While passing through Arlington over the weekend, we decided to stop for dinner. There are so many restaurants on Mass. Ave that I have yet to try. I was in the mood for Japanese food so decided to give Kayuga II a try. I have never been there before but the menu looked interesting.
Kayuga is a small restaurant with large windows overlooking Mass Ave. They are open for both lunch and dinner, and even have delivery within two miles. Their menu includes Japanese, Thai and Korean dishes as well as nigiri sushi, sashimi and makimono. It is quite an extensive menu so there are plenty of choices and everyone should be able to find something to their liking.
We began with the fried Pork Gyoza ($5.75) which includes six gyoza. They were good though much the same as any other Japanese restaurant. That is not a bad thing, it is just that they were not special in any way. The Tatsuta Age ($6.50) were better than average, a nice mound of fried chicken nuggets with a nice flavor to the batter. The Miso Soup that came with our entrees was also better than average, with a delicious broth and it came out properly hot, not lukewarm as some places do.
They have a lengthy list of Makimono, sushi rolls, including many of their own invention. We had the Idaho Maki ($3.25), deep fried sweet potato and eel sauce, the Patriots Maki ($6.50), eel, fried sweet potato, cucumber and eel sauce, and the Red Sox Maki ($5.75), deep fried shrimp, crabstick, cucumber and spicy katsu sauce. I have no clue why the last two Maki are named as such. Their contents don't seem to have much to do with either sports team. But, they were quite tasty. All of the maki rolls were plump, with a nice mix of flavors and textures. You get six pieces of each and they are a good value for the price. I would highly recommend the Makimono.
We only had one type of Nigiri, the Tamago ($3.95), an egg omelet. It also was very tasty, one of the fullest flavored tamago I have had, though the pieces were a bit thin compared to most other places. I am curious about the size of the rest of their Nigiri.
The Pad Thai ($10.95) was a large plate of food and my wife felt it was one of the best Pad Thai dishes she has had, and she is a big lover of Pad Thai and has tasted it in many places. (Too many veggies for my preferences.) I had the Sesame Beef ($11.95) which was also a large plate with plenty of bite size pieces of sesame beef atop bean sprouts and carrot slices. It was easy to eat this dish with chopsticks and the sauce on the beef was very good, slightly sweet and not too thick and cloying. A very good dish.
My only significant complaint was with their Iced Green Tea ($2.50). It was quite good, unsweetened and seemed fresh brewed. But, they charged me for the three glasses I drank. Most places give free refills on iced tea, especially fresh brewed, and I have castigated other restaurants which charge for multiple glasses. Tea is so cheap that it seems like robbery to me to charge for three glasses when it probably did not cost 50 cents to make it.
Overall, I was pleased with this restaurant. Service was very good. Most of the food was excellent, reasonably priced and good portions. My only pet peeve is with their iced tea.
444 Massachusetts Ave.