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Baltimore Sushi

RichardCrystal Jan 10, 2008 10:50 AM

I have DC relatives coming in and they want sushi! Rather than the usual sushi buffet in Owings Mills can anyone recommend a good sushi place that won't cost me a week's salary? Thanks!

  1. chesapeakesun Feb 13, 2008 03:50 PM

    I've been to Chui's Sushi a couple of times in the last month and found it to be tasty. I usually order sashimi. I'm heading downtown for sushi next month and my friend suggested Sushi Ra. I've never tried it, but he said it was better than Chui's. What do you guys think?

    3 Replies
    1. re: chesapeakesun
      kelarry Feb 13, 2008 07:39 PM

      Since Ra is a corporate chain restaurant, they have the funding to create a swanky scenester vibe. Happy Hour offers some good deals. We asked to try some non-traditional rolls, & though they were interesting, they were so complicated with ingredients they ended up sloppy, unattractive, & too big for chopsticks.

      1. re: chesapeakesun
        aussiewonder Feb 24, 2008 07:49 PM

        Oh don't do it! RA was a terrible experience, see my post on this board: It's 'Corporate Sushi on Crack', LOUD. I like Chui's but as kelarry points out, the sushi @ NasuBlanca for hhr is a great deal. At the moment I'm loving the tuna au poivre they're serving at Annabelle Lee Tavern. But strictly sushi speaking, I really like the sushi place on Light Street, Kiko Sushi. i esp like they're lunch specials.


        1. re: aussiewonder
          chesapeakesun Mar 2, 2008 06:40 PM

          Thanks for the heads up. I have to do it, corporate lunch and the other guy picked it. I'll get the sashimi (you mentioned it was all right). For all my meals, price isn't an issue, so I'll pay for decent food. I'll let you know what I think.

      2. c
        chefdilettante Feb 13, 2008 05:49 AM

        I'm amazed that no one's mentioned Sushi Ya on Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills. Not good for the area; just plain good. Well cut, fresh fish, well seasoned rice. Usually have excellent saba, toro, and uni. Japanese run and staffed (unusual in this land of faux-sushi).

        IMHO, buffet sushi and all-you-can-eat sushi are anathema, and about the most un-Chowhoundish thing I can imagine.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chefdilettante
          jkosnett Feb 13, 2008 02:47 PM

          chefdil, I would add kaiten sushi to that list. Tried it three times, in three cities, and it's always small and pedestrian sushi for maybe a little less money.

          1. re: chefdilettante
            AlexDer Feb 13, 2008 09:25 PM

            Sushi Ya is definitely one of my favorites for good sushi and sashimi. The owner and most staff are from Taiwan. Another favorite sushi place is The Fuji restaurant on Route 40 in Ellicott City heading towards Turf Valley Country Club. The owner and cook of that restaurant is Japanese and originally from Japan. Their dinner entrees are also very tasty. Unfortunately it is a very small place and can maybe seat at most 35-40 customers at one time.

            1. re: AlexDer
              jeanki Mar 3, 2008 01:09 PM

              When Fuji is at its best, it is wonderful, very fresh and accurately prepared (i.e. normal size/rice ratio) nigiri sushi. Unfortunately they have some service limitations and can be highly inconsistent at times.

            2. re: chefdilettante
              smt Feb 24, 2008 06:56 AM

              We went last night and really liked the sushi. This will probably be our go-to place in Baltimore (instead of Matsuri in Federal Hill).

            3. k
              kelarry Feb 12, 2008 11:16 PM

              Try Nichi Ban in Fed Hill, Balt. It's the oldest sushi spot in Balt. & very fresh. While you are at it,have the grilled fish cheek app. for $9.95. Delicious.

              1. k
                kelarry Jan 15, 2008 07:52 PM

                nasu blanca has a great creative spin on sushi. if you go before 7 and sit at the bar, the happy hour makes it more than affordable. the place is nonsmoking and there is always plenty of space before 7. it's fed my sushi craving for months!

