The period in the California roll are numbered. Do you really would like to eat a run-of-the-mill maki roll stuffed with flimsy strands of tasteless cucumber, dried-out imitation crab, and mushy avocado? Ordering one at any respectable sushi near me now is like seeking buttered pasta at a four-star Italian restaurant.
Today, the American palate is much more sophisticated than before, and for that reason, sushi’s popularity continues to soar. Ingredients once considered too difficult to get are now commonplace at sushi restaurants from Manhattan to Minneapolis. Just one peek with the recent documentary Jiro Hopes for Sushi, which follows one of the most respected sushi masters, and it’s clear why diners love eating from raw clams to rice topped with precious caviar. Sushi is not only healthy, it’s also the cuisine preferred by Hollywood celebrities. Our choice of seafood has never been better.
However it wasn’t always by doing this, says Tim Zagat, who together with his wife, Nina, founded the Zagat Restaurant Survey in the 1980s. That which was once considered exotic is now everyday fare for young children. Zagat included the ratings of 34 Japanese restaurants all over the country in 1990, these days you will find 221 for the reason that category.
“The notion of eating raw fish? A lot of people thought that will be a fraternity prank,” says Zagat. “Now there’s a sushi bar on every corner.”
At Brushstroke in New York City, chef David Bouley collaborated using the Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka, Japan, to make tasting menus that let diners experience a variety of flavors. One moment you may take bites from a chirashi bowl, a mound of rice topped with shimmering bits of sashimi, and the next you’ll dip a tender lobster tail into white miso sauce.
Our list of the greatest sushi restaurants includes a variety of options. In Atlanta, the favorite spot Tomo serves simple Japanese snapper with shiso as well as a squeeze of lemon, or for those who aren’t purists, a well known spicy scallop roll is necessary order. Another favorite of ours includes Urasawa in La, where the dining experience is equal parts theater and art.
As the cost may be steep to have some of the country’s best sushi, around $500 for lunch, our list below is targeted at all budgets, with every experience well worth the trip.
Tough to believe there was clearly ever a time when mainstream America recoiled at the idea of ingesting raw fish. Today, while even heartland supermarket delis stock salmon rolls, informed diners belly as much as Japanese bars for omakase-not only in the best sushi restaurants in L.A. and greatest sushi restaurants in New York, but all over the country-putting themselves within their chef’s hands to have an interactive, often open-ended feast. Where once date night could have meant getting cozy more than a pepperoni pie (“It’s the best pizza in America,” he explained as he wiped some cheese from his chin), today it may mean settling in for an evening of non-stop, Edomae-style nigiri (emphasizing local species and warm vinegared rice) fueled by junmai daiginjo. If you’re especially lucky, it will likely be at one of these extraordinary shrines to the art of Japanese seafood. Follow Time Out USA on Facebook; sign up to time Out USA newsletter
Best sushi restaurants in America
Uchi/Uchiko, Austin, TX
Tyson Cole swears he didn’t set out to transform the Austin dining scene when he opened Uchi in the 1920s bungalow 12 years back; he simply wanted the “creative freedom to acquire other people as enslaved by Japanese food when i was.” But he did both, becoming the first American itamae to get a James Beard Award for the best Chef and opening a bigger but no less warmly chic spinoff, Uchiko, as you go along. Despite the expansion, there’s no 85devxpky for pretension: for those his technical mastery and cutting-edge proclivities, Cole’s menus change often and range widely enough to appeal to novices along with connoisseurs, who are able to compare, say, three different types of sea urchin while their warier companions sample tempura-fried Brie alongside “clean, crisp, light” sakes and white wines.
Photograph: Courtesy Uchi/Erica Wilkins
Sushi Nakazawa, New York City
Last we saw Daisuke Nakazawa, he was toiling over egg custard as being the modest apprentice within the film Jiro Hopes for Sushi, humbled with the rigors of the 11-year stint under the world’s most distinguished sushi chef, Jiro Ono. The pupil has emerged as being the teacher around this sleek West Village sushi bar. Whereas his master was stoic, Nakazawa can be a jokester who places a live squirming shrimp on the plate exclusively for a laugh. But his pranks don’t undercut the seriousness of his nigiri, like pike mackerel, which has a gentle brininess which gives approach to unctuous maritime fat while you chew, and wild yellowtail from Hokkaido, with fatty tails that tantalizingly overhang rice so tenderly packed, it will fall to pieces should you looked at it funny. At times, delicately flavored creatures like scallops or fluke are outstripped by pungent wasabi or yuzu. Although the meal at Sushi Nakazawa is sort of a wave, its gentle lulls rendering the crests a lot more thrilling.
O Ya, Boston, MA
Though Boston was hardly devoid of Japanese restaurants in 2007, it had never seen anything that can match the arrival of this rustic-industrial Leather District hideaway. From needlefish sashimi served with the deep-fried head and backbone to tomalley aioli-topped lobster-caviar nigiri, every last luxury presented by chef Tim Cushman was as exquisite since it was exotic (as were the beverage pairings his wife Nancy, as the city’s first sake sommelier, oversaw). And in addition they remain. At 17-20 courses, omakase at O Ya fetches a compact fortune, but when you marvel the right path through striped horse mackerel in leche de tigre or even the famous foie gras with chocolate-balsamic kabayaki and raisin-cocoa pulp, the tab will shrink in comparison to the blissful memories being made.
Nodoguro, Portland, OR
Nodoguro is open Thursday through Sunday for lunch only, excepting the occasional Wednesday. There’s just one seating per evening down the chef’s counter, with room for 14 patrons at many. The “regular” yet ever-changing farm-to-fork Japanese menu-built around such whimsical themes as Twin Peaks (sample course for David Lynch devotees: “Cod inside the Dashi Percolator”)-runs 9 to 11 courses; on even-more-freewheeling http://locationsnearmenow.net/sushi-restaurants-near-me/, the amount rises to nearly 20. Just doing the math gives you a sense of how truly special itamae Ryan Roadhouse’s tiny yet mighty pop-up-turned-permanent sensation is. But only a taste of his sesame-pressed trout sashimi or uni-salmon roe hand rolls, coupled with premium sake or cool local boutique wines, can actually drive the idea home.
Photograph: Courtesy Nodoguro/Ilana Hamilton
Shuko, New York City
At this particular 20-seat sushi counter from rock-star chefs Jimmy Lau and Nick Kim-formerly of Neta-a very nice $135 prompts an omakase (chef's selection) of exceptionally made edomaezushi served in its purest form, each lightly lacquered with soy and nestled atop a slip of warm, loosely packed rice. Luscious, marbled toro, a usually late-in-the-game cut affectionately known as the kobe beef from the sea, boldly arrives first, prior to sweet Spanish mackerel with barely-there shreds of young ginger or sea bream dabbed with plummy ume shiso. The cocksure shuffling, though initially jarring, is really a kick hiccup for your usual omakase beat, a winking reminder that, even with the purchase price hike, Shuko’s Lau and Kim haven’t completely shed their subtle sushi-dogma subversions.