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Best sushi in boston

Where can I get the best sushi in boston?

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  1. O Ya and Uni get a lot of good press... not the cheapest places to eat, though..

    1 Reply
    1. re: grant.cook

      Still good press, but cheaper is Oishi.
      The still good press with some negative, but overall still better than most Toraya and Fishmarket. And then there seems to be those if you are in the area they are tasty but don't go out of your way. Samurai, Genki Ya, etc.

    2. You may find this recent article of interest. Too bad they have removed all the readers comments.


      "Here [Boston], restaurants serving sushi are more often run by Chinese and Korean restaurateurs than Japanese. These entrepreneurs are sometimes less beholden to sushi tradition."

      I would say that the vast majority (90+%?) of Boston's sushi owners and chefs are not Japanese.

      1. A few readers of that article recommended this little gem (run by Japanese?). Yet to check it out, and hope it is better than Sakanaya.


        2 Replies
        1. re: eatntell

          any thoughts on the better than Sakanaya. That is where i buy my sashimi.

          1. re: eatntell

            It is definitely run by Japanese - the Sushi chef and the store.

            This is were we get all of our sashimi - my wife is Japanese - she thinks this is a great value. The absolute best, no, but for the money - great sushi and sashimi.

            A great think to do is let them make omakase - sushi and sashimi - you tell them how much you want to spend and they will decide what to give you. We usually get $15 or $20 a person and this makes a nice portion of our dinner.

          2. Although not in Boston proper, Fuji in Kendal is awesome. Better than Oishi and between O Ya and Uni. Kendal has a lot of cook new restaurants and Fuji is def a stand out.

            5 Replies
            1. re: westside1izzy

              I find that hard to believe (re: Fuji) unless my experience was an extreme outlier (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832181).

              To the OP, understanding what you prefer (sashimi, nigiri, maki; traditional, creative, americanized) would help generate some better recs. Also, you can search countless on threads on this subject. For my taste and $, Oishii Chestnut Hill or Sushi Island are tops.

              1. re: westside1izzy

                Glad you liked it that much. I too am ecstatic that Kendall has been such a hot hub for so many recent new restaurants in the area. While all are not top notch, IMO, many are more than passable, and having many lunch options is a relief.

                With that being said, my experiences at Fuji are positive, but not over the top. Having dined at both O Ya and Uni, I don't think Fuji is even close. Both of those high-end places have their detractors, but I'd be surprised if many even think they're in the same league or shooting for the same audience as Fuji.

                Fuji is safe, serves decent enough sushi, a little pricey (but not surprising given its address) and in this sushi-desert that is this section of Cambridge, it's a good option. I actually prefer their more modest Quincy location, since I don't have to pay for chic decor.

                I happen to like O Ya and Uni better if you have a fat wallet. I have not been to Oishii given the original's location, and have heard enough so-so reviews of its South End location to not bother. I still like some of the old faves like Sakura Bana in downtown though it's been a while. I am looking forward to the new Yoki on Mass Ave in Cambridge; I dined in their Malden (Medford?) location once and liked it.

                Toraya and Sushi Island outside of Boston proper get consistently positive reviews on this board, though no personal experience with either. The curse of not having a car.

                1. re: kobuta

                  I hope Yoki is good. I hope it doesn't follow the footsteps of Floating Rock. I'm excited about it.

                  1. re: kobuta

                    You don't need a car for Toraya....Straight shot down Mass Ave on the 77 bus. The bus runs VERY frequently, so by the time you are done with dinner, you'll almost certainly find a bus home. Check out the nextbus app. It's a life-changer!

                  2. re: westside1izzy

                    It's laughable to compare Oishii and Fuji.

                  3. West of Boston, but still...according to Asian sources, Oga's on Route Nine in Natick is the best Japanese cuisine in the greater Boston area, sushi included. Chef Toru Oga is a native of Kyoto. His monthly specials are works of delectable genius. Service can be spotty and harried, but not obnoxiously so.

                    1. Oya and Uni are probably getting the best fish in town. I'm partial to more traditional, straightforward sashimi and don't love Oya, for that reason; but no denying the quality. Very expensive.

                      I've had some great sushi at Oishii Chestnut Hill but haven't to the SE branch.

                      A friend and I went to Sushi Island in Wakefield..thought it was very good.

                      Heard good things about Oga, but carless in downtown, it's just not that practical to get to.

                      I'm a big fan of Sakura Bana on Broad St..They always have some seasonal and interesting items.

                      I've been to Sakanaya but not recently. It was an exccellent source for raw fish. Sounds like they're making their own sushi now? When I was there, he had sea urchin from Tokyo and Santa Barbara. The Japanes was probably 4x the price and the owner didn't think it was that much better than the SB. He had a nice array of various tunas/varying fat content/prices and nice yellowtail.

                      I had a decent dinner at Billy Tse's on the waterfont last night. Not bad but I doubt I'd make a specil trip.. They get their fish from the same True World trucks that supply most of the areas sushi bar fish. Striped bass (a mistake they made, i'd ordered mackeral, which they offered to bring, but I'd eaten enough) was good but no better than the 1 I caught last week..:) and the maguro was good; but not any better than the tuna I catch each summer.