                1. ko1 Jan 12, 2008 07:33 AM

                  I can't believe that no one has mentioned Minato's on N. Charles. Great fish and the only local place I know of with monkfish liver pate.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ko1
                    Wangus Jan 12, 2008 12:18 PM

                    You know I pass by that place every day going home from work but have never made the trip to actually go. I think that's going to be rectified pretty soon (all this sushi talk is making me develop a crave). Any recs for the place ko, or anyone else who goes there?

                    1. re: Wangus
                      hon Jan 12, 2008 12:35 PM

                      I found their sushi to be so-so, both at the old location and the new one.

                      1. re: Wangus
                        ko1 Jan 12, 2008 04:01 PM

                        Try the ama ebi, monkfish liver, and white tuna.

                      2. re: ko1
                        kurlander Feb 12, 2008 08:07 PM

                        went to new rest..is going downhill...nicer place than the basement but food quality just get worse..they train their waiter to be a sushi chef...i just stop going there...

                        1. re: kurlander
                          poached Feb 24, 2008 01:01 PM

                          I have been a couple of times to the new loc. I really enjoy it- huge improvement over the old space. The service while friendly was bumpy last time giving us rolls we didn't order, all worked out for our benefit . But I really like their rolls, esp the ones with mango and again they have a larger menus for the sushi challenged.
                          I think it is worth a try

                      3. w
                        Whitemarshjohn Jan 11, 2008 08:44 PM

                        My other half and I enjoy Edo also. I've been to the one on Owings Mills Blvd? and the one on Padonia Road in the shopping center. I really liked both places. My other half likes the one at Owings Mills Blvd a little better - she said the people who work there are really sweet to her.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Whitemarshjohn
                          ryzaroo Jan 11, 2008 09:13 PM

                          Another vote for the Edo sushi on Owings Mills Blvd....especially the Owings Mills Roll! We went last Valentines day and they had a special roll that came out in the shape of hearts...salmon/tuna/roe/cream cheese/etc ...anyway it was delicious! My only ONE complaint is that when you go when they are not busy..they literally stand there and STARE at you when you eat. This has happened to us 3 times and I can't stand it!. Our waiter refilled our waters every time we took a sip...which I guess is better than never having a refill but impossible to hold a conversation with people standing a few feet away staring at you.

                          Sushi King in Columbia is another favorite of ours...especially the Deep Six Roll and the Samurai roll.

                          Niko Japanese Restaurant in Ellicott City is our basic stomping ground. Good, fresh fish and the pricing is very fair. We love the Firecracker roll and also the Asahi Special Roll..which is 10 pieces and a bargain at only 9.95. The plus about this place is that there is ALWAYS an open table. It's kind of an undiscovered gem in our books.

                          1. re: ryzaroo
                            Whitemarshjohn Jan 11, 2008 09:35 PM

                            I sort of like being fussed over. It's kind of like when you go to an expensive place and they wait on your hand and foot. Generally I just ignore the people in the background unless they speak to me or when I need them. My pet peeve is when there is a television set on in the dining room - I can stay home and look at a TV. They have a TV at Edo, but I would request a table away from it.

                        2. t
                          thedanny Jan 11, 2008 01:12 PM

                          San Sushi in Timonium on York Road. Good sushi is always gonna be rather pricey, but it's always worth it if it's truly good stuff.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: thedanny
                            smt Jan 12, 2008 06:50 AM

                            We had dinner recently at San Sushi and both walked away feeling like we just "tore into flesh" the entire time.

                            It appears there is a fine balance between sushi that is cut to thin and sushi that is too thick. The fish at San Sushi is cut too thick - or alternatively, the ratio of fish to rice is off. However, I've been to proper sushi restaurants in L.A. and can eat an entire meal of sashimi (with some nigiri). Perhaps it is a matter of quality rather than preparation.

                            Have any regular sushi eaters ever been "grossed out" by sushi that is cut too thick?

