4363 First St
Livermore, CA 94551
I never had it as a kid. I never had it as a teen. Heck, I don’t think I ever had sushi until my late 20’s. Did I miss out? Well, I can tell you is that I was just a dumb kid. As an adult I got smart. Yeah, I missed out and I love sushi!
Manpuku, #34 of The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge is the second sushi joint I’ve been to during this adventure. 31 restaurants ago, way back in TGLRN #3, Yamato was the first. I didn’t realize this, but Livermore has about 10 sushi restaurants in town. That means I have 8 more to try. Yay!
Manpuku is a little place located in the Safeway shopping center on First Street at Las Positas Road. Some Yelp reviews call it a hole-in-the-wall. I don’t think so. While it’s small, it’s definitely not dingy. It’s a clean place that’s brightly lit and in a great location just off 580.
I’ve been to sushi restaurants where the menu was quite extensive, complicated, and I had no idea what I was ordering. For a guy without an extensive sushi background, that’s a problem. That’s not the case here. Their rolls, for example, are nicely organized in icon form, kind of like on an iPhone. Swiping doesn’t work, but it still only took me a few minutes to figure out what I wanted. It’s nice to see a restaurant that understands usability and simplicity in their menus.
Prices here are pretty reasonable too. While sushi is never a budget meal, their sushi and rolls seem to float a buck or two less other sushi restaurants I’ve been to. It you eat lunch out a lot, that makes Manpuku a great addition to your “favorite lunch spots” list.
How was it compared to Yamato? It’s been five months since I ate there, but I felt just as happy, stuffed and satisfied as I remembered. So both places are very good. But man, there is a lot of competition ahead of me. How will Manpuku stand up after I try all 10 sushi restaurants in Livermore? I don’t know.
But there is something I do know. The biggest question I ask myself after eating at any restaurant is, “Would I come back?”