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URGENT: In Search of Excellent Sushi [Long Island, NY ]

Hello Chowhounds!

I'm new to posting but I've been a fan of the forums since the days before the CNET redesign.

My boyfriend and I are Japanophiles in search of an excellent sushi restaurant for our 7th anniversary dinner. I thought that I had a week to post this and wait for replies, but I just found out that we are going to dinner tomorrow night (Saturday, 09/29/07), so this post is a bit urgent in nature.

We've been to quite a few Long Island and Manhattan restaurants (the full list is below), and Kotobuki in Babylon Village used to be one of my favorites, but in the past year or so the quality has declined steadily.

Most of the other Long Island restaurants visited were ok, but none have been particularly memorable, and some (Tai Show in Massapequa) have been truly awful.

My best sushi meal to date is the omakase menu at Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan, but I don't expect to find that level of quality in the suburbs.

With that in mind, I humbly request suggestions. We'll be coming from the Suffolk County/Nassau County border, so almost anywhere on the island is ok. I've searched the forums and I have a long list of options (also below), but I'm having trouble making a selection. At the moment I'm leaning towards Minami in Massapequa or Nisen in Commack, but I'm having trouble deciding.

Any restaurant with a good sake selection [preferably Junmai Daiginjo-shu grade] gets extra consideration.

Help! :)

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Sushi Restaurants Already Visited (in alphabetical order)

Long Island
Kohaku [Huntington Station, NY] [Zagat Rating: 25]
Kotobuki [Babylon Village, NY] [Zagat Rating: 28]
Kotobuki [Hauppauge, NY] [Zagat Rating: 28]
Kurabarn [Huntington, NY] [Zagat Rating: 23]
Minado [Carle Place, NY] [Zagat Rating: 20]
Mitsui [Bay Shore, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Mushroom [Babylon, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Nisen [Hauppauge, NY] [Zagat Rating: 26]
Sakana [Hicksville, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Sakura [Babylon Village, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Shiki [Babylon Village, NY] [Zagat Rating: 21]
Sushi Park [Commack, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Tai Show [Massapequa, NY] [Zagat Rating: 23]
Takara [Islandia, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]

New York City
Sushi of Gari 46 [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Sushi Yasuda [Zagat Rating: 28]

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Sushi Restaurants to Visit (in alphabetical order)

Long Island
Daruma of Tokyo [Great Neck, NY] [Zagat Rating: 22]
Hinata [Great Neck, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Hoshi [Bethpage, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A] [not Hoshi anymore?]
Minami [Massapequa, NY] [Zagat Rating: 26]
Nagahama [Long Beach, NY] [Zagat Rating: 25]
Osaka [Huntington, NY] [Zagat Rating: 24]
Ozumo Japanese Restaurant [Bethpage, NY] [Zagat Rating: 22]
Sapporo [Wantagh, NY] [Zagat Rating: 23]
Sea Cliff Sushi Company [Sea Cliff, NY] [Zagat Rating: 23]
Shiro of Japan [Carle Place, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Shogi [Westbury, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Tomo Hibachi Steak House [Huntington, NY] [Zagat Rating: 20]
Yamaguchi [Port Washington, NY] [Zagat Rating: 23]
Yokohama [East Northport] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Yuki's Palette [Westbury, NY] [Zagat Rating: 23]
Zen 18C [Bethpage, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
Zutto [Great Neck, NY] [Zagat Rating: N/A]
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Thanks in advance!

- Catita

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  1. You are missing my two favorites:

    Kumo in Plainivew in the Fairway shopping plaza
    Homura which is either in Albertson or Williston Park but its on Willis Ave.

    I've been to a bunch of sushi places, mostly not the same ones u have been to, but these two are my favorite. Really not so sure if they have that Sake you asked about, but if either does my guess would be Kumo. Kumo also has a nicer decor.

    1. Of all the places on your list, I would go to Zutto for a b-day dinner. We have gone there for Valentine's Day, etc. The decor is much nicer than most Japanese restaurants. The food is very good. It's a little more on the romantic side than the usual blonde wood screens places.

      I am not sure about their saki selection. Call and ask them.

      1. We go to Tai Show in Levittown often and they make great saki bombs in which the waitresses down with you in celebration, Nissen in Commack is very good and we enjoyed Zen 18C which also has many interesting specials. We were disappointed with Kotobuki in Commack- the worst service ever. Happy Anniversary

        3 Replies
        1. re: Eileen

          I think Nagahama is as good as it gets. But unless you get there before 5:30 you will not be able to sit at the sushi bar . The place is always busy on Saturday nite. I think if you can make it on a different nite you will be very pleased with the saki the food and the service.

          1. re: albee

            I agree that the food at Nagahama is very good.

            However, for an anniversary I don't think it's right. It's loud, and as you said very crowded on the weekends and the ambience is lacking. For a very good Japanese meal I love Nagahama, on food alone, but if my husband took me there for our anniv., I would be disappointed :(. It's got zero atmosphere.

            I can't comment on the saki, as to my uneducated palette, saki is saki. Having said that, I would like to get to know various saki's a bit better. Is Nagahama a good place to do that?

            1. re: albee

              Zen 18C is our favorite. I just called Monica, the lovely owner, and indeed they do serve the saki you're looking for.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I haven't eaten at most of those, but on the north shore, Show Win in Northport, hands down, best we've had on Long Island.