Good, cheap sushi for tonight in Calgary?
I'm a regular at Sushi Kawa, which I love - but am hoping to try something else tonight. Preferably inner-city location. Not looking for an all-you-can-eat deal, but would love a place that is VERY reasonably priced. There will be four of us. One of us loves sashimi, but the others gravitate towards good maki rolls.
Suggestions? I've been to Hana Sushi, but wasn't impressed. Anybody recommend Reiko's Sushi Bar or Sakana Grill?
I was there on Saturday, had soba w/ chicken and asked them to add mochi, and split a tempura appie. They have the most non-greasy, gossamer, delicious tempura I've ever had and the soba was beyond delicious. Broth was so good I drank it down at the end. Sad to hear you had a bad experience but it's almost always been fantastic for me. Sushi there- is terrible. I don't know why they seem compelled to even have it on the menu.
My lived-in-Japan grad student tells me that the place in Bridgeland by Joy's (Edmonton Trail and 4th St) has fantastic ramen btw.
Guu is similar to Izakaya's found in Japan - however the dishes cater more to the north americans. The Guu located on Thurlow is the closest to one's found in Japan (dark, dingy, menu items that are very hard to make out - that is until you order them..)
In terms of unhealthy - not at all! Sure there are deep fried specialties but there are tons of healthy options. Thus why I am a big fan. Some of the lighter options are:
-tuna tataki, grilled rice balls, oden, ochazuke, boiled noodles, negi toro, tofu salad, mushroom salad, sashimi, japanese pickles, as well as the daily specials. So YES HEALTHY is an option
A Japanese Izakaya is what the Mercury was to Calgary folk. (if the mercury was to have served only appetizer size items) A place to gather, drink and eat a slection of smaller plate foods.
Typical Izakaya menu is based around booze and food that goes with booze - grilled meats, fish, anything salty. See link for a good explaination of what an Izakaya is and what they serve:
Coda, are you from Japan?
If I enjoy food, I enjoy it, I really cannot be bothered about whether it is precisely what one would find in the country from which it's derived. I know for example that Japanese restos in North America- INCLUDING VANCOUVER- are "inauthentic" in their over-representation of sushi places (since Japanese cuisine comprises many, many more things than sushi). Do I care? Well, no, I don't.
What I've heard from people who've lived in Japan is that "izakaya" means nothing more than a place that serves an assortment of sakes. If it's been transformed in Vancouver, this doesn't make Vancouver more authentically Japanese any more than Seattle became more Italian when it reinvented the espresso bar.
CODA, I am humbled- I don't know where a lot of these places are.
I was chatting with a U of C student who is from Vancouver and she predictably said that she's unimpressed by Calgary sushi; I ask where she has been and she says.... Sumo.
I gave her a list of recs. It occurs to me that a lot of the younger crowd thinks that calgary sushi begins and ends at that horrible place. Really sad.
in my opinion,
sushi HIRO... expensive but real japanese sushi(owner japanese)
sushi HIBIKI..it's ok but service is very slow.(owner japanese)
sushi KAWA..ummm,(owner japanese)
TOWA suhi&sushi boat..it's ok(owner japanese)
sushi Man..they don't have liquor licence yet(onwer japanese)
sushi kyoto..taste terrible!
Tokyo garden sushi..very japanese style (owner japanese)
sushi kinjo,sumo..out of the question.
Zen 8..just expensive and taste is not japanese.
Hana sushi..reasonable(owner japanese)
Fujiyama..ummm (owner chinese)
Misaibo...ummm (owner chinese)
cherry bento..resonable (owner japanese&korean)
MIKI suhi..very japanese style and expensive(owner japanese)
MISATO..ummm.i think expensive(owner japanese)
Banzai..resonable, but not use for date(owner japanese)
sushi bar zipang..good and resonable. (owner japanese)
so try sushi bar zipang 262-1888
This is the best review I have seen of Calgary's Japanese food. You match my tastes almost exactly. There is a few on your list I haven't tried and one or two you missed like "Wa's," and Muku for Ramen but overall I like your recommendations. I am Canadian but lived for a long time in Japan and have a Japanese wife.
For a dine-in experience, you might want to try Yuzuki (9th Ave SW next to Cowboys). Their sushi is quite god, reasonably priced, and the little model train they use to deliver your food is cute and kitschy. Usually not busy at night, either.
A little farther afield, you could try Yamato, across from Northland mall in the NW. The prices are a little higher, but they ahve a lobster sashimi meal in the evenings which is AMAZING, and not found in many places. They do deliver.
In the city, I will second Uptown Sushi on 11th Ave. I have always had good results at Sushi Hiro on 5th Ave as well.
Outside the core, I love Misato up in West Market Square (17th Ave just west of Sarcee Trail) It remains my favorite in the city... love the Yam and Avocado roll, the Spicy Roll and the Soft Shell Crab. They make excellent Gyoza and Short Rib appies as well.
Reiko's is not good. Given your preference for Kawa, I'm not sure our tastes jibe (I don't like it), but here goes:
The most reasonably-priced, best bang-for-your-buck place in the inner city is absolutely Uptown Sushi at 11/11 SW across the street from Co-op Midtown Market. You will be stunned at the prices ($2.50 for a small but delicious spicy tuna roll, for example), and dinner is a good time to try as it's never busy at night.
Another option that is quite inexpensive and that has improved immeasurably over the last couple of years is Midori, on 17th Ave at 9 St SW. This place used to serve tuna rolls with canned tuna- now their spicy tuna rolls are among my favourites in the city.
The sushi place at the bottom of Calgary Centre apartments (8 St and 6 Ave SW) is a very good deal but I was not terribly impressed at their quality on my one visit. Cheap, though.
Happily, the days of really expensive sushi a la Zen on 8 are over in this city, and sushi is rarely an expensive evening out anymore.