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Current consensus on best "everyday" sushi?

newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 10:27 AM

Oishii in Chestnut Hill used to be my go-to place to excellent quality sushi at a great value/price ratio; however, on my last visits there (admittedly a year or so ago), the quality didn't seem quite as wonderful, with higher prices to boot. Any other chowhound favorites for this category? I'm less interested in fancy/expensive rolls and more interested in great quality fish. By comparison, some recent places I've been to include:

O Ya -- definitely on my "special occasion" repeat list, but not at all an everyday choice

Oishii Boston -- went during RW; it was fine, but not outstanding enough for the cost in my book

Sushi Island -- haven't been yet but it's on my "check out" list

Fugaku -- seemed decent enough on my last visit

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. rlh RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 11:48 AM

    Toraya in Arlington

    1. a
      AHan RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 12:45 PM

      There is not, never has been, and never will be a consensus.
      In my area I love Oga, but it tends to be expensive. Actually I find all sushi to be too expensive to be an everyday thing anyway.

      1. r
        Ruprecht RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 01:01 PM

        I have yet to get an amen from anyone on CH so far, but I have been repeatedly blown away by the sashimi at Ponzu in Waltham (I have not had any maki or nigiri there.) For reference, I have been to all of these multiple times, and have never had better quality fish at any of them:

        All Oishii locations, Fugakyu, O Ya, Ginza/New Ginza, Toraya, Oga.

        Ponzu is moderately to much cheaper than any of these as well (maybe comparable to Toraya price-wise.) Someone, back me up here!! Or even disagree, I just want to be sure I haven't been hallucinating the whole experience!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruprecht
          nickls RE: Ruprecht Oct 14, 2008 06:30 PM

          Went to Ponzu for the first time a couple of weeks ago and didn't find the value to be particularly high. I think we ordered mainly maki and no sashimi, so maybe that's the difference. Not that the fish was bad, the rolls and nigiri just did not seem that well constructed or super tasty and did not strike me as a great deal.

        2. c
          Chickpea RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 01:05 PM

          Super Fusion in Brookline (haven't tried the Watertown location yet).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chickpea
            rknrll RE: Chickpea Oct 13, 2008 01:11 PM

            I love this place.

            1. re: Chickpea
              makonna RE: Chickpea Oct 19, 2008 04:57 PM

              Yes. Everytime I've been there, the sushi has been fresh. Although most of their sushi has some heat to it.

            2. yumyum RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 01:08 PM

              To add to the non-consensus, I like Out of the Blue in Porter Exchange. I do not like Snappy Sushi in Davis Square.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yumyum
                finlero RE: yumyum Oct 13, 2008 01:36 PM

                I believe yumyum meant Blue Fin (Out of the Blue is an Italian seafood restaurant down the street in Davis). I like Blue Fin a lot, and think it best typifies what I consider "everyday" sushi to mean.

                That being said, I think Toraya and Sushi Island are both a notch up in quality, with prices a notch up to match.

                My favorite Oishii branch has always been the one out in Sudbury. A little less frenetic than the other two, and the quality is consistently excellent.

                1. re: finlero
                  yumyum RE: finlero Oct 13, 2008 01:43 PM

                  Oh snap. You're right. I *always* think of that place as Out of the Blue, and it never is.


                  I agree Sushi Island's quality is better, but Porter is closer. So for "everyday" that wins.

              2. m
                musicman RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 02:29 PM

                I'm a big fan of Oishii Sudbury - the Crispy Sake Maki with Mango Sauce is outstanding - but the pricing is such that this place wouldn't qualify for "everyday" sushi.

                Fugakyu - both in Brookline & Sudbury is eh.

                A great everyday place is Shogun in West Newton. No pretense, reasonable prices, and excellent sushi. You won't find the very wide variety of fish that you will at Oishii, for example, but Ito-san (chef) is careful and proud. I also highly recommend his maki - especially the dragon roll.

                3 Replies
                1. re: musicman
                  alt11 RE: musicman Oct 14, 2008 11:14 AM

                  I second Shogun! Always fresh, always good, and they make you feel very welcome.

                  I also like Sato in both Waltham and Stoneham for "everyday" sushi - especially at lunch where you can order combo meals.

                  1. re: alt11
                    veryangry RE: alt11 Oct 18, 2008 10:36 AM

                    I don't know what's up with Sato; the first time I went it was surprisingly good, the second time it was probably the worst non-cafeteria sushi I've ever had.

                    Lots of great suggestions on this thread! Wish I had something more positive to contribute. I hope I will after trying some more places.

