Radio Anago

Warm miso scallops

Uni flight – Hokaido and Santa Barbara

Fluke sashimi special

Salad Handroll

Interior

**** (4 stars)

I held off going to Radio Anago because early reviews said it was very loud, and I want to have a conversation over a meal. But the sound has been lowered to appropriate levels and, as my server put it, “We’re now the restaurant we intended to be.”

And it’s a good restaurant. If you want sushi, and don’t want to sit in a bright space or at a sushi bar, Radio Anago is what you’re looking for. Lighting is subdued, it’s a surprisingly intimate space, and just quite different from other sushi restaurants.

That said, you’re not going to have the best sushi of your life here. A few years ago, this might have been the best sushi in Chicago, but a lot has happened in the past year or two, with impressive omakase experiences opening seemingly every week. So there are lots of higher end sushi offerings, but if you’re looking for an intimate place to have good sushi, Radio Anago is probably the best choice.

Radio Anago
226 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL
60654
(312) 796-3316
https://www.yelp.com/biz/radio-anago-chicago

SUSHISAMBA – Las Vegas

El Topo

Peruvian sea scallops

Kanpachi, yellowtail and yellowtail ceviche

Pumpkin spice old fashioned for Thanksgiving!

Interior

**** (4 stars)

Very good sushi with a slight Peruvian spin, such as the sauces used for the sashimi preparations. Fish quality was good, and service was friendly. Chill vibe.

SUSHISAMBA – Las Vegas
3327 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV
89109
(702) 607-0700
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sushisamba-las-vegas-las-vegas

Deep Blue

Interior

Menu

Chirashi bowl

**** (4 stars)

This place has surprisingly decent sushi for an airport. The interior decor is pleasant; and it’s arranged into two bars, one where the emphasis is drinking, the other for dining. There are also some tables. And of course the mandatory televisions.

All the sushi we had was good, if not cheap (it is, after all, an airport). Be warned, though, that the crudos don’t really match their descriptions (shishito peppers became jalapenos, ingredients were missing) and the ones we tried were both topped with unmentioned olive oil.

Service is pleasant but leisurely, so this is a good choice if you have plenty of time.

Deep Blue
John F Kennedy International Airport
Terminal 5
Jamaica, NY 11464
(866) 508-3558
https://www.yelp.com/biz/deep-blue-jamaica

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa

Toro hand roll

Yellowtail, scallop, snapper, sea bass

Albacore and salmon

Tuna sashimi

Exterior

Interior

***** (5 stars)

I was afraid this might be all celebrity chef smoke and mirrors, but it was just really great fish quality, really great rice quality, and some subtle sauces coming together to create a fantastic experience.

We went at lunchtime and were lucky to walk in and get a table, as we soon realized the tiny 40-seat space almost always has a line.

We had the Nozawa omakase, which took us from edamame and sashimi through ten pieces of wonderful nigiri, and ended with two superb hand rolls. The standouts were the amazing scallop nigiri (which was the day’s special) and the two hand rolls. Normally handrolls aren’t a favorite of mine because of the high ratio of nori to stuffing, but these were wonderful. The nori was paper thin and had been crisped somehow, and the warm rice and cool stuffing made an amazing combination.

This was just absolutely great sushi. And at $37, the lunch Nozawa omakase is well worth it.

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa
212 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 276-6900
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sugarfish-by-sushi-nozawa-beverly-hills

Hamasaku

Green tea pudding

Sashimi (second round of omakase)

Sashimi

Corn custard

Oysters

Interior

Exterior

***** (5 stars)

There are so many sushi places to choose from on the west side of town, but some are over-priced without delivering a truly high-end experience, and others deliver the experience but only if you let the chef boss you around (eat this like this, don’t put soy sauce on that, etc.)

Hamasaku avoids these pitfalls. The atmosphere is laid back, and the price is great.

I was very impressed with the omakase. There are two basic options, a mostly cooked version, and a sushi option. We opted for the latter, and it was a great choice.

Your meal includes an oyster appetizer, corn custard, two separate plates of seven assorted nigiri (14 total), a complex miso seafood soup and dessert. The nigiri was really excellent, with a great variety of interesting fish, and deftly prepared. At $65 for the complete meal, it was a great deal.

We also opted for the $20 optional sashimi course. It was good, too, but frankly it was superfluous, given all the other excellent fish on the nigiri courses.

Note that the wine list is much more extensive than the version on their website.

The place is a bit tough to find, tucked into the inside corner of a strip mall. It’s simply but nicely decorated. It seats more people than you would guess, but even when full the noise level is fine.

Hamasaku
11043 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 479-7636
https://www.yelp.com/biz/hamasaku-los-angeles

Yojisan Sushi

Complimentary dessert

Salmon skin roll

Chirashi

Exterior

Salad and soup

**** (4 stars)

This is a good sushi restaurant offering fairly standard fare in the heart of Beverly Hills. If the prices seem a bit higher than other places it might be due more to the rent than anything extraordinary about it, but the fish is all fresh, and the service is friendly and efficient. There is also a small outdoor seating area that is quite pleasant, an unusual feature in this area.

