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Raw fish isn't necessarily the first item we'd be inclined to eat from a food truck, but the newest presence in Los Angeles' growing food truck fleet hopes to change that. The Fishlips Sushi truck, a brainchild of two longtime Japanese restaurateurs, has spent the last few weeks serving up sushi and tempura that's both affordable and tasty. So far so good: as near as we can tell, there has yet to be even a single report of food poisoning.
The truck hangs out mostly on the westside, but has been known to make culturally-appropriate trips out to downtown's Little Tokyo. There are usually two locations a day, one for lunch between 11:30am-2:00pm and one for dinner starting around 7pm and going around midnight. By the end of August they expect to be serving sushi 7 days a week.
From the owners of popular Asian fusion eatery Oya, Sei has a standard sushi-and-sake menu along with some out-there twists like a Caesar roll (romaine, crunchy tofu, anchovies and Caesar dressing) and a fish-and-chips roll (flounder, malt vinegar, wasabi tartar and fries). French fries in sushi! Count us in. Meanwhile, those tired of the whole avant garde sushi trend can snack on Asian pork tacos or sake-cured cod.
The 50-seat restaurant is looking appropriately chic for its Penn Quarter locale, with gold leaf, mellow amber lighting and white ostrich damask classing the place up.
We know high-end sushi in a lounge-y setting isn't exactly breaking news for the DC dining scene (see Café Asia, Geisha, and a bunch of others), but the chefs at Sei hail from Adams Morgan standby Perry's, so this one arrives with some street cred.
David LaHuta is scouting the Miami dining scene for us this week.
There's no shortage of fancy cafés in look-at-me-now South Beach, but if it's sushi you're after then you'll have to stray from the crowds that mob glitzy Ocean Drive.
And why not? You've already sampled Miami's best Cuban sandwich so it's high time to indulge in some fresh fish on chic Collins Avenue. If you're looking for the best place to sip sake and munch on maguro then look no further than Kung Fu Sushi.
This week the city welcomes another chain, and nope, it ain't Starbucks, Applebee's or Chevy's. (Thank God.)
It's Sakae Sushi, a Singaporean chain that's brand new to NYC. Although there are 63 in Singapore alone, it's a new breed here, with a cool 97-foot sushi conveyor belt that lets you grab what you like as it moves on by. Tableside hot water taps mean no more dealing with lukewarm tea or slow refills from waiters.
Menu items (from the space-age interactive computer menus!) are above standard too, with fresh fish delivered everyday. Sure, Sakae isn't going to knock out Nobu, but it promises to be a cool, casual sushi alternative perfect for picky New Yorkers.
Unpretentious world class sushi, that is what Mio Sushi in Portland's North West neighborhood is all about. Sonny Kim, a well-known Portland restaurant man and owner of Mio, is the driving force behind this neighborhood haunt.
The sushi pizza and any of rolls are the main draws on the menu, though there are plenty of options to satisfy those scared of raw fish -- bento boxes, noodles, and miso soup.
Prepare to write your name on the chalkboard and wait outside for a table most weekend nights, as this location does get quite full. However, the staff politely moves people in and out and soon enough you will be filling out your order on a paper menu with a pencil.
While Mio has six locations it is the 23rd Ave blue house that serves the best sushi. More good news? The Portland street car can take you to Mio, just ride the car to the Northwest and get off at the stop before Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital.
Eat-n-Sleep / Ace Hotel / Sushi / Belltown / → All Tags
As much as we all love to dodge predictability on the road, there's something so wonderfully cozy about being design-savvy, pampered and well fed. Just being in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood will get you close. But to really get hip and sexy, grab some top notch sushi, thoroughly explore the bar and sleep it off in an artistically attuned hotel.
We're going to let you in on a little sushi secret today, Umi Sushi, on NYC's Upper East Side. The interiors won't excite you, but the menu's delicious, and the weekly special rolls never cease to delight. A tip: The snow ball roll (salmon and avocado topped with super white tuna) seems to melt upon mouth entry, and the spicy tuna's also delicious.
The staff is patient and the serving sizes are generous, just be warned not to order the fountain drinks (always completely flat) and avoid the basement bathroom. Don't worry about reservations or a wait: it seems that no matter how crowded it gets, they always manage to make "5 minutes" mean just that.