                  2. re: musicman
                    globalevent RE: musicman Jul 21, 2009 08:28 AM

                    We went to Shogun before seeing a movie at the W Newton Cinema, which offers indie movies and lousy concessions, but I digress, and were very disappointed. Quality of the fish was very inconsistent: the tuna and hamachi were soggy and flavorless for example and the sashimi was poorly cut: very small slices and ragged edges. I wouldn't return, still looking for the holy grail.

                  3. m
                    musicman RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 02:38 PM

                    Sorry, forgot to second the vote for Toraya in Arlington.

                    Also, if you're out along 495, NW of Boston, I highly recommend Karma in Westford. They have a great salmon ceviche sushi, among other dishes. Westford ..... who knew?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: musicman
                      robertlf RE: musicman Jun 24, 2009 07:52 PM

                      Karma? That is one of the worst Chinese restaurants around never mind for sushi. At least Bamboo has decent Americanized Chinese buffet food. Karma has practically nothing going for it.

                    2. s
                      snifflyfro RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 05:12 PM

                      I'd suggest Fin's Sushi and Grill in Cleveland Square on Chestnut Hill Ave.

                      They have another location in Kenmore Square.

                      We like Fin's for both take-out and eat-in. Nice, decor and a couple of large flat screens.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: snifflyfro
                        NoAddedSweetener RE: snifflyfro Oct 14, 2008 08:11 AM

                        Its actually cleveland circle :)

                        I went to this Fin's location when it first opened some time ago and found the rolls to be huge and poorly wrapped. The quality of fish seemed fine but strictly in terms of presentation and functionality I was not impressed.

                        1. re: NoAddedSweetener
                          snifflyfro RE: NoAddedSweetener Oct 14, 2008 01:13 PM

                          Maybe you went at an off time or something. We started going the first day it opened and have always been satisfied with both the sashimi and rolls. Not sure what you mean by presentation, I think for a take-out place, if you eat-in, the presentation is very nice.

                          Not sure what I was thinking with "Cleveland Square," I've lived a few blocks away for years.

                          1. re: snifflyfro
                            Ralphie_in_Boston RE: snifflyfro Oct 20, 2008 08:14 AM

                            Well they removed the traffic circle ages ago so who can blame you.

                            Ditto for Audubon "Circle" and all the others.

                      2. h
                        hoohah RE: newyorker1 Oct 13, 2008 08:01 PM

                        Chiming in for the North Shore, I recommend Kame in Beverly. Consistent, high quality, attentive and creative and just plain good eating.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: hoohah
                          lasiciliana RE: hoohah Oct 20, 2008 09:51 AM

                          yup...i second this.
                          Kame is where I go for sushi on the north shore and I highly recommend it.

                          1. re: lasiciliana
                            hhookk RE: lasiciliana Jun 24, 2009 01:29 PM

                            Where in Beverly is it located? Thanks.

                            1. re: hhookk
                              ScubaSteve RE: hhookk Jun 24, 2009 01:31 PM

                              let me Google that for you:

                              1. re: ScubaSteve
                                BobB RE: ScubaSteve Jun 24, 2009 01:42 PM

                                Or look in Chowhound place links:

                                Kame Restaurant
                                250 Cabot St, Beverly, MA 01915

                          2. re: hoohah
                            LDoll13 RE: hoohah Jul 28, 2009 02:11 PM

                            Miyako in Danvers, Fresh Taste of Asia in Salem and Gourmet Garden in Swampscott are also all great. Miyako is probably the best quality, taste and value. The spicy scallop roll is unreal!

                          3. n
                            newyorker1 RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 04:06 AM

                            Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: newyorker1
                              latertater RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 06:07 AM

                              Just wanted to say we enjoyed JP Seafood in Jamaica Plain; very good and very reasonable, too. Tried a couple of varieties, I think it was about a dozen pieces and they were great. My husband does not care for sushi but they have a varied menu with something for everyone. http://www.jpseafoodcafe.com/sushi.html

                            2. Bob Dobalina RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 08:00 AM

                              Misono in West Roxbury - hands down. This place is as good as any of the other regular sushi places listed, but has little creative touches and flair that shows a lot of care coming from the kitchen. Very reasonably priced. Let's call it the south-of-Boston version of Ponzu.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                Cork RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 17, 2008 04:50 PM

                                While I love this place - it is my go-to place for Korean since I live around the corner from it, I don't agree that it compares with Fugakyu and Oishi.
                                It is definitely excellent for everyday sushi, but the others listed are a step up in my book

                                1. re: Cork
                                  Bob Dobalina RE: Cork Oct 20, 2008 07:41 AM

                                  I think some of their rolls are different and delicious - next time, try the hurricane roll, which is topped with fried shredded taro - the crunch makes for a fun counterpoint to the creaminess beneath. Oishii Chestnut Hill is a step up, I agree, but I simply have not had anything less than a good meal there. I cannot say the same for Fugakyu and Oishii is just too hit-or-miss in getting a seat in a reasonable amount of time.

