There's something about the name "Yakatoria" that just sounds unappetizing. I think it's that first syllable. Anyways, there are two popular sushi chains in Russia, Yakatoria and Tanuki, and these two chains happen to both be located in Mytishi...20 seconds away from each other (and only 5 minutes away from my flat...how is it that I've only JUST gone for sushi 3.5 months into living here?!)
For Rhea's birthday, we were going to go to Tanuki, but it was packed so we ended up at Yakatoria. Then, on Thursday, because my sushi fix just hadn't been satiated, I went to Tanuki with Colleen and Stu for a goodbye dinner (they flew back to Scotland today for two weeks...you know what that means...now I can walk around my flat in my underwear! woo hoo!)
I ordered the exact same thing at both restaurants, so I could appropriately judge which one was better, but to be honest my sushi-discerning taste buds aren't that sophisticated. I thought my tuna sashimi and spicy tuna roll tasted the same at both places. As in, DELICIOUS. But for some reason, I still like Tanuki more. The name is cuter. And their mascot is this cute little...rodent-like animal called Tanuki...whatever that is.
Ahhh...I just wiki'd it...it turns out a tanuki is a Japanese raccoon dog. Ew. (Speaking of raccoons, I have to share a hilarious and classic Jacqueline-ism - one day last spring there was a rabid, enormous raccoon guarding my front door and keeping my sister and I from leaving the house. I suggested killing it somehow, to which a horrified Jacqueline indignantly gasped, "Katie! You can't KILL a raccoon! That's a human being!" Oh, Jacqueline...)
Anyways, Tanuki also had the bonus of English language menus and waiters dressed up like samurais. YAKatoria had the disadvantage of placing us in the "family room", where children ran around our table, screeching in excitement, and a big screen (loudly) broadcasted Tom&Jerry cartoons as well as this uber-creepy Gogol-inspired fairytale cartoon that was absolutely terrifying. But the company, as always, was amazing, and it was a great way to celebrate the birthday of an incredible girl and terrific friend - Rhea!!