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In search of good sushi

A friend and myself are in search of good and reasonable priced sushi. Yes the places in downtown Boston are good but overpriced. We like Mr Sushi and Takishima in Brookline but we are searching for new ones. We found in Dedham a wonderful place called Bamboo which is next to the Holiday Inn on Rt 1 and last night just found a place called Green Tea in Newton where Sunni the Sushi chef was great. If you know of any sushi places that are hidden gems could you post them please.

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  1. If you're willing to drive up to Nashua NH, Takumi has the best sushi I've tasted outside of Tokyo or New York.

    1 Reply
    1. re: whs

      Thanks that sounds very good. I will look to see if they have a website

    2. If you've never tried Shino Express on Newbury St, give it a try. It's reasonably priced and consistently good.

      1. My votes would be for Ginger in Bedford, Sakura in Chelmsford, and Kyotoya in Woburn.

        1. Blue Fin in Porter Square has become a tad more expensive since a recent expansion, but is still certainly reasonable.

          I think of it as a sort of "Japanese deli", sporting a fairly extensive list of no-frills (or at least low-frills) sushi and kitchen dishes. While I've never had a "very best" anything here per se, I'd be hard pressed to think of a single bad experience either. More or less everything on the menu seems to earn a solid B or B+ on a fairly tough, chowish curve.

          Since it sounds like you're driving, bonus points for the convenient $1 parking lot out back.

          4 Replies
          1. re: finlero

            Is this in the Porter Exchange building?

            1. re: stellablue

              Yep. Not the sushi bar in the food court (which is ok if not great), but the sit-down restaurant around the corner, across from the Japanese grocery store.

              1. re: finlero

                the sushi (cash) bar is not in great in Porter Exchange, but the prices are awesome!

            2. re: finlero

              i'm also looking for new sushi places as i've been recently let down by my two favorites--blue fin and the brookline ginza.

              i was at blue fin this past friday. since the renovation, i have had some meals that have been better than before, but overall, i'm starting to see that the quality is the same with prices sometimes 20-30% more. i used to go here for decent sushi for a low price, but i'm less willing to fork over more money for the same stuff. then again, it's still a pretty good deal with 24 nigiri for $30.

              the brookline ginza was my old standby for quality sushi, but i was there last month on a tuesday night. we had to send back some of our sashimi because it tasted so foul. i've been there dozens of times, but the fish was so horrid this past time that i'm really hesitant to go back.

              oishii in chestnut hill is the only place to never have let me down, but the distance and the wait mean that it can't be my regular sushi place.

            3. I like Umi on Peterbourough. Reasonably priced, and I've never been disappointed. Excellent Toro, and the Black Widow Maki is one of my favorites.

              1. Sushi 21, 54 Mount Auburn St Watertown (new Watertown Square) is my current local favorite. Nothing fancy, but excellent quality at reasonable prices.

                1. The best sushi in MA I've ever had are at Ginza in Brookline and Sato II in Stoneham.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kerojan02

                    I've found that the Ginza in Brookline has been generally going downhill for a while now.

                    NEW Ginza (no relation) on Galen Street in Watertown/Newton is excellent.

                    Also second Sushi 21 for similar quality, at a somewhat lower price.

                    Both are excellent.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I have to agree. I recently tried New Ginza and have been back twice since. The food is fantastic and creative. Service is good. Can't recommend it enough. Certainly one of the best sushi places in the area.

                  2. Toraya, on Mass Ave in Arlington, is my local sushi place and I love it. Fairly basic but amazingly consistent, fresh and excellent. A very nice Japanese couple owns and runs it (he is the sushiya). It is small and can be crowded but the sushi has never disappointed.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: GretchenS

                      My S.O. says that the sushi at Toraya might be the best she's had, though she said it is definitely tough to top Oishii. Those would be her top two, though.

                      I'm not a big sushi guy, so I couldn't really tell you...

                      1. re: GretchenS

                        after reading about toraya on this board, i had to try it since it's fairly close to where i live. on a saturday night at 7 pm there was a 10 min wait, and the wait continued to be about 10 minutes or less for the hour we were there.

                        i was really impressed with the quality of the fish. the sashimi was very fresh and heavenly. the miso soup was also better than other places i've been, very flavorful and not grainy. we had the salmon okabe, which was delicious, and we look forward to many more visits to try their sushi and non-sushi dishes! thanks for the rec!

                      2. Super Fusion on Washington Street in Brookline, a real dive, but great sushi. Not cheap, but the servings are huge. Huge pieces of suchi, what a concept.

                        1. A lot of people on this board (including myself) love Sushi Island in Wakefield. Sushi and jazz! What a great combination.

                          1. Both Fujis in Quincy (Wollaston and the center), Kagawa also in Quincy Center.

                            La Dalat in Hull--great for sushi and all sorts of other delectables!

                            1. My best recent experience was at Seiyo in the South End... really nice product, and wonderfully empty for lunch. Used my usual benchmark (a Chirashi) and they passed with flying colors.

                              I love Oishii (Chestnut Hill), but considering where I live and work, they're difficult to get to. On a student budget, Sushi Express, near the St. Mary's St T stop is consistently good, if pedestrian. I've been to Ginza, down the street from them and felt that they didn't quite live up to their reputation.

                              Fugakyu is also constantly good, but a bit of a sprawling beast of a place for me (I like more intimate restaurants).

                              This being said, Tsunami in Coolidge has been on my "never go back, unless someone was paying me quite substantially to do so" list since 2004 after a particularly badly executed meal (my post / rant is in the archives somewhere).

