Izu Sushi, Long Branch, NJ

This used to be my very favorite sushi restaurant. I had been coming here for over 30 years, back when it was one tiny room with tables. We used to eat here about every two weeks, so that is a lot of sushi time with this restaurant. We came here for dinner on Thursday night again, and it was so disappointing, I am not sure we will return again.

We got a bowl of edamame “on the house”, and a small plate of deep fried shrimp. We always order oshinko, Japanese pickled vegetables. We ordered yellow tail jaw, which we have enjoyed very much at Kissui in Little Silver, hoping for the same taste experience. The yellow tail here at Izu was terrible, to say the least. It was dripping in oil. It was dry and overcooked. It looked like it had been deep fried, though the manager said it was not. It was so dry and tasteless we sent it back. It was inedible.

We then ordered sea bass in ponzu sauce. The sea bass was at room temperature. It was drowning in ponzu. I just think that sushi/sashimi should come to your table cold, but that maybe is just my thing.

We then had an appetizer with a mix of three types of fish wrapped in cucumber. Can’t remember the name of the roll. It was good, but the fish was chopped into tiny little piece, almost like leftover pieces of fish.

We then had the Iso Maki roll, a roll made with tuna, salmon, tuna, yellowtail and avocado, wrapped in white seaweed. It was ok, nothing special. Our final roll was a black pearl roll, a combination of yellow tail and avocado, with black tobiko on top.

For some reason Izu makes most of their rolls spicy. I think that the spicy mayonnaise detracts from the flavor of the fish. It is almost as bad as putting ketchup on steak!! This is third time when we have come here to eat when the floor was so slippery we were afraid we were going to fall. There also seems to be an ongoing fruit fly problem, and it disconcerting when you eat to have to keep on brushing flies away from your food. I expect this eating outside in Southeast Asia, not here. It just seems, in my opinion, that there is a lack of interest in the customers. When we returned the yellow jaw to the manager, he did not even offer to make a new one. He just shrugged and took it away.


I had high hopes for Izu. They seemed different from the other Japanese places in the area, like their focus was on the sushi side rather than Hibachi. It’d be nice to have a restaurant in the area that really takes sushi seriously, and Izu looked like it had potential to be good. I think Sono is the only place I’ve ever been in the area where I felt it was significantly better than others, but that was 10 years ago…

Anyway, Izu is starting to smell and feel a little bit old now. But hey those cucumber rolls look pretty nice!