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Mar 1, 2008 12:26 PM

Best Sushi in Greenville, SC

There was an earlier post (Jan 08) that caught my attention regarding the best sushi in Greenville, claiming AZIA had it. I highly recommend YU RAKA TE in Mauldin, SC. The spicy tuna and crunchy eel are FABULOUS. ALL of it is wonderful. Give them a try.

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  1. Marisaki (spelling?) in CHERRY DALE is I think the best. I eat sushi 1-2 a week in Greenville and I think this place is the best. The sushi chef is Japanese. The sushi is differant. I have had things there I could not get anywhere in the US. The sushi chef used to work at the Yagota Nipon Center when it was open.

    I NEVER order, I just sit at the sushi bar and say feed me. I have never beed disapointed.

    Sorry for spelling errors, I am in a rush.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JB BANNISTER

      How much does omakase usually run for you when you go?

      1. re: JB BANNISTER

        JB, I'm thrilled with the response and I'm headed to Marisaki (spelling?) in Cherrydale later this week. I'm excited and will keep this link posted

      2. In my opinion, I don't find spicy tuna or crunchy eel rolls/sushi as a reasonable indicator of how good a sushi place is. Did you happen to try any of their nigiri sushi or sashimi?

        1. When we lived in Greenville, we always got great sushi at Mimi's on Woodruff Road. Actually, we always got great food there, period, whether it was sushi or on the hibachi side.

          14 Replies
          1. re: Suzy Q

            How do any of these places compare to the work Koji used to do? He was our favorite. Does anyone know where he is now?

            1. re: beteez

              I sat next to Koji at Marisaki at Cherrydale in Jan. He and Ken Son are very good friends. I even drank some nipon scotch with them. Koji is not working anywhere from what I heard. I do miss his shushi bar. I think one time he killed a sea urchin fresh for me. Koji was great.

              1. re: beteez

                I'm not aware of anything in Greenville right now that is comparable to Koji when he was willing to do something for you. I've had my second best sushi meal ever at Koji (1st being Soto in Atlanta who is now turning heads in NYC). I also had one of the most uncomforatable dinners ever there.

                Anyway, I'm currently flipping back and forth between Tsunami and Murasaki. Sometimes the fish is just GREAT at Tsunami and sometimes it's just so so. Nothing at Murasaki has thrilled me yet, but nothing has been off either. I've had uni twice there, one time it was not completely pristine, but edible. once very good.

                Every place seems to load their rolls down with spicy mayo this and that , plus eel which I dislike and cream cheese which I find borderline repulsive in sushi. You have to search the menu carefully to find what you want, but it can be done.

                1. re: danna

                  I have only eaten at Murasaki at Cherrydale. I have had things like monkfish liver. trigger fish, flounder roe, abalone etc. there. I have eaten sushi on both coast several times and I would pit Ken Son against anyone.

                  I think that is why Koji eats there. Koji was THE MAN when you caught him behind the counter in a good mood. I used to love the baby whole mackeral he would serve and then go fry the bones for an end of meal snack.

                  I had a bad experience at the main street location when it was another name and owner. Funny it was so bad that I can't even go into the place without feeling ill. It was called Wasabi at the time.

                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                    well, fabulous! thank you so much for the info. Yes, I had the fried mackeral bones once at Koji, quite the eye-opener. And...although i work downtown, Cherrydale is the most convenient outpost to my rural house, so that's great news. Lord knows nothing else of interest has been planted at Cherrydale.

                    1. re: danna

                      I am taking my office to Tsunami today. I found I can count on Tommy for a good lunch. I think I get treated well there because no matter where I sit I alway go a put a few bucks in the sushi chefs jar.

                      I think more people would get better sushi if the sushi chef new that you appreaciated their work.
                      A few times a year when I eat at some of the finer places in Greenville I will stop by and bring a case or two of beer to the guys who work in the kitchen.
                      This ALWAYs is appreaciated by the guys "own the line." I used to run one and I know that people who appreaciate the cooks are taken care of.
                      My wife used to think I was going overboard but now she has a good understanding of why I do it.
                      I am not looking for freebies by any means just to let these guys know I have a great respect for what they are doing. I miss it at times.

                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                        So Tsunami and Marisaki would be the places to go for a traditional sushi bar experience in the Greenville area? I've been missing my omakase meals that I would get in the San Francisco area.

                        1. re: Cary

                          Honestly, i have had a hell of a time getting omakase in Greenville. I'll have to look for a link to my horror story from a few years back. For some reason no one wants to do omakase. Tommy at Tsunami (yep, Mr. Bannister, we know where that tip jar is too!) is not Japanese(Asian but not Japanese), didn't even seem to understand the word.