                              1. Michi Kusa in Framingham has really fresh sushi plus sapporo on tap (beats all the places I've tried in Boston excluding Oishii (Chestnut Hill location))... Although there are plenty of places that serve decent to great designer rolls, trying to find a place that serves edible nigiri sushi in Boston is depressing (imho)...

                                1. Fugakyu isn't cheap, but it is the best sushi I have had in the Boston area.

                                  1. There is a chef from Osaka that does the sushi at Apollo. He is very talented but you need to sit at the bar and show him you aren't just another drunk ordering chicken teriyaki and some Californian rolls. When he does his thing his sushi is comparable to any good sushi place in Japan. The price is very reasonable.

                                    1. The best sushi in New England is served at Sakurabana on Broad Street in downtown Boston. The restaurant is understated, and they don't get ridiculous in the menu. The fish is spectacular. The hamachi is the best I have ever had. Sakurabana maybe seats 40-50, and there is always a line for lunch if you get there anytime after 11:55. However, the restaurant at night is quiet as downtown is still mostly a lunch crowd. I have eaten at most of the places listed above, and no other place compares for quality of food.

                                      1. oh boy, many reactions/opinions about the above posts.

                                        sakurabana in downtown- was very excellent when i used to frequent it, so it wouldn't surprise me if it were still good. owned by the moonies, by the way(or it was, years ago)

                                        satoII in stoneham has nowhere even close to the best sushi in boston. it is 5 min from our house, so it is our fallback place, but the sushi chef is a neophyte and just adequate.(the original master sushi chef, for whom the restnt was created, went back to japan soon after it opened.)

                                        toraya has a japanese chef/owner and has very good sushi but not boston's best.

                                        chaumiere- where is apollo?i want to try this place.

                                        ladykale- is the sushi chef in wakefield the same fellow who left takeshima in coolidge corner- maybe 6? yrs ago- to start his own place in wakefield?

                                        i found the quality of the sushi fish at Super Fusion- to be excellent, and many of the salad-type dishes to be terrific, but i did NOT like the cumbersome double-size pieces of fish over a tiny amount of rice.

                                        unlike any other sushi chefs i have encountered, the sushi chefs at ginza, chinatown and fugakyu- would not make the special sushi requests i asked for, so i never went back, though i have heard that fugakyu's sushi is exc.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                          Apollo is in Chinatown at 84 Harrison Avenue.

                                        2. It's a bit of a drive, but my family always went to Mandarin Reading in N. Reading. We were regulars, so maybe that had an impact, but we really got AMAZING sushi there... better than anything I've had in Boston.

                                          Tsunami in Brookline is pretty good too.

                                          1. Hi

                                            My favorite is Sushi Island in downtown Wakefield. This place is owned and operated by a Japanese family. After havinglived in Japan for many years and travelling there for over 20 years I have found Sushi Island to be authentic and very high quality for sushi ad other types of Japanese food.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: RoyRon

                                              Thanks for the recommendation, I'm definitely going to try it. The menu looks strictly Japanese which is refreshing.

                                              1. re: RoyRon

                                                I like Sushi Island. It is a touch expensive though, so be forewarned.

                                                The sushi pieces are actually bite sized, which I totally enjoy. Their chef is fantastic and very skilled.

                                              2. I have never been but there is a small place in West Newton near Blue Ribbon that friends of mine swear by

                                                1. I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Sushi Island, it's not far from work so I hit it fairly frequently. It may be a little bit more expensive, but as far as I'm concerned, still very reasonable considering the quality (Nowhere in the price league of the Oishiis/ O-sushi) I suggested to my wife that we go there this weekend. Seeing as I could walk to any of the better Boston establishments, I'd call this a strong endorsement. Their house special pressed sushi in a wooden box is similar to their Rainbow roll but the slices are rectangular (and thick) and flecked with tobiko, a very nice presentation and a little off the beaten path.

                                                  They do accept special requests.

                                                  Jazz on the weekends too which is a little uncharacteristic for a sushi joint (as mentioned above). They also feature regular "specials" of freshly availble offerings. The "Super White" tuna seems to be a regular on the board and is ethereal. Great, I'm drooling now.

                                                  While it doesn't get a lot of cred on this board, I've always been pleased with Ginza in C-town. I went to Seiyo in the South End once and was impressed but I need to go a few more times to gain a more informed opinion. Douzu in Boston to me, expends more energy on trying to be hip/ cool than they do on providing superlative food.

                                                  opinionatedchef- I agree with your views on an almost religious basis and being so close to Sato II I'm surprised that Sushi Island is not your "go-to"

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Food4Thought

                                                    oh boy, fff, sounds like i'm gonna have a great new go-to. but i'm sure you understand when you're exhausted and starving and you just want to drive 10 min instead of 20! listen, not being a modern jazz fan, could you tell me what time it starts on wkends so i make sure to avoid it, or go on a wkday? thanks much!

                                                    if i walk in and see the taciturn fellow from takeshima; i'll know i'm in good hands.

                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                      I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Jazz myself and that's why, unfortunately, I don't frequent Les Zygometes as much as I'd like on the weekends. Sushi Island has Jazz bands on Fri. and Sat. only, from 6:45 to 10:50 so you should find safe haven during the week.

                                                      I can empathize with the exhaustion factor, but living in the gastromic abyss of Southie, my appetite tends to win over my sloth.

                                                      I don't know where you are coming from, but I usually go the "back way" from 28 in Stoneham take Elm st. (near Sato II) which turns into Albion into Wakefield center as opposed to taking the exit off of 128 to Main St. and having to go around the lake.

                                                      I'm unsure the heritage of the seior sushi chef, but it is apparent that his staff respects him and when I ask for a daily reccomendation, they defer to him.