                              2. w
                                winstont RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 08:00 AM

                                I definitely would like to throw Symphony Sushi out there- I lived down the street for years while attending Northeastern and was completely spoiled. There sushi is rather inexpensive, yet somewhat imaginative and consistently very good. Since moving to Brookline Super Fusion has been my stand in, but honestly it doesnt compare

                                1. n
                                  NoAddedSweetener RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 08:12 AM

                                  When I am really restricted by budget I like to hit Minato in Washington Square Brookline. They are fairly reliable, and great for "to go".

                                  1. BobB RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 11:01 AM

                                    We're not far from Coolidge Corner and find ourselves heading to Gari for sushi these days. Their chef's selection sushi/sashimi combo plate is a steal, for $28 you get a LOT of really good, beautifully fresh selections (including a cocktail glass of marinated seafood salad), beautifully presented. My wife and I usually get one of these plus a couple of apps and we're stuffed.

                                    1. MC Slim JB RE: newyorker1 Oct 14, 2008 01:06 PM

                                      My favorite spot for traditional sushi and sashimi as opposed to the more exotic, expensive, rare-ingredient stuff is Oishii Chestnut Hill. A classic small-sushi-bar experience, though waits can be a pain.

                                      1. Kazy Ctn RE: newyorker1 Oct 17, 2008 10:19 AM

                                        Not sure how you consider Oishii "value" or "everyday" sushi (it's pretty expensive in Boston and Sudbury)...

                                        My go to was definitely Ginza chinatown for the value/freshness factor...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Kazy Ctn
                                          MC Slim JB RE: Kazy Ctn Oct 18, 2008 11:05 AM

                                          I guess sushi is like hamburgers to me: I rarely have either more than once or twice a month, so the "everyday" concept isn't my long suit: I still go for value, but probably aim a little higher when I do have it.

                                          I don't know how expensive Oishii Sudbury is, but the Chestnut Hill location is definitely less costly than Oishii Boston, which is one of the most expensive restaurants in town.

                                          Oishii Chestnut Hill isn't cheap, but I'd call it a good value by any standard; it is significantly less expensive and more traditional than the Japanese or Japanese-inspired places that I consider it its class: Uni, Oishii Boston, O Ya.

                                        2. s
                                          ShouldaBeenAsian RE: newyorker1 Oct 17, 2008 02:16 PM

                                          How far are you willing to travel? There is a great little place in Bedford center.. It is truely one of those hidden jewels, with great prices to boot.. If you end up going there, order the tuna trio.. It isn't on the menu, but it's basically a spicy tuna roll with white tuna and regular tuna on top. Also garnished with wasabi tobiko and regular tobiko..

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ShouldaBeenAsian
                                            justbeingpolite RE: ShouldaBeenAsian Jun 25, 2009 06:15 AM

                                            You're talking about Ginger, I think. A small family restaurant that occaisionally gets a mention in the metrowest discussion. The Temaki set is also good, three handrolls: spicy tuna, yellowtail (or salmon) and california roll, with miso soup and salad for $14.

                                          2. l
                                            lulatula RE: newyorker1 Oct 18, 2008 06:26 PM

                                            For sushi that is great and not too expensive I really like Imperial China on Rte 9 in Framingham. The spider maki is my favorite. Also why not try Skipjacks? The prices are very reasonable and the quality as good as the top places.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: lulatula
                                              joebloe RE: lulatula Oct 19, 2008 08:57 AM

                                              I have a close friend who works as a sushi chef at Imperial China. I spend a least a thousand $$$ at Oishi a month but not a cent yet at this place. He makes "the best sushi" for me at his home with fish and ingredient from the restaurant and I don't even eat it for free.

                                            2. r
                                              robertlf RE: newyorker1 Oct 19, 2008 03:59 PM

                                              I'm seeing lots of poor recommendations here with a few good ones. Try Kotobukiya Sushi in the Porter Exchange building for best every day sushi. It's inexpensive, the Kotobukiya market gets lots of fresh sushi grade fish for their Japanese customers. The texture and moisture of the rice is very good. Another is Toraya in Arlington and Sushi 21 in Watertown. A new entry is Snappy Sushi in Davis Sq. but I've never tried it. Sushi Island is good too.

