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Sushi Quest

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Looking for the best sushi in Austin. What is your favorite?

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  1. I like Maru; it's nice and fresh, not too pricey, and seriously unaffected. And, they're kid-friendly; if my toddler actually enjoyed sushi, we'd probably take him there!

    1. Musashino Sushi Dokoro, Maiko Sushi Lounge. These are two of the best.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FDawson

        Musashino Sushi Dokoro is good, but Uchi always seemed a bit nicer and fresher...but obviously more expensive.

        My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

      2. My wife and I just ate at Uchi for the first time and it was very good: the fish was incredibly fresh and they have creative offerings in addition to traditional sushi and shashmi. I would say it's definitely one of the best sushi places I've been to anywhere, not just in Austin.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mapep

          Just make sure you finish with the Black Pepper Sorbet.

        2. Uchi, Mikado, Mushashino, and Midori are my tops.

          These are in my second tier: Osaka, Ichiban, Sushi Sake, Kenichi, Maru

          1 Reply
          1. re: jwynne2000

            Has anyone tried the new sushi place that opened up in a small strip mall on the corner of Braker Ln and Metric, just behind the Walgreens? I was at Walgreen after work, don't recall the name.

          2. You might try these thread for more detailed reviews (I put in a long break down on the first thread):

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/440147
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/357553
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/371858
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/383203
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/383903

            You might also find more searching for specific restaurant names once you've read some of these (use the search this board function).

            1. The best sushi I've had in town: Musashino and Tomo. I can't believe no one else in this thread is giving Tomo props, especially given the raves of it on the other threads.

              Maiko on 6th isn't bad, but it's not great. Midori is a hidden gem at Anderson Mill and 183. Kyoto has cheap, cheap happy hour nigiri but it's not really stellar. Uchi, at least the times I have been, has always underwhelmed me on the sushi side of things. (My wife swears by their fried brie, though.) I went to Maru recently and had high hopes, but it wasn't all that. Kenichi was overpriced for the quality of the food.

              I've only been to Umi once but it was pretty good. I should go back and try it out again. And maybe I need to give Kenichi another chance, since it's been a long time since I last went (and swore never to return).

              1. I recently tried a rather new place on Congress near 7th st. called Silhouette. It had kind of an intimate atmosphere and the sushi was very good. Reasonable prices(although I'm not real picky on price when it comes to sushi) and I think I liked it better than Kyoto. Friendly staff w/low key environment.

                1. Let me just a take a quick moment of your time and SLAM Maru. It's shocking to me that is gets good reviews. Well, shocking's an overstatement. Let's just say I disagree. While the fish is not necessarily old, but it's also not what I'd consider FRESH - It has no glisten, has mediocre texture, is not always properly cut (per species), it's just very blah.

                  Now for the rice - terrible, terrible, terrible. Cold, hard grains, crushed grains, too tightly packed, not nearly enough vinegar. This is not sushi rice. It's just a little oval of hard packed starch. It ruined what might have been mediocre fish.

                  As for the cooked food? The tempura is not. No lacy, delicate covering here. Just a bland, hard, dense, unbroken casing of batter. That is not tempura in any shape or form. Blech...Wife had the katsu - it hurt her feelings it was so bad. How hard is it to make good fried pork for goodness sake?

                  People probably like it because it's cheap, BYO and the sushi is 'not too old. This doesn't make it good...

                  Uchi is by far the best, I just can't seem to get out of there for less than $150... my own fault. Mushashino very good. Maiko okay, but not great by any means.

                  1. I had a terrible experience at Maiko and won't be back. I found the staff to be totally smug and rude and the sushi to be totally overpriced.

                    If you're looking for classic, straight up sushi, I love Musashino. It's also really fun to sit at the sushi bar, the sushi chefs like to help you understand exactly how you should eat each piece (with your hands, with soy sauce, without soy sauce, etc.) and are great about letting you know what is new and fun and fresh.

