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Jun 5, 2009 11:52 AM

best sushi in raleigh triangle area

I'm actually leaving to go to raleigh in about an hour (3 hr drive for me ) and I am craving sushi..... since i just wanna go straight there and then EAT first .... who has the best sushi/sashimi and who has the best rolls (creative) .. I checked a few forums and I saw waraji.... also came across Kanki.... let me know where I should go...

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  1. For me, Japanese steak house and sushi are mutually exclusive, so Kanki is out.

    In Raleigh, I've been very pleased over the years with Waraji. It's on pretty far out on Glenwood. Great fish, good serivice.

    Closer to downtown, Haru Sushi is another fine choice. They cut their fish thick and have a good selection of rolls.
    Hayashi is on north edge of Raleigh, practically Wake Forest. They have the most creative rolls and good fish. http://www.hayashijapaneserestaurant....

    You won't go wrong with any of these three. I'd pick the one that's closest to your destination.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

      probably too late for OP's purposes, but I echo Tom from Raleigh's recs. This is absolutely on point.

      I really hope our OP didn't drive 3 hours to Raleigh and end up at Kanki.

      1. re: mikeh

        No kidding! Kanki is foul. I'd eat at Shaba Shabu before Kanki, and I'm NO fan of Shaba Shabu!


      ...sorry about that, got a bit too excited...but I wrote a post about it here:

      12 Replies
      1. re: wallabunny

        Although kanki is mediocre at best, the best authentic sushi experience to be had in the triangle is Kurama. The location, in a Japanese steakhouse on 15-501, will not make a believer out of anyone. The american style sushi offerings won't either, although they are good if you're interested in rolls stuffed with cream cheese, avocado and tempura crunch. I will also mention that Americanized sushi can be delicious and I eat it with some frequency. What will send you into a culinary sweat is their authentic Japanese specialties, unavailable to non-Japanese people without some serious convincing. Seasonal items which you will only see for a few short weeks and have never heard of. Say goodbye to dipping bowls of kikkoman soy and wasabe paste. Say hello to individual pieces of perfect fish served dressed by a true sushi master. Grated wasabe root applied when appropriate. The best Yellowtail collar I've ever had. Cold seaweed soup amazingly addictive. I wish I was better versed in Japanese cuisine to describe some of the other delicacies they serve. There's a reason Japanese businessmen schedule layovers at RDU to eat on their way to other US destinations. This place is that good, and is in a Japanese steakhoue.

        1. re: veganhater

          I agree with Veganhater. Kurama in Durham has the best sushi in the area. We have been converted.

        2. re: wallabunny

          I almost started a new thread on Sushi Tsuni, but had to respond to this post (which is the reason I had lunch there today). Our meal was terrible. There's just no other way to put it. We sat for 10-15 minutes before anyone approached us. The restaurant was overwhelmed and understaffed, although our server was pleasant and trying her best. We finally were able to place a sushi order and proceeded to wait 40 minutes for our food to arrive. What hit our table was well below average.

          When you eat enough sushi, differences in rice become more apparent. Tsune's rice was underseasoned and had a faint musty flavor. The fish on our Nigiri was low quality and sloppily cut. Salmon had a muddy pink/orange color, tuna was a bit fishy, see eel and uni both had age on them and snapper was chewier than normal. The one highlight was a good piece of yellowtail.

          The rolls could have been worse than the Nigiri. I ordered a special that read crunchy salmon and spicy tuna roll, which contained no salmon and no sauce. That was followed by a firecracker roll, which contained some white fish inside with rice outside. It was covered in an ugly brown/green sauce that bordered on inedible. A rainbow roll was ruined by bad rice, bad fish and mushy avocado. I also ordered a spicy tuna roll, but was served a sloppy salmon roll with no dicernable sauce. 1 1/2 hours later we finally were able to get a check.

          The restaurant was busy, which surprised me after our meal. I did notice many people with box lunches and cooked food. Maybe their non-sushi menu items are worth eating. The unattractive, unfresh sushi certainly is not.

          1. re: veganhater

            Yes, the reason for going to Sushi Tsune is for their cooked meals. It's one of the few places in Raleigh that serves authentic Japanese dishes well, such as donburi and zaru soba.

            Sushi Tsune
            3417 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

            1. re: veganhater

              Sad news as master and head sushi chef at Kurama has left after new owners took over. I will try to keep track of his whereabouts. His number two is still there so there remains some hope, but I have not been since the change. This sucks.

              1. re: veganhater

                Thanks, veganhater, please do. Mrs. Paisano and were sooo disappointed when Tomo left Kurama -- we had only discovered the place a couple of months prior. I wish like crazy we knew where he was going so we could stalk him. ;)

                On another note, Archira Sushi and Thai opened in East 54 in Chapel Hill. We went last night (I had sushi, Mrs. Paisano had Thai). It came in below the Kurama (and Haru and Waraji) level on the sushi front but about on par with Hayashi and substantially better than most of the sushi places in Durham & Chapel Hill.

                The restaurant itself is attractive -- sleekly designed in the spare, modern style that is so popular in big cities. It has a very large sushi bar and the fish has not been pre-sliced in the refrigerated cabinet (my first litmus test for a new sushi joint).

                The nigiri I had (escolar, squid, scallop) were pretty good, but served too cold. The presentation was very pretty, and most pairs of nigiri dotted with roe or thinly sliced lemon that worked nicely, for the most part. The thinly sliced lemon was still a bit too thick and I would have liked to see some shiso under the ika. The rolls were mostly of the typical sort of over-wrought, gigantic, Americanized style that are generally unloved on this board. I don't mind them myself (I'm not generally a sushi purist) and they were fair representations of that breed.

                Mrs. Paisano's pad thai was especially promising with an uncommonly generous number of shrimp and a nice roundness of flavor that avoided the sickly-sweet pad thai you find all too often. Mrs. Paisano also had potstickers which were served in a cream-based broth/sauce presentation. I was a bit put off by the sauce at first blush, but liked it pretty well after all.

                Service was exceptionally friendly, but a little uneven. The pacing was a bit off, but they have only been open a few days, so it seems unfair to judge them too harshly on that front. The pacing problem is also pretty common any time a table orders from both the kitchen and the sushi bar, so maybe it is just too much to expect it to be more precisely calibrated.

                All in all, we thought Archira was promising and deserves a couple more trips before deciding whether it has a place in our normal rotation. It's not going to cure anyone of the missing-Tomo blues, but on first blush could be a welcome addition to this side of the Triangle.

                1. re: GogglesPaisano

                  Nice report, GoglesPaisano. Sounds like it may be worth checking out.

                  1. re: GogglesPaisano

                    Definitely excited about this - thanks so much for the report. Close to home and sounds really nice.

                  2. re: veganhater

                    At one point I heard that the former sushi chef at Kurama had moved to a different Durham restaurant, but now it slips my mind where he went. Anyone else know?

                    1. re: durhamois

                      Karuma is still good, if not mind blowing

                      1. re: durhamois

                        Tomo went to a Thai restaurant that serves sushi. He has since left that place and returned to Kurama. I have not been back since his return, but all reports point to a return as the top Triangle sushi spot.

                2. While I personally like Sushi Love, Shiki and Momoyama (as the latter are close adn the first is owned by Shiki.. or use to be). I hear good things about Waraji and I think a place in Cary called Little Tokyo or Tokyo Garden.. something of that nature.