                            1. re: smt
                              jkosnett Jan 12, 2008 11:30 AM

                              Why is that a complaint? One of the reasons I like San Sushi and everyone I've ever taken there agrees is that they do cut the nigiri so thick. It bothers me when an expensive sushi restaurant like Kaz Sushi in D.C. gives scanty portions but perhaps the quality is just a tad higher so they get lionized. San Sushi, Chiu's, and that small and hard-to-find place in Mount Washington whose name I forget are all excellent, but if you want nigiri more than you want other sushi go to the San. They don't serve beer, if that's a consideration. Then I'd go to Towson and hit Sushi Hana. By the way, I saw a mention of a rotating sushi establishment in Towson. My experience with this serving style has been desultory in about six places, mainly on the West Coast where it started in the U.S. I'd be very hesitant to go there. If someone is new to sushi this has the potential to drive them away forever.

                              1. re: smt
                                thedanny Jan 12, 2008 12:07 PM

                                I guess I know what you mean, but I like it. I like eating a LOT of fish. Maybe because I go there more often than other places, I see their style as the standard. In any case, I still think San Sushi is the best sushi place we have in Baltimore.

                                1. re: thedanny
                                  smt Jan 12, 2008 01:55 PM

                                  Danny, I like to eat a lot of fish too, but my question has more to do with texture than amount.

                                  1. re: thedanny
                                    JonParker Jan 13, 2008 06:36 AM

                                    This is an interesting topic, because I and some of my friends all found Sans Sushi to be mediocre, although it's better at the York Road location than the one on Pennsylvania. That said, if you're in that neighborhood, Sushi Hana is the best in the area.

                                    People do seem to have their own likes and dislikes. For me it's all about the fish, period. Creativity with maki is irrelevant -- I almost always eat the sashimi or nigiri. Maki is limited to the occasional eel roll.

                                  2. re: smt
                                    Wangus Jan 12, 2008 12:16 PM

                                    I'm with you, smt. It's the biggest issue I have with San Sushi (which, when it all comes down to everything, isn't really that bad). I'm not 'grossed out' per se, but it does bother me. I have this particular ideal of how sushi should be and thick isn't it. People say quantity and large portions are good? I agree, but I'd rather they just give me more pieces than cut them larger.

                                2. m
                                  maddogg280 Jan 11, 2008 04:34 AM

                                  Our hands-down favorite is Chiyo Sushi in Mt. Washington (it's in the bus loop). They have creative rolls and great service. We've been going there for years and have never, ever been disappointed.
                                  Recently the owners of Chiyo have opened a place on York Road in the heart of Towson, but I've never been there and am not sure what it's called, so sorry can't help you with that one.
                                  DON"T MISS CHIYO SUSHI IN MT. WASHINGTON!!!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: maddogg280
                                    RichardCrystal Jan 11, 2008 06:27 AM

                                    Maddogg, I totally forgot about Chiyo! I guess I zip around that corner so fast I never see it. Thanks!!!!

                                    1. re: RichardCrystal
                                      kurlander Feb 12, 2008 07:58 PM

                                      Best sushi in Mt Washington. I love that place..i could see why some people go 2-3 times a week..i thought it just me and my girlfriend :P..

                                  2. w
                                    Wangus Jan 10, 2008 03:49 PM

                                    Honestly I'm a pretty big fan of Edo Sushi. They have four places now (according to their restaurant - I've only ever been to the original and the Inner Harbor one). The original is in Timonium/Cockeysville in the shopping center between padonia and york with the Padonia Station and the Mars. Some of their items can be a bit pricey but I think they're very consistently good. I always tend to recommend it over other non-in-the-city sushi places (including Hana and San Sushi which I think are the next best).

                                    I've been to Yamato and talked with the owners as well. They are indeed nice. Unfortunately, I've found the overall quality of fish to be not up the standards that I prefer. I'll be honest though, I tend to treat sushi as more of a 'nicer' dinner: not super fancy nice, but I do expect to pay more than usual when I crave sushi. Then again, I tend to splurge on the good expensive stuff when I go.

