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sushi suggestion in Essex/Union/Morris County

bobber Jan 17, 2005 11:24 AM

I have recently moved to Morris County from Manhattan and I am looking for a sushi restaurant that is on the same level as some of the well known places of NYC. i.e. Sushi of Gari, Jewel Bako, Bond Street, Sushisay

If any of you can recommend a place in Morris/Union/Essex Counties I would REALLY appreciate it.


  1. m
    M-L. Jan 18, 2005 06:57 PM

    I have alread posted about these places, but here it is again. Nara off, I think, Speedwell Ave., in Morristown next to the Burger King in a little strip mall is good. There's also a place that advertizes itself as a "seafood buffet" on Route 10 west next to Jonathan's Kosher Deli. I think it's Powder Mill Plaza West. They have an amazing array and at least six chefs at work doing routine dishes, sashimi, sushi, and the like. Things are fresh, and there's lots of activity, a good sign. The patrons are a fair mix of Western and Asian.

    1. j
      Julie Jan 19, 2005 11:40 AM

      I really like Sono in Millburn the fish is always fresh and the rolls are great...Sushi Samari is also there, but def not as good.

      1. b
        bubba Jan 27, 2005 08:00 AM

        in Westfield, NJ in Union County try Fujiyama Mama
        Monday and Tuesday night and every day for lunch but sunday it's 1/2 price. it's worth the price and good quality.

        1. j
          Jay Aug 15, 2005 12:20 PM

          I love going to Sushi Hana in Monclair. Great unique place is not as swanky as some of those NYC favorites, but it is more of a chowhound kind of place. The swimming monkey rolls and fried oyster rolls are some of my favorites, never had a bad experience. Very friendly and attentive staff.

          Link: http://www.sushi-hana.net/

          1. jnk May 21, 2007 06:31 AM

            Nagoya is a relativey new (2 yrs) Japanese restaurant in Westfield. It's in the Drug Fair parking lot on North Ave. The fish has always been fresh, the sushi for 2 is HUGE. We get it for 3 of us and my 12 year old eats a lot of sushi. They have some very interesting rolls.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jnk
              sivyaleah Jun 19, 2007 12:07 PM

              jnk, my brother and I went to Nagoya today for lunch. It was great! We both started with salads. He had miso soup and I tried the lemongrass hot and sour. The waitress warned me it was very spicey but I found it to be just right - not too hot for me. It had a nice sized piece of scallop and a couple of shrimp floating in it, and the flavor of lemongrass and cilantro really hit the spot. My brother had several spicy rolls (he's partial to those) and I had several sushi - don't remember all of them offhand but suffice it to say all were exceptionally fresh and ridiculously large. We were sufficiently stuffed. Service was very friendly and efficient too. Pricey - but worth it, lunch came out to just about $60 for the two of us (we did eat a lot, a couple of plain ice teas included).

              Thanks for the recommendation - we'll be going back for sure. I think even my husband will enjoy it. He doesn't eat fish, but there were plenty of other items on the menu he would enjoy.

              1. re: sivyaleah
                jnk Jun 19, 2007 03:13 PM

                Hi Sivyaleah- Glad you enjoyed Nagoya. There are 3 of us (one of us being our 13 yr old) and we usually get a sushi for 2 which includes 4-salmon, 4-tuna- 4-red snapper, 4-white tuna, 4 yellowtail, 2-shrimp, one tuna roll and one special roll which if you saw the menu on the wall or the printed menu, is a huge selection, and they're all included no matter their cost. Of course there are the 2-salads and 2-miso soups, all dor $32! I must say that the miso is hit or miss. I've had it where it was delicious and you could taste many levels of flavor, then again i've had it there where I just left it. Again, glad you enjoyed it.

                1. re: jnk
                  sivyaleah Jun 19, 2007 06:22 PM

                  Hey, is your 13 year old the kid they were telling us about that did the "all you can eat" and ate 96 pieces of sushi at one sitting :-)

                  1. re: sivyaleah
                    jnk Jun 20, 2007 12:19 AM

                    Thank goodness no, although he he keeps talking about trying! I have to admith though that his dad (moi) used to frequent an all uo can eat sushi bar on the upper west side (72nd st.) that was fantastic. But, that was in a past life.

            2. f
              Felixnot May 21, 2007 10:27 AM

              The only place I can think of that would come close to the quality of those you describe above would be Tomo's Cuisine in Little Falls. This is a tiny place, with perhaps 8 tables. He is the only chef, and prepares everything as he prepared it in Japan. His clientele is overwhelmingly Japanese and it's the only sushi restaurant that I've been to in the area that serves raw shrimp sushi, monk fish liver and exquisite pork belly. Reservations are definitely needed. His cooked food is equally amazing: even his gyoza has skins that are paper thin. This place is a gem!

