324 Park Ave, Rutherford, NJ | Directions 0707040.823623 -74.114161
Good Japanese - but for the price? – The owner is a controlling, incredibly harsh and overly involved woman. If you don't make a reservation, she'll seat you at a bench in the back of the restaurant - even if there are plenty of tables to be had. When she feels you're ready, she'll seat you and chastise you about making a reservation in advance.
The food is always good but service can be inconsistent. It can take a while before they offer to open your bottle of wine. The timing between appetizers and the main course is off at times. This is probably because the wait staff is often changing - likely a response to the owner who directs their every movement. She may direct them to service one table ahead of another for reasons only she can fathom. The staff looks like they're walking on eggshells.
And god forbid you should order takeout and ask for an extra packet of soy sauce. She'll charge you an extra 25 cents for the packet! She does, however, provide a very generous tip bowl at the counter.
One time I poured soy sauce out of the larger spout by mistake and used a bit more than I expected to. She came to my table and told me that Japanese custom is to use very little soy sauce. While she happens to be right, I don't think she was telling me this becuase she wanted me to be authentic. Rather, I think she was looking to save on expenses. When you dine out, you expect to have an experience. These folks give you a sense they are taking from you, not giving.
Best sushi around. – I've been coming to Daruma for years now and the sushi is consistently good and fresh. In addition to having great sushi, I like it because there is something for everyone. I've been there many times with different friends and everyone seems to find something they like. Of course, they have your traditional Japanese food, but there are a few Korean dishes on the menu that are very good. There are many different choices for sushi that will please the beginner sushi eater to the experienced. Overall a good experience every time.
I usually eat there on Friday or Saturday nights, but I like the lunch menu during the week, too. And you have to try the tempura ice cream dessert.
Pretty ok sushi, not good service – I was reading the reviews and had to add my comments. I also believe the sushi is very good, although not the best I ever had. I've been there many, many times and have found the service to be sometimes ok, sometimes bad, but never very good. I have been eating sushi for 37 years, since my father (who spent 2 years in Japan) introduced me to it on my 10th birthday, WAY before it was ever popular. I was there one time with my mother and opened the packet of chopsticks and there were those wood splinters that you get a lot. So I started to rub them together to remove the splinters and one of the owners came over and practically yelled at me to stop! WTF?! This is how you treat customers?! I was so shocked that I didn't say anfything, but I wish I had thought to tell her to go F herself and gotten up and left. I also wish that I could say I won't ever go back, but I will. There aren't a lot of good sushi places around here, so I'm kind of stuck. If anyone has an excellent recommendation for one nearby, I'd love a recommendation! :)
Awesome sushi! – Sushi is amazing - super fresh and reasonably priced. I've been a few times and each time I'm not disappointed. All the dishes are delicious and well-prepared. Sometimes the service is a bit slow, but the food quality more than makes up for it. Sushi Chef and staff have always been friendly. BYOB - which is a good thing. Also, good place for families- they even make children's chopsticks for the kids! Definitely worth trying out.
EXCELLENT SUSHI – GREAT sushi. First time at this restaurant, I was there on a weekend night. There were 4 of us. It was pretty busy, but we were seated in a decent amount of time. We all had sushi. It was great....probably the best I've had in awhile. One of my friends had the kalbi, which was good too. It was served piping hot, and very tasty. BYOB, love that.
All in all, a good find. Great food, good service and decent prices. I've already been back numerous times.
BEST SUSHI AROUND!! – This is a great place. This is the first time I tried Daruma. I was meeting friends for dinner and one of them suggested it . We all thought the sushi was great. It was very fresh and tasted phenomenal. We thought the service was pleasant and helpful. Good atmosphere. I found it to be priced right.....when I'm going out for sushi I'm looking for good quality fresh fish....I'm not looking for the cheapest thing around. One of my friends had one of the Korean dishes which he thought was good, too. Definitely worth a trip.
They dont serve regular water......and chase you outside the restaurant for tips – We went to this restaurant for dinner. Being a BYOB place, we bought our own wine. When we asked the waitress for water, we were told that they have a Policy against serving regular water to anyone who gets their booze from out and that we can only order bottled water.
Hello? isnt this supposed to be a BYOB place? So if we get our own booze, we wont be served regular tap water? Who does that? What a stupid policy.
We were also followed to our cars outside by the manager - who came to ask for more tip than was left on the table.......and to never come back since we did not leave enough tip. ...
Not that we were ever going to go back after being refused something that everyone would take for granted - regular WATER at any restaurant!
Good food / Bad service – It's a shame, Food is delicious, but the portions are insulting as well as the service. I've never seen a staff talked down to more in any other establishment. Amazingly enough, I too had the experience of witnessing the sushi chef tell the customer how to order so they don't confuse the waiter. I just found another great place in Rutherford for sushi which is by far, one of the best local places I've been to. And you won't get yelled at for wanting to sit at the sushi bar. Sorry Daruma - bad attitudes, bad service - cancels out the talent in the kitchen.
In my experiences with Daruma I have found a few constants; good sushi, lousy service with high server turnover and moderately high prices. First off, Daruma is the closest sushi place to where I live, so by default it gets visited the most often. The sushi is good to very good, the slices are thin but the fish is fresh, so most would accept that trade off. The presentation of the sashimi dishes is also very nice with fish sitting on top of shredded onions and beets. Service is lousy, I have seen the owner sushi chefs be downright horrible to their staff, it is sometimes fun to see how long a new server lasts, or a surprise when there are new ones. Obviously service is not instilled by the owners because after you order, don?t expect to see your server until they bring your food or the check. Also nicola112's experience of confusing the employee, I have seen the owner chef use that excuse in person and the chef argued it out with the customer and told the customer how to order it the next time. Price is moderate, they don?t totally drive the price home but for the quality and not quantity the price is fair. And the biggest gripe which no one else has brought up, NO sitting at the sushi bar. WTF??? This one just boggles my mind. Try it for the food not the service.
Bad customer service and unauthentic food – My experiences with Daruma have been mixed. The food is fresh and decent, but it's not authentic Japanese or Korean. It's dumbed down for the assumed preferences of the local area. The service is consistently bad. The wait staff are sweet, but their comunication and language skills are poor. Tonight I ordered chicken katsu with no dressing on the salad and asked for rice vinegar on the side. However I got sushi rice instead. When I said it was wrong the owner chef said that I had confused his employee with my order. WTF??? If I were him I would be taking the time to build trust with my customer base instead of automatically assuming the the customer is the one who confused the order. He spends way too much time talking football with his buddies at the sushi bar instead of concentrating on the kitchen and customers. Also the green tea is awful.
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