                    If you're looking for more untraditional sushi, nothing beats Uchi. The atmosphere is great, the staff is fantastic, the food is spot on, and it's a great date spot. Just be prepared to wait for a table--as much as 2 hours.

                    1. I agree that Maru has not been pleasant for me.
                      I love Beluga in Round Rock.
                      They do 2 for 1 pieces at lunch and from 5-7. Cheap way to try lots of pieces.
                      They also do an all you can eat on Saturday nights for $35/person that includes rolls and pieces, even escolar which is my favorite.
                      Their Ahi tower is a great appetizer with table side presentation.

                      I also like Chon Som on Wells Branch. Very fresh pieces, weekly specials and several Thai dishes for those who don't want sushi. I think they do a late night karoke night once a month if you're into that.
                      www.chonsom.com

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: amykragan

                        I went to Beluga last night for a party and was impressed. Good, fresh fish and inventive rolls. The calamari tempura was quite a nice surprise, sweeter than I expected. The Dell roll and the Carrie roll were fantastic, and the basic tuna roll was very fresh and firm. Very nice atmosphere, although the music was a bit loud.

                        1. re: MyySharona

                          They are no longer doing the all you can eat deals on Saturday nights, but they do a 2 for 1 HH at lunch and from 5-7.

                          The Ahi Tower is a must have.

                          It is presented table side and is large enough for 4 people as an appetizer.

                          1. re: amykragan

                            I love Mikado and Mausachino and I like Sushi Sake a lot.

                            I tried Beluga last week for lunch with a client. It was wonderful.

                            We had a Spicy Jenny Roll, the white tuna sushi (wow!) and the chef's choice bento. It was all fresh and very tasty. I also had a beautiful and delicous iced green tea that had crushed mint leaves (like a Mojito) and was garnished with a raspberry and a blueberry. It was incredibly refreshing.

                            I'll be back!

                      2. I'd have to also vote for Uchi--the only sushi place in Austin that beats any I've had in San Francisco. One thing though about the long wait--try going early--they have some really nice happy hour specials, and usually you can sit where you want if you arrive around 5pm.

                        I'd also have to add that I have a couple of "downscale" places that I just love--the sushi is still quite good, though obviously nowhere near Uchi standards. Korea House (Village Shopping Center) and Korea Garden (North Lamar, 2 blocks south of Justin) have the usual sorts of Sushi offerings, and you can can also get some cracking good Korean food too--really a good combo!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: taliesin15

                          You know, I just went back to Korea Garden after a long break and they've revamped the lunch menu to offer several sushi roll combination lunches. Bang for the buck, I'd say KG has really done an outstanding job.

                          1. re: amysuehere

                            I just went back to KG after a fairly long break too, and while the sushi was still good - fresh, large pieces of fish, good rice - the korean food was lacking; wonder if you had this experience too. Lacking spice, to be specific. Some of the dishes used to be legitimately hot, and now - they look the same, but it's like they're using a less-hot type of pepper or something: the heat just isn't there. Even the homemade kimchee - I mean, is nothing sacred??!!

                            1. re: Bat Guano

                              Yeah, the bi-bim-bab is lacking that oomph it used to have.

                        2. Has anyone tried the new sushi place in the Arboretum if it's open already?

                          1. I finally made it to Maru during the holidays for a quick take-out lunch. Descriptions of the rolls were kinda odd, but I ended up ordering the "stuffed mushrooms" on a whim.

                            They weren't anything like what I expected from the menu described. I understood it to be mushroom caps filled with crab and spicy tuna.

                            What I got was two large balls cut in fours consisting of a raw mushroom first filled with a large ball of spicy tuna and then the whole thing was surrounded by a ball of crab meat to make a softball sized globe, which was then dipped in a light tempura and flash fried and cut in quarters and drizzeled with a spicy-sweet sauce. Was $6 and some change and I couldn't finish it. Was wonderful.

