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Best Sushi Bar

Where is the best sushi bar to saddle up, speak with an informed chef, and order properly made nigiri and sashimi? I'm not interested in rolls or entrees.

I know there are good places in Jersey and the burbs, feel free to mention them, but I am really looking in the city.

I realize the sushi topic comes up a lot but it's very difficult to read sushi reviews for this purpose because inevitably people start talking about how good/bad the spicy tuna roll is.

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  1. Good post, feel the same way. In town use Morimoto bar, but always empty at lunch. Often take train to NYC for Yasuda.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      I second Morimoto for Philly. Fresh, innovative sushi and sashimi. Great sake list too, but the bottles are expensive.

      1. re: PennMD

        Hah, I thought I was the only Philadelphian going all the way to NYC for Yasuda!

      2. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Deluca, what is empty at lunch? The restaurant or the fish case?

        1. re: barryg

          The last two times in , 2 or 3 booths were used and l was the only one at sushi bar,

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Ah. But still worth going at lunchtime to get sushi?

            1. re: barryg

              Works for me !

      3. Recently in a sushi rest. that served dishes on a conveyor. One was billed by the color of plates accumulated. Interested in finding one like this in Philly or general area. Any leads?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chuckles52

          I think Pod does the conveyor belt thing? Not 100% sure though.

          http://www.podrestaurant.com/

          1. re: Chuckles52

            pod used to do this- and i believe they still do, but i didnt think their sushi was all that great.

            barry, if youre in the mood for something a bit more casual (and cheaper) than morimoto, ive always enjoyed shiroi hana in center city. in my experience, the fish was fresh and tasty.

          2. Fuji in Haddonfield

            2 Replies
            1. re: thehungrything

              Nothing against Matt (because Fuji is a fav for many for a good reason), but Umai (really, Umai Umai) and Zento are both spots in the city that could rival. I find that Umai is a little more bold in flavour, and Zento favours a more subtle approach. Umai is a lot less "traditional" and will do some crazy sushi, some of which are really good but I know this can be a turn-off for those who insist on just fish and rice. Zento tends to be more along the lines of what people are thinking when they think sushi. Both do custom rolls (that is, maki or nigiri ... neither serve chirashi if I'm remembering correctly and certainly neither serve oshizushi) if you choose to talk to the chef.

              Zento is a little easier to get to since it's Old City, around 2nd and Chestnut (I often pass the teeny little place by but maybe that's just me). Umai is in the Fairmount area, just a bit north of 22nd and Spring Garden. Both have good spicy tuna rolls. :)

              Oh and there's Zama. My single experience here has completely soured me to the restaurant, but others rave about the food so one would be remiss to not mention the place. With one exception, I found the food good but not great. And if you care about that sort of thing, the chef is a Japanese expat and have put in stints at both Genji and Pod.

              1. re: Ali

                Dined at Zento this weekend. Loved it. It's a very small space, sort of spartan with a few tables and a small sushi bar. But oh the sushi was so wonderful. I like creative stuff and they came through. We loved the double shrimp roll and the tuna taco appie. Service was great and it's byo.

            2. I recently tried Doma on 18th & Callowhill and thought it was excellent. Very small BYOB. We only had rolls though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lulu77

                Doma is a welcome addition to our hood. In addition to the sushi they also have an extensive Korean menu. All is excellent.

              2. I also recently tried Doma for mostly nigiri and was pleasantly surprised. I had pretty much given up on affordable, good quality sushi in Philadelphia but this might just fit the bill.