Sushi has become a favorite of many, from the East Coast to the West Coast with each Japanese-themed restaurant offering its own take on it.
For those who are still uninitiated to the culinary delight, sushi is a Japanese food with cooked vinegar-based rice combined with raw uncooked fish, such as tuna, as well as vegetables and tropical fruits. It is served with condiments including wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger while its garnishes are usually made from daikon.
There is nothing wrong with sushi chains like Ra Sushi they are great places to eat good quality sushi, but not all sushi restaurants serve world-class sushi that will make the original sushi makers in 8th century Japan proud. We’re featuring the top ten sushi restaurants in the United States that will make you come back for more again and again. Don’t worry dieters – sushi is considered healthy!
Morimoto (Philadelphia, PA)
Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto has a space disco vibe with its neon lights, high ceilings, and flashy décor. But look beyond the vibe to truly appreciate the food – the infamous fugu with its potential to kill with its venom; the keiji salmon with its exquisite taste; and the firefly squid a la carte with its exotic texture. You can splurge on the seven-course meal of the chef’s tasting to savor the full range of Morimoto’s Iron Chef-level culinary skills.
NAOE (Miami, FL)
When in NAOE, you have to eat the nigiri especially the one made with blackbelly rosefish; nigiri is susi rice with a bit of wasabi and a neta (i.e., topping) draped beautifully over it with the neta usually seafood like tuna, octopus, and sea eel. You have the opportunity to enjoy the full-on omakase experience from the beautiful bento boxes to the ethereal nigiri. You are also dining in a restaurant rated 5-star by the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide.
Nodoguro (Portland, OR)
Ryan Roadhouse’s sushi restaurant can only seat 14 patrons at a time and only opens Thursday to Sunday for dinner only – and only in one seating per day. Such exclusivity is warranted considering Ryan’s farm-to-fork dishes served in 9 to 11, sometimes as many as 20, courses. You must try the uni-salmon roe hand rolls and the sesame-pressed trout sashimi served with premium sake for the best sushi meal this side of the country.
O Ya (Boston, MA)
Oh, yeah! Such is the common exclamation made by diners at O Ya, a restaurant led by chef Tim Cushman, thanks to its extraordinary take on the Japanese classic. Ask for the needlefish sashimi with the deep-fried backbone and head and the nigiri with tomalley aioli-topped lobster and caviar combo. Your O Ya 17-20 course omakase experience will be worth the small fortune you paid for it.
Sasabune (Honolulu, HI)
While you may have zero say in the sushi served by Seiji Kumagawa, your palate is in good hands. Your 12-13 course omasake experience at Sasabune – barring any food allergies on your part – will be akin to ascending sushi heaven and never wanting to come back to Earth and its inferior sushi again. You have to eat the cool-warm nigiri, abalone, and opah, if and when these are served.
Shuko (New York City)
New York City’s culinary landscape has been radically changed with the entry of Shuko, a creation of Nick Kim and Jimmy Laus. Your $135 omasake experience will likely include edomaezushi with its light swish of soy and luscious rice; toro, a marbled delight known among patrons as the sea’s Kobe beef; and the sweet Spanish mackerel with just the right kick from the young ginger shreds, among others.
Sushi Nakazawa (New York City)
When it comes to the sushi lottery, the Big Apple has won big time! Daisuke Nakazawa, who trained for 11 years under sushi genius Jiro Ono, has finally come into his own with his West Village sushi bar. Your dining experience here will be highlighted by his exquisite nigiri with a gentle brininess seamlessly transitioning to the texture of marine fat as well as the wild yellowtail resting on a bed of luscious rice.
Sushi Tadokoro (San Diego, CA)
Don’t be fooled by the bare storefront of Sushi Tadokoro because its sushi selection is the best in San Diego, if not the entire California. You have to try the Japanese sardines, barracuda, engawa (i.e., a halibut fin muscle with the right amount of fat), and clams. Your meal should start with sake and fried smelt to wake up your appetite and then finish it with a bowl of zenzai – you can trust us on this.
Uchi/Uchiko (Austin, TX)
In the midst of meat country is Uchi, a restaurant ran by Tyson Cole who wanted the creative freedom to spread his addiction to Japanese food, not to transform the dining scene in the city, when he first opened it. But he achieved both with his fast-changing menu, cutting-edge tendencies, and technical mastery of the art of sushi-making. You can dine on three types of sea urchins, tempura-fried Brie, and sake as well as white wines, among others.
Urasawa (Los Angeles, California)
While Los Angeles considers sushi restaurants as pretty common, you cannot call Urasawa as such. Chef Hiroyuki Urasawa and his assistant prepare a 20-plus course meal ranging from mackerel sashimi to snapper and toro. Be sure to book in advance as he does not accept walk-in diners.