A NOTE FROM SIGnature: The 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.
1280 Beacon Street
More of a generalist Japanese cuisine eatery, however the sushi gets solid marks (6/11)
9 East St.
The best Boston has to offer (6/11)
129 North La Cienega Blvd.
NOT what it once was, but still worth a visit.
11500 West Pico Blvd.
3114 W Beverly Blvd.
The wine and sushi may raise some eyebrows, but is all comes together perfectly!
11288 Ventura Blvd.
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.
A longtime standby
MASA + BAR MASA
10 Columbus Circle
@ The Time Warner Center
Columbus Circle NYC
MASA is Omakase Style; Bar Masa (which I prefer) is not. Hit the Bar—chill, stunning, same food, less tude. (6/11)
428 Greenwich St
My highest recommendation + new NYC favorite!
SUSHI OF GARI
347 West 46th Street
204 East 43rd St.
Simply perfect and rather exorbitantly priced (but well worth it).
READERS’ NYC PICK:
15 East 15 St.
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.
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:
270 Biscayne Blvd Way
1208 Washington Ave
200 Southwest Market St # P105
310 Southeast 28th Avenue
1667 Southeast Bybee Boulevard
A locals favourite, always a long line, more American style sushi rolls (e.g. BIG) (6/11)
22 Peace Plaza # 510
700 Laguna St
People rave, you will too. (6/11)
211 Clement St
Exceptional fish, great chef, not fancy. (6/11)
776 Arguello Boulevard
Wonderful fish, odd hours, very small place, really not fancy. (6/11)
READERS’ SAN FRANCISCO PICK:
1283 9th Ave
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.
2101 North 55th
Tops everyone’s Seattle list (6/11)
3130 East Madison St
Seattle (Madison Park)
7 Boston Street
Seattle (Queen Anne)
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.
3520 Fremont Ave N
2401 2nd Ave
AJISAI SUSHI BAR
2081 West 42nd Ave.,
Intimate and not over priced. (6/11)
TOJO’S SUSHI RESTAURANT
1133 West Broadway
Hands down the best Vancouver has to offer. (6/11)
SIGnature Archive: THE BEST SUSHI + SASHIMI 2011