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May 23, 2009 10:37 AM

great sushi in Toronto does not exist

Went to Omi at their new location on Carlton and it was terrible.
Strange room, very slow service and no good ingredients.
No toro, giant clam, sweet shrimp, uni, and worst of all they used fake crab.
The waiter said the uni was not in season. Rediculous. In NYC their is sea urchin
year round at all the good sushi bars and they would never be in business if they did not have
We have tried every place including Kaji which we don't like. Who wants to be
captive to a fixed menu.
Is their any great sushi bar in this town??? What is wrong with Toronto?
has Hiro improved yet? Used to be good but all last year it was so sad...
Help please!!

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  1. not QUITE in toronto, but have you tried Hashimoto in missisauga, it's outstanding.

    1. Hashimoto is not a sushi restaurant. You might want to try Zen, though, once again, the best experience at Zen is omakase (which you don't like).

      But honestly, whether or not you decide what to get, the sushi at Kaji is the best you're going to get in Toronto. I'd suck up my qualms with being "held captive" to a fixed menu (as at nearly every high end restaurant that does tasting menus) to get the best sushi available (obviously you liked the food there, since you didn't comment about it). If you go to Kaji again, tell him what you like, and most of the time it will appear in your courses.

      If you ever do go to Japan, I'd avoid any high end sushi restaurants, as you don't really get much choice in what you're served.

      1. No, there are no sushi bars in Toronto that will satisfy your needs.

        There is nothing wrong with Toronto.

        1. Yup, utterly sub-par, all of it! Sorry we let you down(**sniff**). I guess we'll all have to bear the shame and let Kaji abuse us. Maybe Amnesty Int'l can spring us from this Second Rate Sushi Hell we're all trapped in!

          1. I'm not surprised by your comment about Omi. IMO, highly over-rated. Comparing TO's sushi scene with NYC is like comparing Hamilton's dining scene with TO. Nothing in TO measures up with the likes of NYC's Sushi of Gari or Sushi Yasuda. Your use of uni is a fine example to illustrate your pointi! When I last ate at Yasuda, not only do they have the freshest of uni, Yasuda San also gave us a tasting of sea urchins from Russian Kamchaka sea, Alaska and Japanese Hokkaido! Now, THATS, mighty impressive!

            Agree with tjr, for sushi only, do give Zen a try. You can tell the owner/chef what you like or don't like when you go for their Sushi Omakase. Again, last time I ate there, they have mirugai, toro, amaebi and uni.

            Hashimoto is good and do offer a few 'raw' dishes. However, they are strictly a 'Kaiseki' restaurant.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Charles Yu

              A little balance, Charles? What did you pay for your NYC sushi experience? A bigger market and deeper pockets always works wonders, though I'm told there's far fewer $ sluicing around NYC restos these days. When Daniel Boulud opts to downshift his offerings, there's obviously less to go around.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                I beg to differ!

                Take a look at Chicago, Houston or Phoenix, US's third, fourth and fifth largest cities and way ahead of San Francisco in size! Huge population centres with deep pockets due to financial and commodity market, Oil industry and vacation destination. However, IMO total culinary wasteland ( with one or two exception in Chicago, may be? ). Even, LA with all their celebrities is playing only second fiddle to SF in food. A bigger market doesn't always reflect more and better choices in food!! In Canada, Vancouver cf Toronto is a good example. The former serves up better Chinese, Japanese and even Western cuisine though its smaller than TO and a smaller market.

                BTW, my 27 pieces sushi Omakase at Sushi Yasuda costs less than the $120 I paid at Kaji.for their Omakase.

                Lastly, I'm also just trying to echo lreeves comment that its ridiculous for a supposedly 'good and highly raved TO Japanese restaurant' not to have any uni ( a common sushi staple ) available. I was once told by Toshi San of Cafe Michi that for Uni, he will go to various sources in order to obtain them on a regular basis. On the weekends, he'll have at least a dozen boxes in his fridge! Now, thats how to run a successful business!!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  I wouldn't consider Omi representative of good Toronto sushi... places like Zen will have uni year round.

                  1. re: tjr

                    Err, I was at Zen the other night and they told me uni was out of season and couldn't offer any...

                    1. re: tksh

                      That's strange, as I had some there two weeks ago. Japanese urchin is in season from April to September. On the East coast it is September to March, on the West coast it's November to May.

                2. re: Kagemusha

                  The other bit of balance, Charles. When were you last at Omi? Wasn't it a few years ago?

                  If I have to wait to have Uni at Omi, I will. I have never had better in Toronto. Not at Kaji. Not at Zen. Not at Take Sushi.

                  1. re: Googs

                    I know you're a big fan of Omi, but his style will draw conflicting opinions. Most people looking for high end sushi want it in a traditional edo style, which Omi doesn't focus on.