Sushi in Minneapolis area
- Ron_L Nov 5, 2003 09:15 PM
I landed at MSP airport this evening and had a craving for Sushi... I remembered reading some good reviews here and elsewhere on the web for Fuji-Ya, so I decided to head over there.
I arrived at about 5:45 to find the entire front room filled with people in suits wearing name badges and listening to some sort of presentation. There were several people outside wondering if the place was closed for a private party. No one was willing to walk in to find out, so i did. They were open, but the sushi bar area was closed for this large group. Too bad, but I decided to sit in the dining room. i started off with a glass of chilled sake. the waiter poured it from a large bottle and continued to pour until the glass had overflowed and filled the small dish that was under the glass.
As I looked over the menu I ordered some Edamame and was brought a very large bowl full. they were warm, well salted and fresh. Next I ordered some sashimi. I really enjoy Hamachi so I ordered that (three peices per order) and the waiter recommended white Toro, so I tried that. The sashimi pieces were very generous slices that were tongue-sized and almost 1/2 inch thick! both fish were very fresh, tasty and tender. After that the waiter suggested that I try Kanpachi (baby yellowtail), which was new to me. It was wonderful with a mild flavor and a creamy texture. Since I hadn't eaten anything since a cereal bar at about 5:30 this morning I also ordered a Winter Roll which has Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and avocado covered in a tempura batter. Wonderful! I finished off the evening with a Dynamite roll that was spicy but not too spicy.
Overall, I was impressed with Fuji-Ya. I wish I had been able to sit at the bar, but the waiter did a good job in describing the menu items and making recommendations based on what I told him I liked. The atmosphere is nice, if not a bit noisy, and prices are on the high-side, but not as bad as some of the places in downtown Chicago.
I'm here for another night, and wouldn't mind more Sushi! Where else should I try? Since I overspent my budget at Fuji-Ya tonight, I wouldn't mind finding a place that has good quality with lower prices... I'm staying at the Marriott off of 169 an Bren road. Any decent sushi bars in this area that you folks would recommend?
Kabuki is the closest place to you (on Flying Cloud Drive - ask you hotel for directions). I last ate there years ago. The sushi was okay, but I've had better. Also fairly close is Ikasu Sushi Bar at 75th and France (it's in a shopping/strip mall). I've not been, but have heard decent things.
Other than that, you will have to drive west to Excelsior to try Yumi or head to downtown Minneapolis to try Origami or Nami.
But sushi here isn't cheap. It costs money to get fish that fresh here daily.
My personal favorite is Origami. The atmosphere is very pleasant and IMO, the best sushi in town. Prices are equivalent to Fuji-Ya. It's located in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis on 30 N. First St (just north of Washington Ave).
I've heard good things about Nami downtown, but haven't been there yet as it's newer. There's also supposed to be a quality sushi place in Eden Prairie (very close to your location), but I've never caught the name. Perhaps someone can advise you.
There are two in Eden Prairie: Kabuki and Little Sushi on the Prairie. Both are ok, not great. I'd go with Little Sushi over Kabuki.
Personally, I like Sushi Tango in Uptown (Calhoun Square) quite a bit. Reasonable prices for quality sushi. It's a little more raucous, too, which can be fun if you're into that.
About six weeks ago I was at Fuji-Ya we also ordered the Kanpachi. It stole the show. I remember the fish having a really nice texture...nice soft flesh but enough firmness so that it had no hint of being mealy/pasty.
Well... After a long day at a seminar (I was presenting), proximity won out over an adventure... With Kabuki so close, I decided to try it.
The place was quiet, with only four other customers at the Sushi bar and a few at the Teppan tables. I started off with some Nigiri... Himachi, Tai and Siro Maguro (Albacore). The chef recommended Tairagai, which is Pen Shell Scallop so I tried that as well. All of the fish was fresh and good, but the cuts weren't as generous as Fuji-Ya. The Pen Shell was very good, with a firmer texture and slightly stronger flavor than "regular" scallops.
Next I went for a Number 9 roll, which was very good. The roll was a little loose, but otherwise enjoyable. I also tried a Crunchy Roll at the recommendation of the folks behind the bar. I don't remember everything that was in there, but it was also very good.
Nigiri prices were comparable to Fuji-Ya but the specialty roll prices were a couple of dollars less, so overall the meal was a few bucks less than Fuji-Ya. The Nigiri was fresh and had good flavor and texture, but the cuts were less generous. The rolls were good but a little loose. The chefs (two of them) were friendly and helpful and the waitress was very nice and talkative. One of the chefs was giving one of the waitresses pointer on how to cut Nori and roll her own maki, so I even got a free lesson!
Next trip I will try Origami or Sushi Tango (or maybe Yumi depending on where I stay).
Thanks for all of your suggestions!
If you ever get to Chicago let me know and I can make some recommendations there.
Not surprisingly, you're not going to get sushi in Minneapolis as good as the best stuff from either coast -- I just ate at a humble neighborhood place in San Francisco called Grandeho's Kamekyo that blew me away. That said, I was pleasantly surprised when moving from Boston to the Twin Cities to find that you can get solid sushi fairly easily. I've had mixed experiences with Fuji-Ya -- the better of the two was quite good, the lesser quite mediocre. Sushi Tango is my fallback spot -- casual, loud, reasonably fresh, lots of entertainment value to the house rolls. Origami is my fancified pick when it's time to spend some bills and feel classy. One off-the-chart option: go to Chino Latino during happy hour, and get their "Samurai" spicy tuna roll. Cheap and delicious.
30 N 1st St Ste 1, Minneapolis, MN 55401
600 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408
3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
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