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Cheap Eats—Geta Japanese Restaurant

Fresh and delicious budget Japanese.


Fresh sushi, generous portions, and attentive service characterize this tiny spot off Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue. In a remarkable feat of ingenuity, the owners of Geta managed to squeeze several tables, a sushi bar, and a bustling kitchen into a tiny space. Even more impressive, the family-owned sushi shop consistently turns out delicious Japanese food at budget-friendly prices.

Try the special rolls, all less than six bucks for eight pieces. These include standbys like the California roll ($2.95) and spicy tuna ($4.50), plus the more exotic: The salmon skin roll has a nice crunch and flavor ($3.75).

If rolls aren’t your thing, the menu includes udon (white noodles) or soba (buckwheat noodles) soups in various flavors, as well as donburi—meat, fish, or vegetables served over rice. The nigiri menu tops out at $3.75 for two pieces (with the exception of the fatty tuna).

If you absolutely have to spend double-digit dollars, splurge on the sashimi options, such as the chef’s special combo ($11), or tuna sashimi ($9.95). Pair one of these with a Japanese beer or hot sake for a satisfying meal.

HEARTY COMBOS: Get stuffed for less than 10 bucks with a combination special ($7.95 to $8.50), which comes with rice, salad, and miso soup, plus two entrées. Try chicken teriyaki and gyoza (deep-fried pot stickers), or beef teriyaki and kara age (deep-fried chicken).

VEGGIE DELIGHTS: Vegetarians will like the vegetable tempura roll (5 pieces, $4.50), the oshinko roll (pickled radish), or a teriyaki tofu steak entrée ($6.25, including rice, salad, and miso soup).

SWEET SATISFACTION: Though Geta doesn’t offer dessert, you’ll find Fenton’s Creamery, Tango Gelato, and La Farine Bakery right around the corner on Piedmont Avenue. 

Geta Japanese Restaurant, 165 41st St., Oakland, (510) 653-4643. Lunch and dinner Mon.–Sat.

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