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Needing "Sushi 101" recs - Phoenix

Dad has decided that he wants to try sushi and has turned to me as his guide.

Only problem is that I am not sure where would be a good place to take him while he has his training wheels on. I have been eating sushi for 20 years and don't even remember where I got my start.

So, any input from the Phoenix hounds as to where in the metro area a good "Sushi 101" place would be?


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  1. Shogun is a good locale for that.... and I'd look for someplace with an American chef.. Eugene is long gone from Hiro, which is too bad, or I'd recommend him. The guys at Kampai are good, if you get Yuki-san, and you explain to him what's up.

    1. I would concur with the Kampai rec, it's our fave sushi place and have been frequenting for the last 12 years. Yuki-san's english is probably better than Aji-san's however they are both fabulous chefs and would accomodate a menu for you Dad. Have fun and report back wherever you go.

      1. :) Aji-san speaks better English than he would let on..... I wonder if we've run into eachother there... we've been going for as long as you guys..

        1. No doubt that we probably rubbed elbows at the bar! I sadly have been on a sushi hiatus due to pregnancy, but with only six weeks to go I am counting down the days until I can indulge again!

          1. does he want a sushi meal or just a little bit of sushi along with an entree just to test the waters? if it's the latter a good place to go would be hon machi (across from chandler mall). i don't know if either of you like teppan yaki, but there's is really good along with their sushi. you could go for teppan and have some sushi appetizers. i find their sushi is very palatable for people who aren't used to raw fish and want to try the basics rather than go off the deep end. (wow two puns in one paragraph.)

            another good place for the latter option is tanked fish (i-10 and warner). they have a lot of entree options and their sushi while it's not the best really is good, and it's a great place to have your first sushi experience. a lot of their specialty rolls are good for beginners (less raw fish but more creative non-fish ingredients)

            if it's the former, i just tried a new sushi place called kabuki at 83rd ave and thunderbird. it was really good (no not the best, but i'm not sure the BEST sushi is appropriate for beginners) and actually 2 of my fellow diners were first-timers and really enjoyed it.

            i'm not a sushi expert by any means, so please be nice fellow hounds. =)

            1. Sakana on Indian Bend and Hayden is great! Sit @ the Bar, the Chefs are very helpful. They will custom rolls and make half orders (Sashimi) if you are hesitant or want a nice variety. They are very friendly and have a loyal following.
              It is a great place for the beginner....lots of pictures and descriptions.....

              They also make a great calamari salad and fabulous tempura...in case your Dad gets cold feet!


              1 Reply
              1. re: ciaogal

                i agree about the pictures! i forgot to mention the menu at kabuki is all pictures.

              2. Kampai is really good for basic sushi and rolls. Their fish has always been nice and fresh whenever I've gone.

                1. Wow! New to this site. Some great feedback here. Have to totally agree with HZP, Leanne and Firenza. Kampai is the best straight sushi that I have found in the valley. Yuki-san & Aji-san rule.

                  Born & raised here. Lived in Orange County and Hawaii and ate at some stellar sushi places as much as I could. Sushi has always been one of the important things in my life.

                  Would love to hear any other recommendations from the folks here.


                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ccl1111

                    Well, I ended up at Sakana in Scottsdale and am working on the full review, but I have to say that for a Sushi 101 experience, it was very good and we had no complaints.

                    1. re: Seth Chadwick

                      Can't wait for your write up. We are Sakana regulars. First at the Ahwatukee one and now at the one in Mesa. We will try new places, but always go back to Sakana for quality and quantity.

                      1. re: Billy Bob


                        It's posted, just a few down from this thread.

                        1. re: Seth Chadwick

                          Seth, Just saw it, thanks and nice write up.

                  2. Tokyo Lobby on 59th Ave and Bell. My fiance and I live in central Phoenix and we will find excuses to drive to Glendale to eat at there. It is the best! Here is a review by azcentral.com that can explain it all.