                                              1. 3
                                                32woodview RE: newyorker1 Oct 19, 2008 05:04 PM

                                                I like Seiyo in the South End. It's reasonable and pretty good.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: 32woodview
                                                  jody RE: 32woodview Oct 19, 2008 06:07 PM

                                                  I second Seiyo.

                                                2. j
                                                  jdoc RE: newyorker1 Oct 20, 2008 08:00 AM

                                                  I work downtown and I'm a big fan of sakura bana for lunch. Good value. never done dinner there.

                                                  I used to live around the corner from Oishii in Chestnut Hill when it opened ten years ago or so. It was a fantastic find then, and really good value. Still very good, but not the same level of value.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: jdoc
                                                    hotoynoodle RE: jdoc Jun 24, 2009 05:41 PM

                                                    second sakurabana. atmosphere is bare-bones but freshness and technique are excellent, and prices reasonable. dinner is usually kinda quiet, so it's nice.

                                                    for "everyday" i'll do the kai ten at fugakyu. with a glass of wine, i can still get out for less than $30. regular sushi dining runs me more like $50.

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                      StriperGuy RE: hotoynoodle Jun 25, 2009 06:39 AM

                                                      Count me a Sakurabana fan.

                                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                                        9lives RE: StriperGuy Jun 25, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                        same here.

                                                        I usually get takeout for lunch; but I keep meaning to make it over for dinner. I understand they're usually not real busy at dinner.

                                                        1. re: 9lives
                                                          StriperGuy RE: 9lives Jun 25, 2009 07:06 AM

                                                          Yeah, definitely a bit quiet for dinner, but usually 6 or 7 quiet tables enjoying dinner.

                                                  2. l
                                                    lulu806 RE: newyorker1 Oct 20, 2008 08:42 AM

                                                    Sushi Corner in Melrose is my everyday sushi choice.

                                                    1. gini RE: newyorker1 Oct 20, 2008 12:33 PM

                                                      When I worked North, Sushi Island was my go-to. Now that I'm back in Cambridge, I prefer:
                                                      Blue Fin
                                                      and...Kotobiyaki when I'm feeling really cheap and especially lazy.

                                                      In Brookline, Mr. Sushi is probably the best "everyday" version of this and downtown, Sakurabana.

                                                      1. SaraASR RE: newyorker1 Oct 20, 2008 01:44 PM

                                                        I really like Suishaya in Chinatown. Not only do they have a good lunch menu, but their "designer roll" menu is huge!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: SaraASR
                                                          sweetrats RE: SaraASR Oct 20, 2008 04:44 PM

                                                          I find the best bang for the buck is Minado in the Sherwood Plaza in Natick. It is soooooo worth the drive. As far as all you can eat sushi bars go, this one is a winner. The fish is consistently fresh. There is a huge variety of sushi to choose from. They will make sushi to order as you watch. They have enough hot items and other food to make non sushi eaters happy. And it is under $30 per person, even less for lunch.

                                                          1. re: sweetrats
                                                            Snoop37 RE: sweetrats Jun 25, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                            for lunch its $15 a person. all you can eat sushi with new rolls constantly being made. This place is definitely the best bang for your buck. And it all tastes pretty good too.

                                                            I'm also a fan of their soft serve green tea ice cream too ha.

                                                            1. re: Snoop37
                                                              joebloe RE: Snoop37 Jul 18, 2009 07:54 PM

                                                              I agree Minado is best bang for the buck. For $15 bucks during lunch, none of the other places mentioned even comes close to delivering quality and quantity at that price point. I usually order 3 fresh salmon handrolls, which is just as good as the ones that Oiishii and Ginza charge me $20 bucks for; everything else from then on is bonus.

                                                        2. digga RE: newyorker1 Oct 20, 2008 06:15 PM

                                                          B likes maki rolls, so I concede to him and we usually end up ordering several between the two of us (instead of sushi or sashimi). We've had some surprisingly tasty everyday-type rolls at Umi Fenway and of all places, Maluken in Kenmore. (We went to the latter recently before a game as I felt nostalgic for times when I would hang out there with my wealthy Taiwanese friends and we would eat, drink, and socialize. We didn't pay much attention to the food back then.)

                                                          I also like Yoshi at Powderhouse Circle. In addition to nice rolls, we once had a spectacular whole fish that was not on the menu.

