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Jan 12, 2010 03:19 PM

Update on Sushi in Providence

The last topic was from a while ago, and I wanted to touch base with providence restaurant-goers on their favorite sushi. I have some criteria for evaluation if it would help:

I consider Oishii in Sudbury/Chestnut Hill to be the finest quality raw fish I've had in the Boston Area. Is there anything close to that?

I don't hold in high regard the atmosphere or service, the quality of the fish and the skill with which it was prepared will forgive all in my mind.

I consider a minimum standard sushi to be Blue Ribbon Sushi in Manhattan. High end for me would be something like Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan.

Where are we today? I know that demand is how you get to higher quality, and I'm here to step it up. Have you eaten at one of the places above? What's your favorite Providence place in comparison?

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  1. There is nothing in RI that can even think about holding a candle to the best in NYC or LA/OC, and never will be. People want their cutesy rolls and to drench their nigiri in shoyu, and will never stand for spending $100+ for something they probably won't understand.

    In short, my favorite Providence place in comparison is "none".

    6 Replies
    1. re: Gin n Tonic

      Thanks for the honesty. I feel it's a little premature and pessimistic though. I remember a time when Boston sushi choices were abysmal. Providence has leading edges in theater, art and design, I don't think that food can be that far behind.

      I took the advice of previous posts and tried Haruki East. It doesn't measure up to my stated baseline, but it's not far off. Essentially, Gin_n_tonic is right on the money. Too much sauce and too many ingredients mask the flavor of the fish--which, when I peel it out from under everything--seems very fresh.

      Of course, some may all disagree with the premise of this thread, but I'm just trying to understand the quality within a given frame of reference that other sushi eaters may know.

      1. re: meekmeek

        I have heard that there is a good Japanese restaurant in Lincoln, called EN, but I haven't been there yet, and another in the Cranston area. I am originally from NYC, and have travelled to Japan, so my standards are very high. I don't think Haruki even comes close...

        1. re: bawc

          I will look into EN. But there you go with the pessimistic comments. Great sushi requires demand, since it's about being wiling to pay for the best ingredients. I think it's time to stop using superlatives. This is an incremental process.

          I've eaten sushi at diners in Tokyo where the sushi was far worse than the sushi at Haruki East in Providence. Japan isn't a magic bullet, and neither is New York or Boston. What I would love to do is for me (and hopefully others who may agree with this project), to descend on one or two local places and start to ask for different items, preparations. Question what's freshest, look for market specials. This *will* change the character of a restaurant, and it may cause other restaurants to spring up eventually.

          And, I guess I haven't mentioned it, but if you are wondering what I currently do to fulfill a sushi craving, which I seem to have all the time: I go to Oishii in Chestnut Hill, MA.

        2. re: meekmeek

          I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist (don't all pessimists say that?) I just don't think you can find enough people within driving distance who will be willing to spend $100+.

          Yes, I've eaten at both Harukis. Yes, it's sushi, but just as you might eat and enjoy a steak cooked by your brother-in-law on his grill, you won't confuse it with a Peter Luger porterhouse.

          1. re: Gin n Tonic

            You are probably right, but I hope to help change that. I'm going to keep going out for sushi and expect higher standards. I may give up, but I may not have to. I'm patient.