Matoi is one of my favorite sushi restaurants in the bay area. It’s not a trendy sushi spot, but a reliable source for quality, fresh sushi made by chefs who know their business. As with most sushi restaurants, I would recommend eating at the bar. From the sushi bar you can see all of the ingredients right in front of you. There’s no question about what looks good—you can see it all for yourself. If you spot a particularly nice looking bit of tuna or octopus, ask the chef to make something special for you from that ingredient. I’ve been impressed time and time again with the chefs’ creative concoctions. Another benefit to sitting at the Matoi bar is the little extras. Don’t be surprised if the chef offers you a complementary salmon rose or makes an excellent sake recommendation.
The only drawback to the Matoi experience would be their servers. While this doesn’t bother me personally, some may find the wait staff a bit offish. They aren’t overly gracious, or fake-nice, but for the most part they do the job—I do enjoy the warm, moist towels they offer. There is a possibility that you may need to flag down your server if you want your drink refilled or any extras.
As Matoi is primarily a sushi restaurant, and that’s what I order, I can’t personally recommend them for their other meals. While I have friends who have tried other items from the menu without complaint, I think it’s the sushi fans that will get the most out of it.