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Feb 7, 2012 11:33 AM

Sushi MSP

We are seeking a great sushi spot for late night Friday near Aloft. How is Zen Box Izakaya or Wasabi please?

Much appreciation

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  1. Wasabi is fine and in walking distance. Never been to Zen. $6 cab ride up Washington Ave. from Aloft gets you to Origami, which is among the best in the cities, or to Nami which is more stylish than Wasabi.

    Me, I'm choosing Origami, but Nami is a nicer room.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lincster

      $6 cab would also get you to masu, across the bridge. origami or masu would both be a step up from nami, wasabi, or zen box in terms of food, i'd say. i would probably pick masu for food+ambiance.

    2. Some of the Japanese restaurants around the area aren't sushi places. They have it, but its not their "thing". Zen Box, Midori's Floating World, obento ya are example.

      I would recommend Origami or Masu for sushi as well. My favorite for just sushi being Origami. If you're thinking about food and sushi...Masu is better.

      I dislike Wasabi. If your choices are only Wasabi or Zen box, I'd go with Zen.

      7 Replies
      1. re: namabiiru

        we hit Origami...fabulous. We arrived 10 PM and were granted a deuce near the sushi bar...fabulous miso soup that cured what ailed me (sick as a dog) then a special roll with jalapeƱo and avocado and yellowfin and spicy tuna maki was lovely as was the veggie gyoza and the shrimp shimai (huge pieces of shrimp). Our server was great. We even had green tea ice cream. The meal plus a huge pot of lemon water soothed me and was a warm welcome to our first night in the twin cities. It's totally cold here..the cold is a very different cold as if the glaciers were above blasting icy air..going to explore and eat of course..

        1. re: phelana

          Glad you had a good time, phelana, and thank you for reporting back!

          Another question for the Board onSushi in the Twin Cities: where would you recommend takeout sushi? A couple of rolls, some sashimi... When I get lazy like this in the winter and just want to hunker down with a couple of movies, I will pick up some grocery store rolls - Kowalski's and Whole Foods both put out an OK selection. I would prefer, though, to pick up some really good sushi once in a while. Thoughts?

          1. re: rp1760

            I gotta think any place which will serve sushi on a plate in a restaurant will put it in a take-out box. Therefore the usual suspects (Origami, Masu, Fuji-ya, etc.) apply. Obviously some are easier to get to than others (for example, I'd avoid Fuji-Ya St. Paul on many Xcel event nights).

            Every time I eat "real" sushi, I'm reminded just how far behind supermarket sushi is. Far too cold and what should be crunchy no longer is because it sits in humidity. :-(

            1. re: rp1760

              I have seen most places in MSP put together take out boxes. Again, Origami is an easy choice as there is almost always a meter open close by to just run in and grab your order. On the St. Paul side Saji-Ya on Grand has a parking lot, but it sometimes gets full on busy nights. I agree with Steve that Fuji-ya is total hit or miss for convenience takeout parking, dependent on what is going on in downtown St. Paul. Either totally easy, or totally difficult.

              1. re: Lincster

                Origami has a parking lot that is free too directly across from the restaurant.

            2. re: phelana

              oh, feel better! i am glad you liked origami and especially got out of the immediate area of aloft-- which isn't located right in the thick of restaurants-- to get to the better chow-worthy options. i was worried you wanted only walk-able, which isn't very pleasant right now as you see! are we to assume that a short cab is okay for rec-ing other places?

            3. re: namabiiru

              Midori's has really nice sushi. In fact, my favorite bite I had (when I was eating sushi for a year) was their Unagi. Huge piece, came out warm, soft and crispy, it was awesome.

            4. Origami by far has the best sushi, and follow by Fuji-Ya (St. Paul location). Don't go to Wasabi and Masu! Wasabi use old stuffs and Masu seem to have all the cheap ingredient sushi rolls. Once I went their with my japanese friend and order omakase(Chef choice sushi), instead we got a bunch of spicy tuna and veg. roll instead. Only 4 tuna sushi in their. I guess the sushi chef think their best sashimi is regular tuna.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Buttersoy

                Masu doesn't use expensive fish because they are unsustainable.

                1. re: semanticantics

                  Than why do they even have Omekase than? If they do so, they better have some expensive fish for the price they charging. So are they try to have to best of both world, it will only backfire themselve in a long run.

                  1. re: Buttersoy

                    I have no idea, just telling you why they don't have bluefin and such. I've never been there and likely never will.

                    1. re: semanticantics

                      I understand the who sustainable seafood idea, but only if they don't use it as a marketing purposes.

                      1. re: Buttersoy

                        I don't understand...are they not to advertise that they have Itamae that do omakase or that they have a commitment to sustainable fisheries?

                        I hope the prior as part of the point of using sustainable stock is to bring attention to the issues with unsustainable fishing practices, not marketing it would be a disservice to...well, Earth.

                        1. re: Foureyes137

                          I guess that is the whole confusion of their business, they were the one who claim to only use sustainable stock and in their menu would has option of Omakase for the sushi. I certainly don't expect to have mostly vegetarian sushi in my order. On top of it, the idea of sustainable stock has not been track by the FDA, so the loop hole is huge in this case. So the whole idea of sustainable seafood practice is only for marketing purpose.

                          1. re: Buttersoy

                            They use the, as far as I know, largest accepted guide to such things: the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list. The FDA has nothing to do with matters of sustainability, the USDA does, and only peripherally.


                            The idea of sustainable stewardship of our natural resources is not just marketing. Good lord.

                            1. re: Foureyes137

                              I agree with what you are saying Foureyes, but unfortunately business people always use them as their marketing power to gain their wealth.