                          Last week at Murasaki downtown i asked for Salmon sashimi and two others of the chef's choice. I got tuna and "white fish". I didn't really appreciate getting the two most mundane choices he could make when I asked for chef's choice.

                          Regardless...those probably ARE the two places I would start with....i'm going to try it at the Cherrydale branch mentioned above ASAP.

                          1. re: danna

                            although the restaurant in question is gone, the chef in question is the one Mr Bannister mentions seeing at Murasaki in Cherrydale. you may find this entertaining, or at least what to worry about when ordering omakase in G'ville.


                            the above experience was followed with:


                            1. re: danna

                              I read somewhere that 85% of the sushi chefs in the US are Korean. I thought that was unusual. The tall guy behind the bar at Cherrydale is Japanese. It you want the best service GO EARLY before the rush starts. I have found that whereever I eat sushi that building a relashionship with the man behind the counter is of a great benifit. It takes a while but I NEVER GET BAD SUSHI when I do this. (sorry for the shouting)

                            2. re: Cary

                              I used to ask for OCHA and these waitreses never understood so everywhere I go I just ask for hot green tea. I never asked for Omakase before I just say tell the chef "I'm hungry and feed me please"

                      2. re: danna

                        Sushi Koji is coming back! Downtown Greenville on Main St across from Hyatt.

                      3. re: beteez

                        Koji sold out to Hana. The restaurant has maintained a high degree of sushi. Since selling, Koji has been seen training the sushi counter at Azia and is now opening his own place again in downtown Greenville on Main St (corner of Beattie and Main)! Can't wait!!!

                        1. re: fulfill

                          The coming-soon sushi koji is mere steps from my office. I'm excited!!

                    2. I love sushi and hate living in Greenville. The freshest I found was at Tsunami on a Friday night. Keep in mind in smaller towns it may be best to go to dinner midway through a busy night as the fish will almost certainly be fresher. Azia was also amazing, but when figuring freshness and cost into the matter I certainly prefer Tsunami. Steer clear of both Murasakis. Sadly there is nowhere with an inventive or traditional sushi menu in Greenville.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: russbradley

                        Sorry to disagree with you Russ, but there is definitely some great sushi available in Greenville. Dai-san at Sushi Hana is a fine chef, and can provide you with a very nice meal. He can also present you with very traditional items if he knows you are interested.

                        I too miss Koji-san. I'vebegan dining with him when he first started at the Nippon Center, and was a regular at Sushi Koji. I was sad when he decided to "retire", and I am very excited that he is opening a new restaurant. It will be nice to see and taste his work again.

                        I typically order Omakase from Dai-san, and am always pleased. He knows I am probably a little more "adventurous" than most Americans, therefore, he feeds me accordingly. If you show him the same attribute, you will receive the same treatment. The specials board also offers items that you might not find at other sushi bars in town.

                        As to Greenville's lack of creative or traditional sushi menu's, you must remember that a restaurant is a place of business, and they offer what sells. If they were to try to serve only a traditional japanese menu, their chances of economic success would be doubtful. Greenville has come a long way in recent years, however, I doubt it has come quite that far.

                        1. re: russbradley

                          I'm in disagreement, too. Greenville may well be a crapy food town, but sushi is the best thing it has. Tsunami can have some good sushi. After my posts above, I discovered that Murasake can be terrific if you handle it correctly. At Murasake Cherrydale, sit at the bar, engage the chef, and (with any luck) you'll get the best sushi available in Greenville. Some fish that you don't normally see, japanese sea bream, etc. I've even scored the "real" wasabi there ;-)

                          At Murasake downtown, don't go on Wednesday. You want to be there when Julia is in charge, not Hiro. She cares alot about her work....try to develop a relationship.

                          1. re: danna

                            I ate sushi at a Japanese steakhouse (had to compromise with the coworkers need for more traditional food) and it was surprisingly decent. The place was Miyabi. I was surprise to find gizzard shad and horse makarel on their menu. I haven't seen those items in the Triangle. I must come to Greenville more often and try the recs in this thread. I was almost across the street from Sushi Hana, but not with the right crowd...

                            Sushi Hana
                            765 Haywood Rd, Greenville, SC 29607

                        2. Koji for sure..maybe Wasabi..the rice at Murasaki downtown was dry and uninspired and their bento options were too sushi-limited.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Evrett

                            I am so happy to have Koji back behing the counter. I love his place and his food.