                                    Have to agree with hon for Matsuri if you're staying in the city though.

                                    Good luck!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Wangus
                                      RichardCrystal Jan 11, 2008 04:30 AM

                                      Hmmm, thanks Wangus! Didn't even think of Edo. I think there's one in Owings Mill at Garrison Forest and since I live in Upper Park Heights that's not too far!

                                      1. re: Wangus
                                        JonParker Jan 11, 2008 05:00 AM

                                        I have only been to the Timonium location, but I've always been underwhelmed with Edo -- small portions of fish that's not noticeably better than anywhere else and high prices.

                                        I'll still take Matsuri or Sushi King over anything else I've had around here.

                                        1. re: JonParker
                                          Wangus Jan 11, 2008 06:22 AM

                                          I'm sorry to hear about that. Just out of curiosity, what do you normally order for sushi? I usually go for the sashimi, a hand roll (usually either the salmon skin or the eel), and a 'fusion' roll (often the black dragon if I recall the name correctly). I'll admit to having one definitely recallable bad sashimi there once. Also, some of their non-sushi dishes have failed to impress before, but I've usually had good luck with their raw and wigglies.

                                          1. re: Wangus
                                            JonParker Jan 11, 2008 07:13 AM

                                            I also tend to go for the sashimi and occasionally an eel roll. I've been a few times -- once on my own and like three or four times with co-workers or friends, and it just never did it for me.

                                        2. re: Wangus
                                          tombradyqb Jan 11, 2008 07:45 AM

                                          Strangely enough, I think they actually have two Edo's in Owings Mills and they are less than a mile from each other. Maybe theres a huge sushi demand in Owings Mills? I've been to the one on Owings Mills Blvd and on Padonia Rd. The quality in OM is consistent with the flagship restaurant.

                                        3. o
                                          onocoffee Jan 10, 2008 01:15 PM

                                          Ended up at Kyodai Rotating Sushi Bar in Towson two nights ago with my nephew. Got there around 5pm and were seated at the bar. The conveyor belt is mostly rolls but you can order nigiri from the staff.

                                          Overall, the sushi was nothing to rave about. Better for the student crowd and those who don't know much about quality sushi. My three orders of nigiri were okay to disappointing. No wasabi on the rice and the tako was cut cheaply (read:too thin). The highlights of the meal were the okay seaweed salad, warm rice for the nigiri (even though it's not "proper" rice) and the uni quality was decent.

                                          Overall, I didn't find value for the money and the quality isn't to my preference.

                                          1. j
                                            jes Jan 10, 2008 12:57 PM

                                            Where is the sushi buffet in Owings Mills?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: jes
                                              MDicecreamguy Jan 10, 2008 01:37 PM

                                              its at China Best in the St Thomas shopping center on Reisterstown RD.......THe sushi is only fair....but they give you SO MUCH of it!

                                              1. re: MDicecreamguy
                                                RichardCrystal Jan 11, 2008 04:28 AM

                                                Yeah, plus they have a Chinese Buffet for the sushi-challenged.

                                                1. re: RichardCrystal
                                                  jes Jan 12, 2008 12:36 PM

                                                  is the buffet there any good? i am practically a sushi novice but my boyfriend loves it and ill occasionally have a bite or two of his. is it worth going to?

                                            2. BmoreHound Jan 10, 2008 12:46 PM

                                              I go to Asahi in Fells Point but if you like rolls, you'll probably prefer another place. Three high points: (1) they have the best udon in town; (2) they are BYOB; and (3) while they have a limited selection, what they do is very good.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: BmoreHound
                                                baltoellen Jan 10, 2008 03:05 PM

                                                I went there maybe a month ago based on recs here. I think I had the sushi lunch combo or something, and didn't find it good at all. I wonder if I missed something there or if I should have ordered udon??? Also, despite having a high tolerance (some would say fondness for) dives, I found the space incredibly uncomfortable.

