We live in the EBay so we don’t get out to the San Mateo/Burlingame area very often. However, this past May we were flying out of SFO so stayed overnite at a hotel nearby.
We took a Lyft over to Sushi Maruyama/SMateo which was pretty good. A couple of excellent small plates altho the rest were pedestrian. The sashimi looked amazing but my DH confounded me by preferring to try all small plates that night (he is usually a sashimi fanatic and wipes out 20-pc platters by himself after we share some starters).
I had picked Maruyama because the menu was a change from the “let’s offer everything” menus of today. It reminded me more of the type of restaurant I remember growing up in the JA community in Chicago, when the restaurants were more apt to specialize.
Small, intimate; amazing service. Until that meal I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I heard an entire staff speaking Japanese, LOL.
We visited Suruki Market early in 2018. I wrote this summary in my notes:
"…Suruki is not a destination market. It’s an anachronism: one of the few remaining examples of what was a cultural resurgence of Japanese-American businesses that prospered after release from the West Coast relocation camps. The idea of a Japanese market as an exotic “ethnic” shopping trip now seems quaint. This is a dying breed, rare now on the Peninsula and almost non-existent in the East and North Bays.
As the Japanese-American community further disperses, both geographically and racially – the community has the highest rate of interracial marriage of any ethnicity in the U.S. – someday soon Japanese markets like Suruki will disappear entirely, consumed by Ranch 99 and its ilk of all-purpose Asian foodstuffs, or Safeway/Lucky/Whole Foods as their ethnic aisles expand. "