Special Report

The Best Sushi Bars in America

Source: Courtesy of Bamboo Sushi

Bamboo Sushi
> Location: Portland, OR

When Bamboo Sushi opened in Portland in 2008, it became the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Today, it has four Portland locations along with ones in Lake Oswego, Denver, the Bay Area, and Seattle. It’s also certifiably excellent, with menu standouts including four types of crispy rice; small plates including chicken karaage and king salmon carpaccio with white truffle ponzu; signature rolls including the Full Circle with spicy albacore, tempura-fried green onion, seared tuna, watercress, crispy onions, and citrus ginger dressing; and kitchen items including a popular wagyu burger topped with caramelized onion, Tillamook white cheddar, and momiji aïoli.

Source: Courtesy of Hiroki

> Location: Philadelphia, PA

Overseen by executive chef Hiroki Fujiyama, Philadelphia’s Hiroki is a small, elegant restaurant with a large, round wooden door, a handful of tables, and a counter where diners are treated to an omakase-only menu for $155 per person. As at most of the country’s top sushi restaurants, the omakase menu changes daily based on what arrives at the restaurant that morning. Chef Hiroki’s menu is inspired by his hometown of Kyoto, and his 20-piece omakase always includes small appetizers, cooked fish, meat, nigiri, a handroll, miso soup, and dessert.

Source: via Yelp / Courtesy of Kogane

> Location: Alhambra, CA

Kogane, tucked away inside a strip mall, has only been open since December 2021, but since then it’s already firmly established itself as the San Gabriel Valley’s premier destination for Edomae-style omakase. Kogane’s chefs/owners Fumio Azumi and Kwan serve a progression of more than 20 courses at their small counter. The selection changes daily, but diners can expect mostly nigiri sushi (needlefish, bluefin tuna, saba mackerel) as well as upscale prepared dishes including fresh tofu topped with Hokkaido uni and binchotan-seared blackthroat sea perch.

Source: Courtesy of Kyoten

> Location: Chicago, IL

The omakase-only Kyoten from chef Otto Phan is one of the best, and most expensive, restaurants in Chicago, with the price ranging from $440 to $490 per person depending on the day’s menu. Every element of every item served is sourced and prepared with utmost precision. Fish are imported wild from Japan, and Kyoten was the first restaurant in America to use an exclusive varietal of Japanese rice called inochi no ichi – seasoned with a different vinegar blend for each type of fish. Kyoten also serves Edomae-style sushi, in which the fish is aged, cured, and/or marinated in order to create layers of depth, complexity, and umami.

Source: via Yelp Courtesy of Maru Sushi

Maru Sushi
> Location: Honolulu, HI

Chef Takeshi Kawasaki’s Maru Sushi opened in Sapporo, Japan, in 1987 (earning a Michelin star in 2007), and this second location appeared in Honolulu in 2017. Kawasaki, who can still be found behind the counter here, imports the majority of his ingredients from Japan and focuses on emphasizing the elegance of the simplicity of his sushi through these quality ingredients. His sushi counter seats only 10 guests, who can expect an Edomae-style omakase that showcases the unique flavors of each fish and each season.

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