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Thread: Destination Sushi recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Destination Sushi recommendations?

    I get to travel alot with work, and I try to pick my layovers based on where I want to eat and explore, so I'm looking for recommendations of "travel to worthy" sushi restaurants. Everyone has their favorites in their home town, so this needs to be somewhere you'd travel to, get a hotel room and make a weekend out of eating there.

    10 years ago a date took me to a little strip mall looking sushi place in LA called Matsuhisa. We had the Omakase at the bar with sake pairing and it was mind blowing. Sushi had been a novelty up till that point, and it was all soy soaked stuff i gulped down without tasting, and suddenly it was something to savor, and now it's something of an obsession.

    Nobu to me has become a chain. NY, Miami, Aspen, San Diego, Vegas, Bahamas, Milan, Doha, Dubai...the experience at each was consistent and good, but not "great".

    I've been recently eating at Nakazawa in NYC (going again this Saturday). I think it might be better than Matsuhisa but it's been 3 years since I was last there so I need to get back soon. It is 100% worth coming to NYC for! Trying to also get a seat at Sushi Seki in Hells Kitchen same weekend so I can do a back to back comparison. Was also invited to check out the new Akashi, so it might be a very interesting weekend.

    I went to NY's 15 East last winter and was one of the worst meals I've ever had. Our group stopped the omakase service with 4 pieces to go and just got our check to leave. Forget losing the star, I'm surprised Michelin still has them even in the guide!

    Masa NY is on the list, and I have a friend who invites me to his "business dinners" there, but schedules haven't lined up yet. Masa Vegas was pretty disappointing and I have not gone back.

    O-Ya NY was amazing (but Nakazawa was just a bit better)

    Ichimura Brushstroke is also on my NY list for next visit.

    In Philadelphia, the son of Fuji restaurant's owner just opened an omakase back room 7 seat bar (http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/t...Jesse-Ito.html) and it was excellent. Not worth traveling to Philly for via flight, but def. worth going through the effort of securing a reservation if you're close to the area or driving distance. It's only been open a month or so, so in 6months after he works out some kinks it's going to possibly be worth a flight to visit.

    Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo is top on my list, and I'm trying to do a Tokyo layover on a trip this fall.

    So, where else is there omakase Sushi I should buy a plane ticket to come experience?


  2. #2
    Senior Member alterwisser's Avatar
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    +1 on Nakazawa. Been 3x now and loved it every time. Never managed get a reservation at the bar though


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    Interesting fact that I recently found out as everyone knows Nakazawa from the Jiro's Dreams of Sushi documentary

    when I was at Jiro (Roppongi) a few months back, his son did mention to the diners that night that Nakazawa has been disowned by his father who was Nakazawa's master. They have no relations now.

    something to do with Nakazawa going to NY without consulting his master as Jiro had arranged for him to train/work with someone else in Seattle. They only found out after he moved to NY. They said something like he was chasing the money/fame and he is not as good as he thinks he is.


    Quote Originally Posted by alterwisser View Post
    +1 on Nakazawa. Been 3x now and loved it every time. Never managed get a reservation at the bar though

  4. #4
    Senior Member tienowen's Avatar
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    There 2 places to eat at north California. Once of them in SF the restaurant name hashirisf they have Kaiseki-style with sushi techniques. Another once in napa http://kenzonapa.com/ I heard the chef come from Japan with 3 star michelin. Also, at youtube couple video munchies show couple restaurant in US.


  5. #5
    Senior Member alterwisser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ynot1985 View Post
    Interesting fact that I recently found out as everyone knows Nakazawa from the Jiro's Dreams of Sushi documentary

    when I was at Jiro (Roppongi) a few months back, his son did mention to the diners that night that Nakazawa has been disowned by his father who was Nakazawa's master. They have no relations now.

    something to do with Nakazawa going to NY without consulting his master as Jiro had arranged for him to train/work with someone else in Seattle. They only found out after he moved to NY. They said something like he was chasing the money/fame and he is not as good as he thinks he is.
    That's quite the story.

    He might not be as good in their opinion, and Japanese culture, tradition and rituals probably play a role in how all of this played out, but I couldn't care less of I can get sushi that is outstanding (IMHO) here in NYC...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alterwisser View Post
    That's quite the story.

    He might not be as good in their opinion, and Japanese culture, tradition and rituals probably play a role in how all of this played out, but I couldn't care less of I can get sushi that is outstanding (IMHO) here in NYC...
    It's definitely a Japanese thing.. As someone living in the western world, changing jobs isn't that big of a deal but I guess to them it must have been

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by alterwisser View Post
    That's quite the story.

    He might not be as good in their opinion, and Japanese culture, tradition and rituals probably play a role in how all of this played out, but I couldn't care less of I can get sushi that is outstanding (IMHO) here in NYC...
    Well, 2 Nakazawa seatings since this post and it's like I ate at a totally different restaurant! Service all over the place, rice not sticky enough to stay together, rough cut fish not fitting and inconsistent size, even very "fishy" and unpleasant odors from several pieces. 4th time here (so pretty familiar with the process) and as usual asked for premium sake pairing...3 glasses in (and getting none of the usual explanation of what each glass was) I asked our waiter how often they change their sakes as previous tasting included a rose like starter we all loved..."oh, thats on the premium tasting menu"...me: "I think theres been a mistake, we ordered the premium tasting"...waiter "well your on the 3rd glass now and theres not much difference, you might as well just finish the standard tasting"...me: " no, lets just start over with the full premium and just charge us for these three glasses"...waiter: "sorry, like I said, youve already started it so we can't change it". Was actually speechless for a minute!!!! Bathroom was an absolute mess with paper on the floor, water on mirror...given theres only 1 bathroom and its in the middle of the restaurant, theres no excuse for not having an attendant checking on it after every use! Whats a bathroom attendant gojng to cost, $100 a nite? We're paying $250-$300 per person for dinner but have to use a bathroom you'd find in a subway?

    Our 4th experience was so bad, we chalked it up to the recent snow NYC got and went back 2 weeks later. Sad to say, service was back to the attentive norm, but there was no improvement in what we were there for; the food. Not sure whats going on behind the counter but Jiro was right, Nakazawa has no business running a restaurant, he just doesnt have the experience/resources/knowledge to run a successful restaurant. He may be able to produce some great sushi, but he can't do it consistently!

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  9. #9
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    Park restaurant in Westmount..Just west of downtown Montreal (Canada). Prices are sky high and the service is hit or miss but the food (read:fish) itself is simply astounding.

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    I know this is an older post but hopefully still has some value for someone, i have been blessed to eat at a lot of nice restaurants in my time ( i have picked off every 3 Michelin star restaurant in america other than the french laundry, but hey i got per se and thats basically the same ha) there is only one restaurant that i make reservations for everytime i go to to NYC. SOTO!!!!! bite for bite this is the best food i have ate period.stop.end. the restaurant lacks decor and the service is cold and he still holds 2 Michelin star for complete and utter culinary dominance. Sotohiro himself is the only one that makes the sushi (nigiri only) and he has 2 guys that work along side him doing playful takes on japenense sushi bar food and rolls , order it all, minus the rolls..(well you could get rolls but come on now!) I have been to Jiro along with Ryugin and Nariwasa in Japan ( the later two are not specifically sushi but do serve it there in a very highly awarded environment..) and Soto, bite for bite still takes the cake for me.

    if ur ever in boston as well... Cafe Sushi in Cambridge is fantastic.. and the original O-Ya is here but i assume much like the NYC version is over priced but delicious.


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