              1. sivyaleah May 21, 2007 12:49 PM

                In Fanwood (really small town in Union County, near Westfield/Scotch Plains) across from the train station on South Avenue, there is a very small sushi restaurant called Ginger Sushi. Very fresh, lovingly prepared, quiet too. Not cheap. You could easily miss this place because the entrance is not on the avenue, it's around the corner on Martine Avenue, next to the chinese place and dry cleaners, in a small parking lot (which you don't want to go into).

                7 Replies
                1. re: sivyaleah
                  OGguy May 21, 2007 01:08 PM

                  I like Ajian on Route 22 West in Watchung. I don't think it's as good as the NYC places you mentioned, but it's consistently the best sushi I've had in NJ

                  1. re: OGguy
                    potter Feb 24, 2009 10:02 AM

                    I liked Ajian too, and used to eat there regularly ... pre-family.

                    Regret to report it closed and was replaced with a Jared Jewelry store some time ago.

                  2. re: sivyaleah
                    sivyaleah Jun 19, 2007 09:06 AM

                    I meant you don't want to go into the chinese take-out, not the parking lot! Had to clarify that - I just re-read what I wrote looking for some new sushi places to try myself!

                    1. re: sivyaleah
                      soigne Jun 19, 2007 11:32 AM

                      Sushi of Gari in Morris County??? Hah! Never.

                      I have not heard of Tomo's Cuisine, but thanks for the pointer, Felix. Sounds interesting.

                      With all due respect to my fellow hounds, places like Sono, Fujiyama Mama, and all the rest of the generic Japanese restaurants you'll find all over North Jersey are fair, at best. They are just a notch above supermarket sushi bars because the rice hasn't been sitting in a cooler all day. Pale pink tuna, pickled ginger out of a jar, frozen shumai, bigger is better, etc. are typical of what you will find. I will never go back to Sono after they charged me $2 for a second bowl of white rice to go with a sashimi platter. Fujiymama repulses me with its Flaming Onion trick exploding from all the giant "hibachi" grills churning out cheap beef teriyaki fajitas.

                      I'm not above dining at places like this, my particular favorite is Nagano, near the Courthouse in Morristown. But come on hounds, generally speaking, the sushi that you find in most NJ sushi restaurants is about as good as REALLY GOOD tuna salad from a FRESHLY OPENED can, with REALLY EXCELLENT onion powder and ULTRA CRUNCHY chopped celery. YUM!

                      I have found that the best sushi in NJ, typically, can be found in the upscale Korean restaurants frequented by Korean folks with money.

                      1. re: soigne
                        ubuwalker31 Apr 12, 2008 02:19 PM

                        "[T]he generic Japanese restaurants you'll find all over North Jersey are fair, at best."

                        Oh, come on, give me a break. There are plenty of NYC quality sushi restaurants in Northern Jersey. Here in Montclair, we have Nouveau Sushi, Sushi Hana, and Nori, that equal or rival restaurants in NYC. Fort Lee and Edgewater also have amazing sushi restaurants.

                        1. re: ubuwalker31
                          ubuwalker31 Apr 12, 2008 05:16 PM

                          Scratch Sushi Hana off the list of quality sushi restaurants in North Jersey.

                          Horrific experience. Just came back from Sushi Hana tonight, and was less than impressed.

                          The service was terrible, we had 4 different adult servers, none of whom understood the menu. And we even had 2 different 10 year old girls serving us...I guess they were the waitresses children...totally inappropriate.

                          The miso soup was too salty, the lettuce was brown, and my soup spoon was burned from the dishwasher. While the fish seemed fresh, the quality was extremely mediocre. We left at least 5 pieces of sashimi uneaten because of the poor quality. The tuna was stringy and inedible. Surprisingly, the mackerel was good. There was also some sort of brown (yes, brown) fish that actually tasted good...i think it was tuna belly.

                          We should have left without paying after the crappy salad and soup...but I was overruled against my better judgment. Then I noticed the camera outside, and realized that they must have had lots of "dine and dash" problems...which isn't surprising considering the crappy quality of this restaurant.

                          Needless to say, we didn't leave a tip, and we will never go back again.

                          I'm confused by all of the good reviews. I guess the restaurant attracts a less sophisticated clientele as far as sushi is concerned...but if you have a pretense of enjoying good sushi, don't come here, go to Nori or any other place in town. I need to go brush my teeth now to get the flavor out of my mouth. Feh.

                    2. re: sivyaleah
                      potter Feb 24, 2009 10:09 AM

                      Agreed, Ginger Sushi in Fanwood had good quality sushi. Not cheap. Much nicer inside than one would expect given the take out chinese next door. Parking lot is fine, and hallmark store lot and street parking available. Heck, there is a NJ Transit station lot with loads of free nighttime parking diagonally across the street. Haven't been lately, but there was a street entrance as well ...

                    3. Disneyfreak Feb 25, 2009 08:32 AM

                      I like Zen in Livingston. It is just off the Livingston Circle in the same strip mall as Pathmark and Blockbuster Video.

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