Review: Homma’s Brown Rice Sushi (Palo Alto, CA)

Saturday night Bobby and I went out to a new (to us) restaurant with our friend.  The friend, David, is a sushi connoiseur, and he wanted to try this new place called Homma’s Brown Rice Sushi.  Brown rice sushi?  Count me in!

Homma’s is incredibly cheap compared to most sushi places.  It’s a hole in the wall restaurant tucked behind a dry cleaners in downtown Palo Alto.  It’s just one room, and the wait is long (about 45 minutes for us; we got there around 7:45pm).  They are open until 9pm.  It’s run by one guy and the assistant who answers the phone and brings out the food.  They also do takeout (I think this is what most people do, and what we’ll do next time).

I started with this salad ($3.30):


The salad was very fresh and the dressing was light.  Bobby and I got and shared Chirashi ($12.80; various sashimi, egg, & a few random veggies over brown rice):


The chirashi included squid, tuna, hamachi (yellowtail maybe?  Bobby and I usually call sushi by their Japanese names), masago (some kind of roe), mushrooms, and a few other things that I can’t remember.  It was delicious.  Again, very fresh!

We also got two rollssalmon (sake; $3.30) and pickled burdock (gobou; $3.00; vegetarian/vegan):


These were probably the best sushi rolls I have ever had.  The rice was perfectly soft yet not mushy; it tasted amazing; the seaweed was great, and so were the burdock and salmon.

David got this plate of goodness:


He kindly shared one of his ikura (salmon roe) pieces with us.  You can’t see it in the picture, but they came with small pieces of orange on top which were eaten pre-photo.  The ikura was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Their menu had a great variety and lots of vegetarian/vegan options.  Bobby actually got this natto sushi ($2.80 I think; fermented soybeans) to go, and he said it was fresh and delicious.


I do not like natto so I did not try this.

(Aside – I think I’ve realized why I’m not a great vegetarian/vegan.  I don’t like beans very much.  I’m not into tofu, I don’t like tempeh, and the only bean that I actually enjoy is the chickpea.  Yes, I’m a weirdo.)

We will definitely be going back again soon!  I highly recommend Homma’s if you are ever in the area 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of sushi?  I think mine is unagi (eel) or this gobou (pickled burdock).

26 Comments on Review: Homma’s Brown Rice Sushi (Palo Alto, CA)

  1. Olga
    6 April, 2009 at 8:50 am (8 years ago)

    Ahh sushiii mmmm. I absolutely love sushi and out of all things in NY, it’s actually SO CHEAP compared to Massachusetts where I go to school.

    I think my favorite sushi has to be eel as well, and this one specialty roll a place by my house in Brooklyn makes: it’s baked with seafood. SO GOOD!

  2. Erin
    6 April, 2009 at 9:21 am (8 years ago)

    What a great find! I love when you hit the jackpot at one of those hole in the wall places. That is so cheap for sushi and looks amazing! I am jealous and salivating for some sushi 🙂
    I can’t really pick a favorite, but I love eel, spicy salmon and tuna, and avocado!

  3. Melissa
    6 April, 2009 at 9:27 am (8 years ago)

    I love the little dives that end up being amazing…my favourite sushi would have to be a simple salmon skin roll because I’m not into lots of nonsense all littered about…I do like adding lemon slices to mine though, just for a bit of tang.

  4. coco
    6 April, 2009 at 10:31 am (8 years ago)

    sushi!!! I miss it! I love how japanese put everything looks so beautiful, so yummy in such small pieces! 🙂
    I’m very picky with sushi rices, a good sushi and a mediocre sushi place differs on the quality of rice in my opinion.

  5. Missy (Missy Maintains)
    6 April, 2009 at 10:33 am (8 years ago)

    Looks delicious! I am a huge fan of rainbow rolls!! I love when restaurants can make rolls with brown rice!

  6. VeggieGirl
    6 April, 2009 at 10:45 am (8 years ago)


  7. annie
    6 April, 2009 at 10:48 am (8 years ago)

    ooo sushi!! i haven’t had it in awhile!! i’m kind of shocked to hear you don’t like tofu!! but yeah it is an acquired taste!

