When Andy’s Kitchen, a sushi/Asian style kitchen in Petaluma, first opened in 2011, reviews were mixed. Which isn’t surprising when your only real competition in town is the notable Hiro Japanese. But over the last several years, things seem to have leveled out, with a loyal following of fans who sit at the sushi bar, chatting with chef/owner Andy Ma as he crafts what I like to call “utilitarian” nigiri and rolls—the sort of Wednesday night/Saturday afternoon sushi that’s affordable and casual.
An extensive list of Japanese and Asian-influenced bentos and sushi, along with the creative American style rolls (mostly fried or mayonnaise-y seafood salads slathered with mayo) make for endless combinations from authentic to, well, wacky.
Best bets: I’m a gigantic fan of Japanese pickles of just about any kind, and the Pickles Salad ($5.50) is a charming dish of, um, I have no real idea (daikon? cucumbers? something brown and soft?) and a whole mess of raw pickled garlic cloves.
The Marilyn Monroll is a teepee-style hand roll filled with curried lobster and veggies.
The judge of a solid sushi spot is always their take on the California roll, which we usually order first. If it’s done with care, you’re guaranteed the rest of the meal will be good. If its an afterthought, watch out.
Homemade pie is always a favorite, and frequenters rave about the pecan. Keep in mind that Andy’s is, well, a bit decor-challenged. It’s a huge space to fill, and aside from the sushi bar itself, isn’t much to look at. But the vibe is welcoming, the service cheerful and the sushi satisfying.
212 Western Ave, Petaluma, 766-9388.