blogTO lists top 10 'splurge sushi', Yorkville Asuka # 2, Michi last place, Zen not even mentioned
would it be possible to create a list that is more of an unintended joke?!
look at the hyperbole in introducing Nami at #6: "Tradition and authenticity transport you from the heart of downtown Toronto to Kyoto, Japan." I havent heard such claims even when people are discussing Urasawa.
or for OMI at #3: "splurge sushi at its best. Offering the entire spectrum of sushi options". OMI is decent for what it does, but really? no, I mean, REALLY?!!
and then no Zen? not even a meager number 10 for the best nigiri in the whole area?!
Wow!! This is even more controversial than the SP top 100 Best restarants list! Ha!
IMHO, one can only 'splurge' on sushi provided the establishments can provide the exotic and expensive ingredients. First thing that comes into mind are Blue Fin O-Toro ( at $20+ a prime piece, now THATS Splurging! ), then there are live Japanese Abalone for braising or eaten raw, Uni in the shell, super expensive fish like the big eye 'Kinki', live snow and King crab from Hokkaido, bi-valves and wild sea prawns of various types.....etc. Except for the Michelin star restaurants in Japan, the closest North American ones to reaching these level of choice and sophistication is either Sushi Yasuda of NYC or Urasawa of LA.
I can see Michi not high up on the list since their selection are rather mundane and they don't even serve things like Mirugai, but for Zen not included on the list, now thats a big surprise!! I have never been a fan of OMI. Their selections are more ' variation on the same theme'! especially in the area of tuna!
Lastly, Asuka #2?! What do they offer that is sooo special??! Even Inatei in Richmond Hill has better choices!!
BlogTO never mentions this (not sure why, since it's always a point of contention):
THE LISTS ARE BASED ON USER VOTES.
The majority opinion rarely ever coincides with the critical/expert opinion, and that's all there is to it. There isn't any point to this sort of debate with that in mind. On top of that, BlogTO very rarely publishes negative reviews, so if you read reviews there, hyperbole is expected.
There is also a known downtown bias to the restaurants BlogTO reviews as well as the user base, so you cannot expect Michi or Zen to figure highly when the people that vote on these things are mostly downtown dwellers.