  8. Julie
    6 April, 2009 at 10:56 am (8 years ago)

    mmm I LOVE mixed vegatable rolls. I know I know not REALLY sushi but I still love them 🙂

  9. Christina
    6 April, 2009 at 11:13 am (8 years ago)

    I only started eating sushi a few years ago, so I’m a novice and a lot of things raw still freak me out. So, I like the California roll and other ones with crab. The only ones I try raw are tuna b/c for some reason that seems “safer” to me. hehehe 🙂

  10. Sharon
    6 April, 2009 at 1:04 pm (8 years ago)

    Oh wow, super delicious!!

  11. Dori
    6 April, 2009 at 1:08 pm (8 years ago)

    That looks SO good! I love sushi so much, especially rolls with lots of yummy things in and on them!

  12. Brittany
    6 April, 2009 at 3:33 pm (8 years ago)

    It’s awesome that you found a place that has brown rice in the name. I’ve been to several places that serve brown rice sushi, but not a place that serves exclusively brown rice! And, it’s so cheap at that!

    I think my favorite rolls are avocado, spicy tuna, spider roll, eye of the tiger roll, and I also like sashimi or nigiri.

  13. K
    6 April, 2009 at 3:52 pm (8 years ago)

    Sounds like a great find! I’ve never had sushi!!

  14. rebecca (unintuitiveeating)
    6 April, 2009 at 4:56 pm (8 years ago)

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm i LOVE sushi! tuna, salmon, eel, yellowtail… love it all!

  15. mi
    6 April, 2009 at 5:29 pm (8 years ago)

    that is CHEAP sushi!! and looks great, and really authentic. i’m so impressed with all your japanese fish names 😀 my sis is crrrazy about ikura, me not so much, but love it in specific dishes. i don’t like natto (but LOVE soybeans & soynuts! i just hate the sticky stringy thing going on) but parents and sis adore it. and i looooove pickled gobou – we call it kanpyo. really want sushi now!

  16. Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    6 April, 2009 at 7:17 pm (8 years ago)

    Uh-yum!!!! My favorite sushi is salmon nigiri – could eat it everyday. My husband just had a sushi feast this weekend – it’s the best!

  17. juliet
    6 April, 2009 at 8:30 pm (8 years ago)

    Nice! We love it there although we rarely go now that my husband works down here in MV. Did you ever get a chance to go to Sushi O’ Sushi?

  18. gliding calm
    7 April, 2009 at 4:54 am (8 years ago)

    not into tofu, tempeh, or beans?! sheesh girl. sheesh. im not going to say anything, but I think you know how I feel! 🙂

    happy Tuesday! hurray for beautiful tasty brown rice sushi!

  19. Lara (Thinspired)
    7 April, 2009 at 6:23 am (8 years ago)

    I love the idea of the whole restaurant being dedicated to brown rice sushi. I have a hard time finding a place that has it at all 🙁
    My favorite type of sushi is anything with salmon and avocado!

  20. Justine
    7 April, 2009 at 7:34 am (8 years ago)

    Yum! I love sushi! I am not big on the rolls because of the rice but I love salmon sashimi.


  21. Hil
    7 April, 2009 at 8:22 am (8 years ago)

    My hands down favorite sushi is unagi. It’s so good!

  22. Sagan
    7 April, 2009 at 8:56 am (8 years ago)


    I love any sushi except tempura or stuff with mayo. I’m game for any sushi that’s got real food in it- actual fish and veggies and all. Hate how much sushi has tempura/mayo in it.

  23. healthy ashley
    7 April, 2009 at 9:58 am (8 years ago)

    All the food looks so fun! I love your reflections on why you’re not a good vegetarian.. you really don’t like beans?!

  24. Jenni
    7 April, 2009 at 10:07 am (8 years ago)

    ooh, brown rice sushi! i’m in love! the sake maki looks great… my favorite kind of sushi is…hard to pick! i loooove toro sashimi, but then again unagi nigiri and sake maki are hard to beat…mmm. my favorite sushi restaurant makes a toro tartar with scallions and pinenuts that i am in love with, too.

    i’m vegetarian and don’t really like beans very much either! the only way i like eating them is with brazilian food. i do like chickpeas and lentils a lot, though.

  25. Katie
    7 April, 2009 at 11:25 am (8 years ago)

    Hole in the wall places are always the best! My favorite sushi is spicy tuna or anything with shrimp. Everything is better with brown rice.

    I’m missing sushi so bad right now because of the bun in the oven. I think that will be one of the first things I eat as soon as the doctor clears it.

  26. Charlie
    8 April, 2009 at 5:43 am (8 years ago)

    Is David Darnold?