                                                          1. g
                                                            Gordough RE: newyorker1 Jun 24, 2009 02:45 PM

                                                            one place that I haven't seen mentioned and is a bit of a find (at least for their sushi) is Montien on Kneeland St. in Chinatown. It is well known for its Thai, but they have some pretty good, affordable sushi. I have no idea if the Cambridge location serves sushi as well.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Gordough
                                                              9lives RE: Gordough Jun 25, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                              Agree..we sometimes go in for lunch or dinner at the sushi bar.

                                                              I don't think they do sushi in Cambridge.

                                                            2. p
                                                              pocketviking RE: newyorker1 Jun 24, 2009 02:55 PM

                                                              Cafe Sushi in Cambridge turns out exceptional everyday sushi & I don't know why they don't show up on these boards more. Maybe the name? The fact that they're in a wildly ugly building (along with Dolphin Seafood, New Asia, Zoey's)? Anyway, their fish is wonderful, and reasonably priced. [FYI: Nigiri is $1 on Sunday nights.]

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: pocketviking
                                                                robertlf RE: pocketviking Jun 24, 2009 07:53 PM

                                                                Indeed, they make very good everyday sushi and are quite underrated. Perhaps, it's time to pay them a visit! Thanks!

                                                              2. b
                                                                BlueTrain84 RE: newyorker1 Jun 25, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                                The lunch special at genki ya in coolidge corner can't be beat: $9 for miso soup, salad, 2 maki rolls from an extensive list, and tapioca with red bean or geen tea ice cream. They also have a $12 option with 3 rolls, I think it's a great everyday spot and everything I've had there has been delicious.

                                                                1. Bob Dobalina RE: newyorker1 Jul 20, 2009 07:57 AM

                                                                  I'll put my vote in for Hana Sushi in Cambridge -
                                                                  First time there on Friday - everything was good - I was particularly happy with the quality of the sushi pieces - they were well carved, proper temp, good freshness. Edamame were piping hot and a very generous helping of seaweed salad. They forgot the miso that comes with the sushi sampler (deluxe) so comped us some mochi that were not house-made, but tasted it - Green tea and strawberry flavors, mochi wrapper very fresh.
                                                                  For three people, with drinks, it was ~$80 - I think very reasonable.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                    digga RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 21, 2009 08:25 PM

                                                                    We have often wondered about this place but have never ventured in. Thanks for the (as always) thoughtful review!
                                                                    One question - do they have beer? Tough for us to eat sushi without it! ;)

                                                                    1. re: digga
                                                                      Bob Dobalina RE: digga Jul 22, 2009 09:59 AM

                                                                      I have often wondered too and finally gave it a shot after not feeling like the drive to Watertown for Super Fusion II, where we've been going that last few sushi nights out.

                                                                      They do have beer - Sapporo and Kirin and probably some domestics too, but I always like grabbing that variety, so my eye only went that far. They had wine too. Not sure if anything else.

                                                                    2. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                      tsackton RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 28, 2009 07:29 PM

                                                                      Had dinner at Hana Sushi tonight -- was my first time there as well, despite living in the neighborhood. Quite good: had hamachi nigiri, spicy tuna maki, unagi, and the seaweed salad. Everything was good and very fresh. The seaweed salad was a great starter on a very hot night. Definitely better than the options in Davis square, IMO, and likely to become my new go-to sushi place in the neighborhood.

                                                                    3. j
                                                                      jack324 RE: newyorker1 Jul 27, 2009 06:33 PM

                                                                      Oishii in Chestnut Hill has some of the best sushi I've eaten in Boston, but the high price, long wait time and limited elbow room ruin the experience a bit for me. Oishii in the South End is even better than the Chestnut Hill location (and it's actually a sit-down restaurant, which is a plus), but the cost is even higher than the Chestnut Hill location.

                                                                      Maluken in Kenmore Square is extremely tasty, and it's definitely the best value out of my top three. It's a nice casual restaurant, and its fish is always very fresh. Highly recommended.

                                                                      Others worth checking out are Zen Restaurant and Ma Soba.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jack324
                                                                        fmcoxe6188 RE: jack324 Jul 28, 2009 05:58 AM

                                                                        I was wondering why Ma Soba hadnt been mentioned yet- at least not that I saw-its definitely one of my favorites in Boston proper. Always fresh, creative, and beautifully presented.

                                                                        1. re: jack324
                                                                          CreativeFoodie42 RE: jack324 Jul 28, 2009 12:40 PM

                                                                          I would definitely agree with Zen, especially over Ma Soba in the Beacon Hill area. And Maluken has decent sushi but I go there more for the karaoke.

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