Sig’s Guide To: THE BEST SUSHI + SASHIMI (USA + Vancouver) 2012

A NOTE FROM SIGnatureThe single most popular post on SIGnature in 2011 was my “Guide to the Best Sushi + Sashimi”. Though many elements of gastronomy have been covered in this blog since its inception, I’d clearly underestimated the need for informed, cultured opinions on destinations as well as brands—our City Guides (NYC, Paris + London) rounded out the top four most popular postings for 2011.

As previously mentioned, these guides, born of my oft-requested list of recommendations for friends who knew of my travels to certain cities and enjoyed a lot of sushi, sashimi and sake, will kick off our 2012.

The most notable change this year is the addition of a few select ‘Readers’ Recommendations’’, restaurants that I have not personally dined in, but come highly recommended from others I trust. And Miami finally gets a slot!

So here it is, the 2012 edition of the Sig’s Guide to the Very Best Sushi + Sashimi Bars/Restaurants in the U.S. + Vancouver.

BOSTON
FuGaKyu
1280 Beacon Street
Brookline
(617) 734-1268
More of a generalist Japanese cuisine eatery, however the sushi gets solid marks (6/11)

O-Ya
9 East St.
Boston
(617) 654-9900
The best Boston has to offer (6/11)

LOS ANGELES
MATSUHISA
129 North La Cienega Blvd.
BH
(310) 659-9639
NOT what it once was, but still worth a visit.

MORI SUSHI
11500 West Pico Blvd.
LA
(310) 479-3939

Shibucho in LA.

SHIBUCHO
3114 W Beverly Blvd.
LA
(213) 387-8498
The wine and sushi may raise some eyebrows, but is all comes together perfectly!

SUSHI NOZAWA
11288 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City
Phone: (818) 508-7017
Omakase Style—it’s all up to the alleged mercurial chef (he has never been anything but hospitable to me, but there are stories to the contrary.) (6/11)

NEW YORK CITY
BLUE RIBBON SUSHI
119 Sullivan St.
SoHo NYC
(212) 343-0404
A longtime standby

MASA + BAR MASA
10 Columbus Circle
@ The Time Warner Center
Columbus Circle NYC
(212) 823-9800
MASA is Omakase Style; Bar Masa (which I prefer) is not. Hit the Bar—chill, stunning, same food, less tude. (6/11)

SUSHI AZABU
428 Greenwich St
TriBeca
(212) 274-0428
My highest recommendation + new NYC favorite!

SUSHI OF GARI
347 West 46th Street
Midtown NYC
(212) 957-0046

SUSHI YASUDA
204 East 43rd St.
Midtown NYC
(212) 972-1001
Simply perfect and rather exorbitantly priced (but well worth it).

Our First Readers’ Pick! 15 East in NYC

READERS’ NYC PICK:
15 EAST
15 East 15 St.
Union Square
(212) 647-0015
A number of readers + friends have said that an obvious + exceptional NYC omission on last year’s list was 15 East. I have eaten @ their sister restaurant, Tocqueville, on any number of occasions and always found it to be sublime + sumptuous. As such, I find it easy to believe that 15 East is also exceptional.

UPDATE: To celebrate the release of the 2012 Sig Sushi + Sashimi list I had lunch for one @ 15 East. Lunch service is a brief window with seating from only 12noon to 2pm—by 3 o’clock I was closing down the place. Lunch also seems like a good little secret. Even Masa-san co-owner/sushi master and Vito the maitre d’/server said lunch is a simple affair at a leisurely pace. The food? Crazy, insane! Honestly, I was one of the single best meals I’ve ever had—anywhere. The daytime atmosphere was casual and convivial—I had rather loquacious sushi bar neighbors to my left, and Masa himself was far chattier then one might suspect. Then there was the inevitable, the check, at first glance it seemed pricey, but when I thought back on the fish consumed and sake imbibed, it all seemed incredibly fair for 2+ hours of unadulterated gastronomic pleasure.

NOTABLE NYC OMISSIONS:
JEWEL BAKO: Over rated to say the least + the tuna tartar looks and tastes like what I would presume two-day old cat food does.

NOBU: I think the world of Nobu, Drew, Meir, Richie and Bob—certainly what they have achieved is nothing shy of mind boggling—however 25+ locations diminishes what Nobu once was. Still fun and reliable, and Fifty-Seven is a great business lunch spot, nonetheless it is still a chain restaurant.

OMEN: Was on last years list, now it’s off. It maybe still be one of Karl Lagerfeld’s favorite haunts, but it’s just not what it once was.

MIAMI
Personally, I have consistently been underwhelmed with sushi in Miami (and FLA on the whole), which is iconic since the entire state is a peninsula. As such, both of the restaurants listed are “Readers’ Picks’. Zuma comes from young Snowbird friend with a rather discriminating palate.

READERS’ MIAMI PICKS:
ZUMA
270 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami
(305) 577-0277

TONI’S
1208 Washington Ave
Miami Beach
(305) 673-9368

PORTLAND
RESTAURANT MURATA
200 Southwest Market St # P105
Portland
(503) 227-0080

BAMBOO SUSHI
310 Southeast 28th Avenue
Portland
(503) 232-5255

SABURU
1667 Southeast Bybee Boulevard
Portland
(503) 236-4237
A locals favourite, always a long line, more American style sushi rolls (e.g. BIG) (6/11)

SAN FRANCISCO
INO
22 Peace Plaza # 510
Pac Heights
(415) 922-3121

Kiss Seafood in SF. Mackerel w/ miso broth.

KISS SEAFOOD
700 Laguna St
Pac Heights
(415) 474-2866
People rave, you will too. (6/11)

MURASAKI:
211 Clement St
Richmond
(415) 668-7317
Exceptional fish, great chef, not fancy. (6/11)

OKINA
776 Arguello Boulevard
Richmond
(415) 387-8882
Wonderful fish, odd hours, very small place, really not fancy. (6/11)

READERS’ SAN FRANCISCO PICK:
EBISU
1283 9th Ave
Sunset
415-566-1770
Again, like 15 East in NYC, a number of friends in SF just raved about Ebisu, which apparently has been around forever. Again, I’ve not been, but it comes highly recommended.

SEATTLE
KISAKU
2101 North 55th
Seattle (Wallingford)
(206) 545-9050
Tops everyone’s Seattle list (6/11)

NISHINO
3130 East Madison St
Seattle (Madison Park)
(206) 322-5800

OTOTO SUSHI
7 Boston Street
Seattle (Queen Anne)
(206) 691-3838

READERS’ SEATTLE PICKS:
As with the other readers’ picks, I have not been, but friends there say they are both among the city’s best.

Chiso
3520 Fremont Ave N
Seattle (Fremont)
(206) 632-3430

Shiro’s
2401 2nd Ave
Seattle (Belltown)
(206) 443-9844

VANCOUVER
AJISAI SUSHI BAR
2081 West 42nd Ave.,
Vancouver
(604) 266-1428
Intimate and not over priced. (6/11)

Tojo’s in Vancouver

TOJO’S SUSHI RESTAURANT
1133 West Broadway
Vancouver
(604) 872-8050
Hands down the best Vancouver has to offer. (6/11)

SIGnature Archive: THE BEST SUSHI + SASHIMI 2011

About SIGnature

As a commentator and influencer, Aaron “Sig” Sigmond writes and speaks about male-positioned (often prestige) brands well before they hit the mainstream media and consumers—including those selected below. Sig, who coined the phrase, “Because Style Never Goes out of Fashion” as the tagline for his 1990’s men’s fashion periodical Dossier-For Everyman, is considered to be a true arbiter of good taste.
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