                            1. I've been to Mikado twice and have had excellent sushi both times. It's the usual fare, but very fresh and presented well. They have a good sushi bar with plenty of room, vs. some of the places that I've been that shoehorn you in with everyone else. Mikado is at the corner of Burnet and 183 where Pearl's used to be.

                              1. I should have mentioned earlier my love affair with Midori Sushi at Anderson Mill and 183. Lunch specials are great and affordable. I recommend the donkasu, grilled salmon, or the bulgogi--TONS of food for about $10. Entrees come with rice and a side vegetable, usually these really well-seasoned bean sprouts. They say that it comes with 8 pieces of California Roll, but they always give me 4 of that and 4 pieces of the Phoenix Roll along with 2 pieces of sushi.
                                They are consistently good and as I picked up dinner from there tonight I realized that I spend WAY too much money there. I eat there at least once a week, it's true.
                                Check them out! I think they're fantastic:
                                http://www.midorisushiaustin.com/

                                1. Tomo, Midori, Uchi, Mikado..do NOT try kenichi in downtown...not worth it.

                                  1. Uchi and Mikado. Delish!

                                    1. Mikado is my favorite, they have the BIGGEST pieces. Most Sushi clip joints just cover the rice with the fish. Mikado overlaps an inch on each side!!!

                                      1. Orgami is great, but it is in Round Rock...right off of I35

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: GracieO

                                          Just tried out Orgami for the first time on Saturday. Had rolls, sashimi and sushi. While I didn't love all the rolls I picked, I was very impressed by the freshness of the fish, esp. the snapper sashimi. I will definitely go back and order more sashimi and sushi. BTW -- They have fresh wasabi which was a wonderful treat.

                                        2. We go to Umi's frequently, it is a great value and the sushi is always fresh. Uchi we can't go to as often because of the cost, but we love it....super fresh, creative. We took our 11 y/o daughter out for her b-day and couldn't get a table at Uchi without an hour wait at opening time, so off to Kenichi we went. It was very good, and considering we were prepared for Uchi, seemed reasonably priced! We tried Hayashi in Georgetown last fall and found it to be pretty good, it was fairly new so the service was a bit shaky. I'd go back, though.

                                          1. Second the rec for Hayashi in Georgetown.

                                            I've been there 4 times. 2 of the 4 times I was at the Sushi Bar, told the sushi chef what I felt like having, and what kind of a dish I felt like having. Ex : Salmon and tuna, in a salad
                                            What resulted was a beautifully plated, intricate, and delicious meal that included salmon skin in those yummy narrow toasted strips.

                                            The third time I asked the sushi chef what was his specialty, he said shellfish, so I had a delicious... menagerie of shellfish.

                                            The fourth time the sushi chef was different than the 2 on the original 3 times. He did not seem as communicative, so I ordered off the menu. It was good, but not as special as the first 3.

                                            I enjoy the interior, and they have live music on weekends and maybe Thursday nights (call to verify).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: sweet100s

                                              I liked Sushi Caliente; while the sushi is not as good as other restaurants I think the rolls are acceptable (and a step up from HEB). I also had a bite of a friend's noodles and they were freshly prepared with just a hint of spice. My octopus salad had very fresh produce. The octopus was not rubbery at all. While I don't think is a destination restaurant it's OK for grabbing a quick bite to eat.

                                              Also, I think Hayashi is opening up in Cedar Park also. I saw a sign on 1431 with all those restaurants between the Target and the movies.

                                            2. I love Uchi and Musashino, without doubt, but I noticed no one's mentioned the Finn and Porter in the Hilton downtown. My husband and I have been there numerous times (at first to avoid crowds, then to enjoy the food), and we've noticed that their fish is very fresh and the preparation great. We asked one of the sushi chefs once about the fish and he said that b/c of the buying power of the Hilton corp., their rep is able to shop at the Tsukiji market daily and has good relationships with the sellers. Also, b/c of the size of their operation, they can ship the fish directly.