Yojisan Sushi
260 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(424) 245-3799
https://www.yelp.com/biz/yojisan-sushi-beverly-hills

Saké

Dragon egg

Dragon egg

Short rib

House salad

Bass grouper

Dining area

Beef tataki and popcorn shrimp

Kingfish

Sashimi appetizer

Sake wall

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This very stylish restaurant in the Rocks is surprisingly large, yet intimate, with romantic lighting levels, and a modern club type soundtrack.

We had the “Chef’s New Classics” tasting menu, a mixture of raw and cooked dishes that included fish and meat. They were all good, but I actually preferred the sashimi appetizer we also ordered, as the fish was of excellent quality, and my preference runs to sashimi.

The Dragon egg is an interesting dessert option. It is presented at the table with an interesting flourish, as warm sauce breaks open the candy egg to reveal the inner Dessert.

Saké
12 Argyle St
The Rocks
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 9259 5656
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sak%C3%A9-sydney

Tanoshii Sushi Mike’s

Escolar and sauteed shiitake mushrooms

Madai, hamachi, otoro

Seared salmon with Italian seasoning and wasabi

Striped bass in ponzu chili oil

Seared tuna with truffle

Fish and chip

Tempura

Exterior

Sushi bar

**** (4 stars)

I keep looking for a world class sushi restaurant in Chicago. It seems a city of this size should have one, but I’ve tried all the likely contenders, and still keep looking. Tanoshii is another in that list. It is good, but not great.

We had the full omakase, which is how I judge all high-end sushi places. At our request it consisted of mostly sashimi. The omakase style places an array of fish on a plate and then adds sauces and seasoning. Here are the courses we had:

Tempura: this was my companion’s favorite course, which says something about the other courses, because she is a sashimi lover, not a tempura lover. We asked for it as our appetizer because of raves here on Yelp, and it was indeed a nice, light tempura preparation, but it will not change your life.

Fish and Chips: essentially a spicy tuna tartare, spread onto a wonton at tableside, it was fine, but better without the wonton.

Maguro Truffle: tuna shaped into a rose and topped with truffle oil. It was good, but I’ve had this dish elsewhere served with crunchy bits which really elevate it above this level.

Striped bass in ponzu chili sauce: this was the first of several sashimi courses that had a certain sameness. As my companion put it, “It’s drowned in oil.” In fact all of the sashimi was quite oily. Oil was even poured onto the rolls. The bass was surprisingly tough.

Seared salmon with Italian seasoning: this was an interesting flavor combination, with a distinct oregano flavor, but again, very oily.

Madai, hamachi, otoro: this was a nigiri course, and was one of the best–simple, flavorful, with excellent quality fish. Since this is what many diners will choose, it is the reason for my four star review.

Escolar wrapped around sauteed shiitake mushrooms: this was the best thing we had. It is an off-menu roll, but you can order it, and you should. It was unctuous and perfectly balanced, and by far the most complex item we sampled. True, it is also oily, but with a purpose, and if it is the only oily thing you have, it is a great choice.

The omakase came to $66 per person, which seems very reasonable to me. I would not have it again because of the oily repetitiveness of it, but I might return to Tanoshii for nigiri and tha mushroom roll.

Tanoshii Sushi Mike’s
720 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 207-8894
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tanoshii-sushi-mikes-chicago

Katana

Interior

Sushi bar and Chef Robert Juan

Amuse bouche

Kanpachi

Sake with Fuji apple and osetra

Hirame

Hamachi with garlic chive blossom

Sea breem with finger lime

Salmon with smoked trout roe

Hokkaido scallop

Flaming the prawn

Red Argentinian prawn

Otoro and big eye tuna

Big eye toro hand roll

***** (5 stars)

Chicago has some excellent sushi restaurants, although curiously even the best haven’t ever matched the top places in New York or Los Angeles. Katana, an LA transplant, aims to change that.

The restaurant is large yet very spacious, and gorgeously decorated. Both table and sushi bar seating is available, and food from the sushi bar and the robata grill is available everywhere.

But there is one special experience that is only available in the back corner. The omakase sushi dinner is served here, prepared by Executive Chef Robert Juan, who acts as both chef and host. And most special of all is the table attached to the sushi bar, where parties of three or four can enjoy a hybrid of conventional table seating and intimate interaction with the chef. It’s a winning concept.

The omakase is “chef’s choice” but is individually tailored to your preferences and the number of courses you’d like. We chose ten courses and put ourselves in chef’s hands for a very special experience.

Our favorite courses were salmon rolled around fuji apple and topped with osetra caviar; “smoked” salmon that was actually fresh salmon topped with smoked trout roe and bourbon smoked sesame seeds; and raw scallop nigiri topped with osetra caviar. These courses were definitely world class.

There’s a nice wine list with plenty of Champagnes that perfectly match sushi, plus an extensive list of sakes.

Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive.

Katana is a great addition to Chicago’s Japanese dining offerings, particularly in the back corner.

Katana
339 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 877-5544
http://www.yelp.com/biz/katana-chicago-2