Though Mikasa is technically in Lathrop (not Manteca), CA, it's one of the most popular sushi restaurants in the area. Not only do I consistently hear about it from folks that live around here, I find myself returning there frequently, even when I don't have an agenda of writing sushi reviews. They have fast, friendly service, good food, and do all of those things every time I've been there.
Ambiance At Mikasa
The first clue that this is a good sushi restaurant for this area is that it's always busy. If you come on a Friday or Saturday evening, expect to wait 10-20 minutes for a table. My girlfriend and I don't mind sitting at the bar, so we can usually sneak in with less than a 5 minute wait even during busy times. Many types of school events end up here as well, and I've run into prom, winter formal, and kids sports teams.
You'll also see a lot of dates, including bro-dates, and families too.
If you are looking for a quiet night out, Mikasa probably isn't the place to go because the noise level in the room is at a constant busy chatter of people laughing, orders being taken, and people talking just a little louder so they can hear themselves.
The tables are packed tightly together, there's a long line for takeout, and a few people waiting by the door hoping to get a seat soon. No one seems to mind. Overall, I think it adds to the cheery, friendly atmosphere. Everyone seems too concerned with the delicious smells and flavors.
Arriving & Ordering At Mikasa
Parking is a bit tight if you want to pull up right in front of the restaurant, but since this is a shopping center parking lot, if you park a few rows down you won't have any trouble. Once seated, everything starts happening pretty fast.
We came on a Friday night, and as usual, were able to get past the 5 people waiting for a table and stroll up right to the bar. In less than 60 seconds I had a menu and a beer in front of me. Literally. No exaggeration.
We ordered our appetizers and sushi in the next five minutes. Both of us are pretty consistent with our orders, so we don't have to browse too much.
Something that's important to mention about Mikasa is that they have a huge variety of sushi rolls available. Though I didn't order one myself, I have before. There a huge number of unique flavors and textures to choose from.
I have nothing but good things to say about Mikasa's food. For the Central Valley area? This is great food. Though it's not the same kind of sushi you'll get on the coast or from Japan itself, this is really tasty sushi and Japanese food!
We started with the postickers and tempura. Personally, I like the deep fried postickers they serve here as opposed to the boiled or pan fried ones. Every crispy bite is great, and not too oily despite being doused hot oil. These meat mixture in the center of these postickers was well-mixed. Sometimes you get some with poor cuts of meat that contain gristle chunks, or even onion pieces, which can be unpleasant to bite down on.
The shrimp tempura were large and flavorful. Personally, I like the ones fried in panko bread crumbs better, but these are good too. These seem to be covered in some kind of flour-based batter before they are fried. The serving of shrimp fried rice my girlfriend ordered was huge, and she saved about half for lunch the next day.
I really like the sashimi and nigiri here too. They server large, thin slices of sashimi. I always get the combination plate, which includes 3 types of sashimi, and three pieces each. I'm not sure what the pink one in the photo below was, but that was my favorite.
I also ordered two new nigiris this time, including one called escolar. It was certainly a new texture I hadn't tried before, but was delicious, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for that one in the future. Of course, my ikura is standard. Love that stuff!
How Was The Service?
One of the highlights of visiting Mikasa is the fast and friendly service. Though always busy, these guys are on point. You get seated, order taken, and served very quickly. Plus, despite being busy, the wait staff are always accommodating and friendly. This time one of the older ladies on staff was joking about me drinking my beer too fast. Funny! In the past, if issues come up with the order, they always remake the food without a hassle.
The check comes fast too!
You may need to wave down your waitor from time to time if you need something urgent, but the restaurant is small enough and everyone is walking around enough that you're never too far to get someone's attention.
This is our go-to sushi restaurant in the Manteca Lathrop area. Though I enjoy branching out and trying new sushi places, when I know I want a good meal Mikasa has yet to fail to deliver on that expectation.
They are not my all-time favorite place though! There's one place in Lathrop that has better sashimi in my opinion. Review coming soon!