· Umi Sushi [MenuPages]
Restaurants / Sushi / Drinking / → All Tags
It 's more than a rumor now: über-trendy London restaurant Zuma is opening a branch in Hong Kong, soon. With the "authentic but not traditional" Japanese cuisine due to hit Hong Kong taste buds in spring this year, it gives even more of us a chance to sample this hit combination of izakaya-style share-a-plate dining.
The new Zuma will include a bit of everything: seating will accommodate 145 people in a combination of sushi and robata grill counters (where you can watch to be certain nothing gets in your meal that shouldn't), an outdoor terrace, regular inside tables and two small private dining rooms. We want to know if the private rooms come with karaoke machines, because otherwise we aren't going. Or maybe just knowing that the new Zuma will also have a resident sake kikizakeshi (some important guy who knows a lot about alcohol) to serve up the best sake will get us there after all.
· 5-Star Staff Needed at Zuma [Classified Post]
There are a few things you can find on every New York block. The sushi restaurant isn't one of them, but there are more than enough to go around in the city. The reliable ones are harder to find. Enter Hane, on 38th and Third Avenue, and its magical rolls. The midtown market is competitive, but Hane blows its neighbors out of the water with super-fresh sushi.
Now Hane has opened up a branch on First Avenue and 20th Street, and it could be the best in the neighborhood. Judging from these brand new pictures of its opening night, the First Avenue location has a lot going for it, including a much sleeker design than the cozy uptown location. Mmm...lobster rolls.
· Hane Sushi [Official Site]
New York City / Restaurants / Food / Sushi / → All Tags
Even hardcore sushi freaks sometimes have those nights when a slab of raw fish won't quite hit the spot. On those off days, vegetarian sushi rolls can be the ultimate comfort for the confused eater, but only if they're done right. And they're not always done right. There's nothing sadder than a plain hunk of asparagus stuffed into a crumbling, starchy cylinder. Unless you're eating on an upset stomach and need something that flavorless.
When in NYC and craving some of the above mentioned eats, try out Sushi D in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, where they serve up a couple of the most thoughtfully executed veggie rolls we've found in the city so far. The 'Greene' roll is asparagus, sweet tofu, watercress and cucumber, all rolled up into the usual rice cocoon, and it's perfection. If you are in the mood for fish there (and the majority of the menu involves it), you can't do better than the 'D' roll: eel and tempura flakes topped with avocado, masago, and a drop of teriyaki sauce.
Rolls at Sushi D will run you from $3 all the way up to $10 for the fanciest of the lot.
New York City / Restaurants / Food / Sushi / → All Tags
Anyone out there visit or order from a particular neighborhood restaurant so much that it starts to get embarrassing? You know: you can't stay away, but you wince every time they say "welcome back" or complete your order for you? Yeah, we used to have that sort of relationship with a sushi spot called Tokyo Bay before we moved, so we're happy to see it got a nod from Ben Leventhal (of Eater fame) on Gridskipper's recent sushi poll.
Tokyo Bay is located at 183 Duane Street, firmly in Tribeca, but more Financial District in spirit. The atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious, which is why we used to love shuffling over there in our sweats so much. Leventhal says it's a favorite among Nobu staffers, and he recommends the Omakase menu. Personally, we could go for some of their tuna sashimi right about now. Bonus: Tokyo Bay is open for lunch as well as dinner, which is relatively rare when it comes to reputable sushi restaurants in NYC.
· Best Sushi in NYC by the Best Palates of Our Generation [Gridskipper]
Food / Food Trends / Restaurants / New York City / Sushi / → All Tags
This summer saw the opening of the third big box Asian mega-restaurant in New York City. Buddakan and Morimoto opened at the beginning of the year, and now Japonais has joined them. A Chicago import serving sushi and French-Japanese fusion, it's not quite as big or as flashy as the other two, but that's decidedly a good thing.
Enjoying these food barns is a matter of personal taste more than anything else, though it's hard to deny the skill it takes to serve 1,000 people in a night without a total kitchen meltdown. We visited the other week, and we liked two things in particular at Japonais: The Eight Samurai, which is eight different kinds of tartare, including two kinds of tuna, shrimp, and scallops. We also liked Le Quack Japonais, which is a cross between Peking Duck and Mu Shu; you get to make your own little duck burritos with fresh scallions and mango chutney.
It's not a super authentic Asian experience, or even a revelatory one, but who cares when you get to make your own duck burritos?
[Image via ronnyg/Flickr]