Godai Sushi: Perfection At The Hands Of A Sushi Master
By Alissa Reinhard
What’s the secret to delicious sushi? Is it the perfect harmony between expertly prepared rice, fantastically fresh fish, and complex, intensely satisfying flavors? Is it the skilled hands of the sushi master who can flawlessly construct a beautiful roll within a few flips of the wrist? Is it the presentation – a delicate roll gently stacked or winding along a plate dotted with mouthwatering sauces and spices? At Godai Sushi it’s a combination of all of these things, plus one other very important ingredient – the passion of one man – William “Goro” Pitchford.
Goro is simply stated, a sushi master. He opened Godai Sushi, located on West Avenue tucked away in Castle Hills, in 2005. It was never Goro’s dream to open a restaurant, in fact, he worked in the corporate world for 15 years before changing career paths.
“I didn’t have a college degree, so there was no chance for upward mobility,” he explained. “So one day I called my mom and she told me to go work in a restaurant. So I did.”
Goro began working at Fujiya Japanese Restaurant on Fredricksburg Road.
“I started out as a busboy, a waiter – whatever the owner wanted me to do,” he said. “I went from making $18 an hour to $2.20. But I was happier. I was learning something new every day.”
Goro watched as the owner, sushi chef and employees worked together to serve their customers. They were having fun. In fact, they were like one big family.
“I wanted that, too,” said Goro. “It’s ultimately why I decided to open a restaurant.”
Goro and his wife run their restaurant family-style. Goro encourages his employees to have fun with their customers. Nothing brightens someone’s day quite like a healthy dose of laughter, and perhaps a delicious sushi roll or two!
“Overall, we treat our customers – and people in general – the way we want to be treated,” said Goro. “If you can do that and stay humble, I believe you will succeed. There are no surprises here at Godai. When clients walk in the door, they can expect the best that we can possibly do for them.”
Goro is a man of many talents. He’s involved in every facet of his business – from owner and GM to chef, wine specialist, and some days, when necessary, dishwasher and cook. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to ensure that his diners enjoy a comfortable, delicious experience.
“My motto is, if the clients walk out happy, they will be back,” he stated.
In addition to the outstanding service, diners can also expect an incredible meal at Godai Sushi. Goro works with trusted vendors so that he can offer diners an exceedingly fresh selection of seafood each and every day.
“The quality of my product is very fresh, many thanks be given to Rick Groomer from Groomer’s Seafood here in San Antonio,” stated Goro. “Rick has never disappointed me with any of his seafood.”
Speaking of seafood, the most popular roll at Godai, the Longhorn Roll, features a delicious helping of it: tuna, salmon, and cream cheese wrapped with shrimp and avocado, topped with shredded crab and tempura crunchies, and drizzled in spicy mayo. And if that sounds good, with a menu of over 50 other rolls to choose from, you may find a new favorite every time you dine. In fact, many of Goro’s regulars prefer to dine “omakase” style, the Japanese tradition of letting the chef choose your order.
“They entrust us to make a special roll just for them,” explained Goro. “They never even have to look at the menu.”
In addition to Godai’s quality sushi and sashimi selection, the restaurant features a full kitchen menu with dishes ranging from Teriyaki, tempura, noodle soups, and rice bowls. Goro recently expanded his fried rice menu to include eel fried rice, salmon fried rice, crawfish fried rice, and even spam fried rice, along with the traditional chicken, beef and shrimp. For an evening refreshment, diners can enjoy beer (Japanese and domestic), hot or cold sake, or a glass of wine from Godai’s extensive selection featuring spirits from across the world.
Goro’s passion for his work is trumped only by his knowledge of Japanese cuisine and his drive to continue to improve his knowledge and skills – all which equate to an even better dining experience for customers. His staff is inspired, well-educated, and most importantly, they enjoy their jobs, just like Goro…