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Best Sushi in Dayton, OH

I finally found the best Sushi in the Dayton, Ohio area. It is a little place called I-Zu. It is very small, but quaint. There are about 10 tables in the entire restaurant. It is a Japanese menu, but Sushi is the specialty. You will need to ask the waitress to explain all the different type of rolls.

My favorites include the Dragon Roll, the Tiger Roll, the Spider Roll, and the Rainbow Roll.
The presentation was excellent. I have eaten there twice and the presentation was different and fun each time.

There is only one waitress working, but it has never been crowded when I was dining there. She was very helpful and friendly. The chef came out to check on my dinner once which I thought was a good idea.

Sushi is charged by the roll or dinner depending on which you order. I went with my girlfriend both times and both meals were under forty dollars. It is really affordable. I recommend this to anyone who is looking to eat some great sushi at an affordable price.

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  1. It's good to hear that I-Zu has bounced back. For years, it was the best (and one of the only) place for sushi in Dayton, then the sushi chef/owner evidently sold out (a few years ago) and quality seemed to decline. Is the Japanese grocery store still next door? Also, just for comparison, where else in the Dayton area have you had sushi?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      Yes I-Zu is still on N. Dixie and there is has never been a wait, even on a Saturday night.

      Other Sushi places I have eaten include Sushi Cafe (Miamisburg), Thai Nine (Downtown Dayton), Sake (Beavercreek), and Akashi (Riverside).

      Akashi is probably a close second as my favorite, but I still give I-Zu the my personal honors for being the best.

      1. re: king_patton

        Never been to I-zu, but have been going to Akashi for years! I dont think I have ever had better sushi, anywhere. Its really to the point now that they know me when I walk in. Delicious.

    2. Is I-Zu the place up on N. Dixie?

      2 Replies
        1. re: Niki in Dayton

          Sorry, I haven't eaten there since before they closed a couple of years ago. I was surprised to hear they had re-opened. This was the place I had my first Sushi experience though, and I will go back soon.

      1. I haven't been to I-Zu in ages, but it used to be a great place for lunch too-- nice bento meals, and like you said, hardly ever crowded. Their sushi offerings kind of went up and down, but I'm glad to hear it's better now. I noticed that the grocery store next door (Shoyama Koten, I think it's called) seems to be carrying fewer nonperishables and other goods than it used to.

        Sushi quality at Sushi Cafe is uneven, and I found Sake to be just dismal. I've been wanting to try Akashi again, though. Back when it was Yanase and owned by the late Mr. Yanagawa, it was our favorite sushi bar, hands down.

        1. I'll have to give I-Zu a try under the new owner. Thanks for the tip. I agree that Akashi is very good as well. My boss, who is from Japan, took me to dinner there a few years ago. The manpuku sushi dinner will fill you up and then some, and the fish was very good.

          If you want to take a short drive to my city, Troy, you will find very good sushi here as well. Sakai Japanese Bistro is owned by the original chef/ owner of I-Zu, Mr. Sakai. He relocated to Troy because of the large Japanese population who asked him to move closer to Troy. This restaurant is in no way related to the two Sake ones.

          There is a hibachi side and a traditional Japanese side. It's open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The staff and owner are very friendly and attentive. I have eaten twice on the hibachi side and it is good. I prefer the traditional side and eat there often. The staff will gladly explain the menu to you and treat first time customers with the same service as long time ones.

          The sushi bar has a good variety and it is all fresh. There are also many selections that are not listed on the english menu, but are available. If you ask the sushi chef what he thinks is particularly good that day, he will tell you. I do not speak Japanese at all, but it's no problem. I have noticed that you will receive more varied suggestions once the chef learns your tastes for food. I don't think that this has to do with anything other than the assumption of the chef that if he serves something too unusual to the guests that they might not come back. If you would like to try more exotic fare, just ask him what he has and he will be happy to explain it to you.

          1. If your favorites are all the rolls, are you really a Sushi expert? But, I agree... they have awesome Sushi there too... even the real Sushi not just the americanized rolls.