                                                1. re: baltoellen
                                                  daveinmd Jan 10, 2008 04:09 PM

                                                  Asahi Sushi is good when you need a quick and fairly inexpensive sushi fix (it helps that it's just around the corner from my house!).

                                                  I don't usually get nigiri there -- the slices of fish are too small for my taste. I'll get the rolls, which are pretty tasty, or sashimi, because I think the quality of the fish is not bad. Udon is decent, too. The seating is definitely not comfortable -- except maybe at the bar or the back table (for larger parties).

                                                  I've been to Matsuri twice and had fantastic fish once, and very mediocre fish the second time. I would say that on balance it's a step up from Asahi. DON'T GET THE SOBA!!! Trust me on that one.

                                                  Also, I've been to Sushi Hana with my gf and had the boat -- it has good sushi, not as good as Matsuri at its best, and better than Matsuri the last time I had it.

                                                  BTW, the best spicy rolls IMO are at ABC Sushi (try the Rose roll!! It's fantastic) -- they make their own spicy sauce which is FAR superior to the usual Siracha mix. It actually has a nice flavor beyond simply being hot! :) I don't think they open for dinner, though, and it's not a very big or nice seating area.

                                              2. e
                                                enginerd Jan 10, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                I like Chui's Sushi in Harbor East, but IMO it is very expensive. I can get twice as much sushi at another place for the same price, but it isn't as good, or very good at all. I also usually just get rolls, so I have no idea what the rest of the menu looks like. Maybe someone else can give you a better clue. But that might be because I have no money. I guess it depends what a week's salary is?

                                                I heard of some sushi place in towson that is supposed to be good and cheap, but I don't know the name of it. Anyone?

                                                If you don't mind trekking up to White Marsh/ Perry Hall area, Chopsticks on Honeygo has great sushi at affordable prices.

                                                Good luck!

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: enginerd
                                                  hon Jan 10, 2008 12:00 PM

                                                  I do like Chui's too but it is pricey, especially the special rolls!

                                                  1. re: hon
                                                    Annapolis07 Jan 10, 2008 12:22 PM

                                                    Kyoto in Severna Park is great, but probably too far.

                                                  2. re: enginerd
                                                    baltoellen Jan 10, 2008 12:58 PM

                                                    There's a sushi place in a strip mall at Timonium and Aylesbury Rds (I think---same shopping cntr as REI) that has fantastic maki and I think actually mediocre nigiri. It's NEAR Towson, and very reasonably priced. Friendly owner and staff, too. (I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to as the Towson place since it's in Timonium.)

                                                    However, both they and Sushi Hana charge for green tea, which, for some reason, really makes them both drop down a notch in my book.

                                                    1. re: baltoellen
                                                      onocoffee Jan 10, 2008 01:11 PM

                                                      You're thinking of Yamato Sushi. The owners are Chinese and really nice but I don't know how a place can have fantastic rolls but mediocre nigiri since the selection of fish is the same. But really, I'm not a fan of rolls and prefer nigiri.

                                                      I've found Yamato to be consistent over the years and while I enjoy their sushi, I tend to find myself ordering the fried dried salt chicken.

                                                      1. re: onocoffee
                                                        baltoellen Jan 10, 2008 02:38 PM

                                                        I think since rolls have stuff like avocado, cucumber, scallion, etc., it's easier to overlook mediocre fish, which you really can't do with nigiri. But, onocoffee, if you say they have good fried dried salt chicken, I'll take your word for it....and, wonder what other non-sushi items you'd recommend there?

                                                  3. h
                                                    hon Jan 10, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                    Matsuri in Federal Hill
                                                    Sushi Hana in Towson

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: hon
                                                      JonParker Jan 10, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                      Second Hon's reply, and I'll add Sushi King in Columbia.

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