Best sushi restaurants in America for sushi, sashimi and sake

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Hard to believe there was ever a time when mainstream America recoiled at the thought of ingesting raw fish. Today, while even heartland supermarket delis stock salmon rolls, informed diners belly up to Japanese bars for omakase—not just in the best sushi restaurants in L.A. and best sushi restaurants in New York, but all across the country—putting themselves in their chef’s hands to experience an interactive, often open-ended feast. Where once date night might have meant getting cozy over a pepperoni pie (“It’s the best pizza in America,” he said as he wiped some cheese from his chin), today it might mean settling in for a night of non-stop, Edomae-style nigiri (emphasizing local species and warm vinegared rice) fueled by junmai daiginjo. If you’re especially lucky, it will be at one of these extraordinary shrines to the art of Japanese seafood.

Tyson Cole swears he didn’t set out to transform the Austin dining scene when he opened Uchi in a 1920s bungalow 12 years ago; he simply wanted the “creative freedom to get other people as addicted to Japanese food as I was.” But he did both, becoming the first American itamae to receive a James Beard Award for Best Chef and opening a larger but no less warmly chic spinoff, Uchiko, along the way. Despite the expansion, there’s no room here for pretension: for all his technical mastery and cutting-edge proclivities, Cole’s menus change often and range widely enough to appeal to novices as well as connoisseurs, who can compare, say, three different kinds of sea urchin while their warier companions sample tempura-fried Brie alongside “clean, crisp, light” sakes and white wines. READ MORE…

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