July 16, 2010

Ginza Japanese Restaurant

9616 Reisterstown Road
Owings Mills, MD 21117-4139
(410) 363-4636‎

Today seemed like a good day to go out to lunch. I hadn't had sushi in over a month, so that was the obvious choice. Now the difficult question - which one? China Best? Yuki Sushi? Edo Sushi?

A friend suggested we go to Ginza for their lunch buffet. They have some fancy rolls that if ordered separately would cost about $13. Plus they have an assortment of other items to try.

The first thing I notice when I walked in was water dripping fairly rapidly through a recessed light fixture and into a bucket on the floor. The carpeting was soaked. I could not keep my eye off of the water running across the warped boards on the ceiling, growing heavy, before finally dripping downward.

I finally got the courage to get up and get a plate of sushi. I was then confused by the lack of utensils to get the sushi. There were about 10-12 plates of different kinds of sushi. And there were maybe 3 pairs of tongs - at the other end of the bar. So one had to use a pair of utensils for multiple plates. When I worked at Burger King in high school this was called cross-contamination. Perhaps cross-contamination is now tolerated.

A lot of the sushi was fried or had some creamy sauce on it. I couldn't make out what fish was in most of them. So I just held my breath and took my chances.

The sushi was average. Okay, sightly below average. Not a fan. It didn't seem very fresh - despite seeing the guy behind the counter making it. The pork skewer was good. But that was about it. The wasabi was not that spicy - and I had a lot of it. It was very bland.

I hate to say this - I had a very difficult time understanding the servers. I found myself just shaking my head yes. I know a lot of ethnic restaurants have family members working there where English is a 2nd or 3rd language. But I got the feeling that English wasn't even on the list for most of the servers at Ginza.

The meal was about $13 person. This is what I would pay at Yuki Sushi and more than I'd pay at China Best, so I was not impressed.

Additionally, I would not be surprised to hear that the health department had come in and shut that place down. Water dripping through a light fixture? I'm no safety expert, but I think I learned in first grade that water and electricity don't mix.

So if you're in Owings Mills and in the mood for sushi, you'd be doing yourself a favor and avoiding Ginza.