menu, I can confidently say that Goshi has quality food that is worth the price. A plus side to this delicious meal is Japanese food is considered healthier than most, due to the use of very little red meat and virtually no dairy. Despite the tempura in the eel and shrimp roll, everything else in my meal was relatively healthy, including the beneficial fats found in the fish.
Even though I cannot frequent Goshi as much as I’d like, it’s the perfect place to bring loved ones for a special occasion because of the low lighting, white tablecloths and dressier atmosphere. I know the next time my family comes to town I will strongly recommend coming back.