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Sushi Restaurants- Ordering HELP! Please!

I have this great authentic Japanese Sushi Restaurant by my work that I order over the phone and pick up. I always order what I have had before and it is next to impossible to get a reccommendation because they are so busy, but then when I go to pick up there are great looking things all around that everyone else knew to order. Please help me venture out from my limited knowledge of good items at sushi restaurants.

I love the chewiness of sushi and udon noodles and have pretty much stuck with simple sushi rolls, such as california rolls, spicy crunchy tuna rolls, salmon rolls, spider rolls, tempura rolls, eel rolls.

I also have tried other safe options such as dumplings, sauteed yakisoba or udon noodles, or bento boxes with tempura, salmon or chicken teriyaki. I can't take anything super spicy, but otherwise I am an adventurous eater. What else should I be ordering? Please help.

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  1. Honestly, the best thing to do, if you can wangle the time, is to sit down and ask what the others are eating... it's not impolite and they won't be weirded out. Then order it.

    Or sit at the bar and order chef's choice ("omakase onegaishimasu") and then let the chef know what you've loved, what you weren't so fond of, and when to stop feeding you. You can only do omakase at the sushi bar, though, since the chef needs to see you to get your feedback.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I agree w/ the geek...you have to make the time, and if you really want to dive in, omakase is the best way to go, because if the place and the chef are any good, you'll get the best they have to offer that day.

      Here's a quick pronunciation guide, too. Say "oh-ma-kah-seh (omakase) oh-neh-guy-shi-mas (onegaishimasu)". Put equal stress on each syllable.

      (Mrs. ricepad, who is German, jokes about it being 'grandma cheese'...)

      1. re: ricepad

        Bitte, könnte ich ein Stück Oma-Käse haben?

        *ROFL*

    2. That restaurant you describe doesn't sound like an authentic sushi restuarant, but rather, a catch-all Americanized Japanese restaurant. Nearly all the items you described are not really or never served in Japan (i.e. "sushi" rolls, teriyaki dishes). And it would be unusual to serve sushi AND noodle dishes at an authentic establishment. I would take DU's advice and ask someone the next time you see an appealing dish. By the sound of the menu, it wouldn't be uncommon if that type of place may be run by Korean or Chinese, in which case you may be able to get those type of dishes there as well.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Silverjay

        They don't sell maki sushi in Sushi-yas in Japan? I mean, maybe not Philadelphia rolls, but not even kappa and tekka maki?

        1. re: Blueicus

          Sure, they sell makizushi, but things like rainbow roll and spider roll are strictly gaijin inventions -- you could probably get them in Japan, but not in a sushi-ya targetting Japanese clients.

          That's not to say they're not damn tasty, though.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Actually on my last visit to Japan I saw that American style nouveau sushi rolls are becoming quite popular with the younger crowd.

      2. There really isn't any really spicy Japanese food.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          What about sansho pepper?

          1. re: limster

            Or curry, which can be quite hot?

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              OK, but we use small quantities of sansho pepper and our curries are mild. Japanese that like hot generally eat kim chee. My dad and uncles used to sit around without shirts in the summer, sweating and swearing in Japanese, eating kim chee.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                I had curry at a place in Osaka that's pretty popular called Indian Curry that pretty much burned my mouth off.

        2. If you have a friend who is a sushi fiend maybe you can ask this person to come with you and help you order stuff. I learned a lot from my sushi fiend friends. I got introduced to the best yellowtail, really good uni, and amaebi. also I learned which places were really good and which ones were not enough bang for the buck.