                      I think if someone said you can only eat raw fish from 1 place in town, I'd pick Uni..but it's sashimi, no rice. Don't miss the uni/quail egg. I think they were also doing an eel/foie gras prep that's not to be missed.

                      18 Replies
                      1. re: 9lives

                        i also really like uni bar and take people there when i am seeking something special with nice decor. But it is pricey.

                        I am a fan of Sakayana and the owner, who was a fish cutter in the main market in Tokyo, does make sushi and sashimi to go (that said, he was a fish cutter and not a sushi chef.).

                        that said, i generally cut the fish myself just prior to eating it. perhaps not so accurately cut, but i prefer to do most things culinary myself.

                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                          I'm more of a DIYer too when it comes to raw fish. These tuna was caught locally, but I've been fortunate to catch and eat mackeral, yellowtail (wild caught is very different from what we get in most sushi bars, which is usually farm raised..most wild doesn't have the high fat content)and more.

                          didn't think it would help the OP who asked for the best sushi to go catch your own..:)

                          Here's some photos I hope you enjoy. I know I had a lot of fun taking them.


                          1. re: 9lives

                            Those are awesome pics - thanks for sharing. The sand eels in the belly are a vivid reminder that these guys are not just gobbling fish food. :)

                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                              And those eels sell for $2-$3 apiece at the bait shop - that fish was smuggling a small fortune!

                              I must be old, I recall going to the docks in RI after the weigh in for the tuna tournament. Big fish on display, and from what I remember, this was before they would be bought and shipped to Japan. They were sent to a cat food cannery.

                              1. re: okra

                                Sand eels are not the same as the pricey live bait eels.

                                1. re: okra

                                  Sand eels are not in fact eels at all, but rather skinny fish mostly used for industrial purposes. Don't see them much in Boston, but on the outer cape they are sometimes frozen and sold for bait. A big bag of 50 or so are usualy $3-5. They are pretty delicate, and thus can not be live-lined like the more desirable true eels which are sold live in tanks as striper bait.

                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                    How would you even use sand eels for bait? Only thing I can think of is chummin' w/ a rubber sand eel lure w/ a hook on it :-)

                              2. re: 9lives

                                Wow - doesn't get fresher than that.

                                1. re: 9lives

                                  what do you do with all that tuna? looks like fun.

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    I have a vacuum packer so I fill my freezer.

                                    There's usually 3-4+ of us on the boat and there's plenty to give away to friends and neighbors, little barter..few sashimi and toro nights. Some of the guys like to grill it; but that's not my preference. I like to slice for sashimi or chop for tartare. The toro is especially conducive to tartare cuz until you get int the giants, most of the toro has a fair amount of sinew. I like to scrape it free. I'm sure with the right skills, a pro could slice around the sinew.

                                    Having a lot of tuna gives me the luxury of experimenting with different spices and add ons, cumin/cardamon, avocado, sesame oil, japapeno,and of course traditional with soy and wasabi.

                                    BTW, that eel shot turned Ms 9 off to tuna for a while.

                                    Freshness is great, but the texture actually improves with a little time on ice, days and I've kept it iced for close to a week with no loss in quality. Key is to keep it properly iced. If you eat it right out of the ocean, which of course I have, it's a little tough.

                                    1. re: 9lives

                                      Do you rinse before freezing? An old Croatian sailor once told me that it is essential to freeze the fish in the same salt water it is caught. He proved it by cooking a fish he claimed was caught a year earlier and was in the deep freeze - tasted pretty fresh to me. (This was home cooking.)

                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        I rinse in fresh water and pat dry with a paper towel; then vacuum pack, then freeze.

                                        I certainly can't disagree with salt water rinsing; but it's not generally practical to do it at the dock in Boston Harbor. I'm more likely to rinse OFF the surface water in the inner harbor than rinse with it..:)

                                        Sounds like something that might be advantageous if you were cutting and packing the fish in deeper waters with a better equipped, (and easier to clean )boat than I generally fish.

                                        1. re: 9lives

                                          Thanks - good point about the harbor water. :)

                              3. re: 9lives

                                Everything he said, and also add Toroya up in Arlington if you have a car or easy access to the 77. I'm really partial to Uni especially with what's happening behind the bar at Clio. Oishii is for those who love maki - their mushroom roll is not the be missed.

                                1. re: 9lives

                                  i wonder if sakura bana is still owned by Moonies?

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    I don't know that they ever were; which is not to say they weren't. I just don't know the owners.

                                    I know the Moonies bought up a lot of the Gloucester fish processing plants in the 70's and have continued to buy around the country. They own and operate True World Foods; which supplies many of the sushi restaurants around the country and is the largest supplier by a wide margin.

                                    1. re: 9lives

                                      Interesting on the True World front - are there any sushi joints that don't get supplied by True world? Just read up on this, and it looks like they have a lock on the market.

                                      1. re: 9lives

                                        OMG! you are sure about that? I ask because I had a long talk about the co. w/ one of its managers and he said they all spoke Japanese except him; he is Caucasian American. But Rev Moon was/is Korean. I spoke w/ that manager about this new ankimo(monkfish liver, discussed on this or another CH thread ) development (True World no longer supplies never-frozen ankimo, so the best/pickiest sushi chefs have to source it elsewhere .)