> Location: San Diego, CA
Hidden away inside a modest San Diego strip mall, Sushi Ota is a must-visit for in-the-know locals who want the absolutely freshest seafood imaginable, including several preparations of sea urchin sourced from San Diego docks. Nigiri is the way to go, but don’t miss the delicate chawanmushi.
> Location: Washington, D.C.
Dupont Circle’s Sushi Taro is elegant and upscale, and its kaiseki tasting (a variety of cooked and raw dishes) is the way to go; offerings change regularly but include seasonal appetizers, cold noodles, sashimi, nigiri, and a cooked dish like Tasmanian ocean trout in a casserole with cabbage, miso, and butter. There are also a variety of dishes available including housemade cold soba, wagyu shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, and a wild snapper broth porridge for two.
> Location: Austin, TX
Founded by chef Tyson Cole (who’s since won a James Beard Award) in a refurbished Austin house in 2003, Uchi has become renowned for its non-traditional take on Japanese food. The menu changes daily, but expect pristine nigiri made with rarely seen fish including striped knifejaw and Tasmanian ocean trout, as well as creations including beet with yuzu kosho goat cheese and wagyu short rib with pickled ramp miso. Aside from the sushi, other standouts include paradigm-changing flavor combinations like smoked yellowtail with yuca crisp, Marcona almond, and Asian pear; pork belly with Japanese pumpkin and pepper rosÃ© gastrique; and great amberjack with watermelon and ramp salsa verde. It’s highly recommended to opt for the six- or 10-course omakase. (A full vegetarian menu is also available.)
> Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Intimate, luxurious, and somewhat mysterious (it seems to close and open at will), Urasawa is a Beverly Hills landmark. Opened in 2013 by head chef Hiroyuki Urasawa, the restaurant has two Michelin stars and is considered one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, with a tasting menu currently priced at $1,111 per person. Diners who manage to snag a spot at the 10-seat counter will be treated to a 30-course omakase crafted by Urasawa himself that includes nigiri made with fish flown in near-daily from Japan as well as small dishes like charcoal-grilled Kobe beef with housemade seaweed salt and scallop.
Yui Edomae Sushi
> Location: Las Vegas, NV
For the best sushi in Las Vegas, leave the Strip and head west to the unassuming Yui Edomae Sushi, which practices traditional omotenashi service, which emphasizes hospitality and openness. Five different omakase services are offered, ranging in price from $68 to $270. Guests can expect an elegant, light wood sushi bar in a flower-bedecked space; courses include an appetizer, soup, sashimi platter, a charcoal-grilled platter, nigiri, handroll, and dessert.
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