San Francisco, California
Located in San Francisco, Akiko’s stylish and rustic-chic design gives it a unique cave-like ambiance which appeals to all types of diners. Run by the Lee family for over three decades, the restaurant is known for its classic and contemporary sushi rolls in addition to a wide assortment of other Japanese seafood. Akiko’s is a restaurant which is perfect for those looking for a casual date location, and at the same time equally suitable for sushi and omakase aficionado’s wanting to try specialties such as Japanese black abalone and miso butter-kissed Hokkaido crab.
Perhaps the most eco-friendly restaurant in the city, Bamboo Sushi’s Certified Green status earns them the distinction as the world’s first sustainable sushi joint. The restaurant’s popularity grew so much that they expanded it to four locations now, with Bamboo Sushi’s opening in Seattle and Denver soon. While the sushi tastes delicious, it will be a bit more expensive than other sushi joints, but you can feel good about eating there as all ingredients are carefully sourced.
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts near Harvard University, most of Café Sushi’s staff and time were used to cater to university students who would regularly frequent the restaurant. The restaurant is nondescript and features low-key aesthetics which fit very well with its ‘hidden gem’ profile, even if the secret is pretty much out and has been out for years already. While the restaurant has a menu that features classic sushi rolls as well as more signature dishes such as maguro with wasabi oil and smoked sea salt, the main attraction is their generously priced omakase which is much more affordable than places of comparable value.
San Francisco, California
As soon as they debuted in 2016, Hashiri immediately became one of San Francisco’s priciest sushi restaurants due to its affiliation with an older sibling restaurant already popular in Tokyo. The restaurant’s décor is modern, vibrant, and is equipped with 16 video projectors that illuminate the room with visions of the changing seasons. The restaurant’s menu is also ever-changing, reflecting the changing of the seasons and also to showcase Japan’s rich seasonal ingredients. Hashiri earned a Michelin star in their first effort, and they are most famous for their kaiseki menu, which is 18-course menu that features both sushi and other plated dishes such as chilled snap pea broth with ebi and sturgeon caviar.
Chef B.K. Park, who made a name for himself as chef at the famed Arami, is the owner of Juno, one of Chicago’s most impressive Japanese restaurants. After surviving both a kitchen fire as well as the loss of his front-of-house partner Jason Chan, Park continues to wow customers at Juno with his showstopping signatures like the famous smoked Hamachi presented under a glass dome filled with cherry wood smoke. While the restaurant is minimalist in design, it is often packed with customers eager to try what Park has to offer.
Sushi and DC go hand-in-hand. The city features multiple Michelin-starred Japanese restaurants, so odds are you’ll encounter great sushi anywhere you go, however it’s generally a safe bet to opt for a place that’s consistently a favorite among Japanese embassy workers and visiting diplomats and tourists. Sushi Taro, one of Washington’s favorite sushi restaurants, specializes in kaiseki which is a multi-course Japanese dinner. On the menu at any given time are multiple seasonally inspired options at different prices points to fit the needs and budgets of all types of people. There’s also a special chef-guided omakase where diners can choose what they want to eat based on their own preferences. While Sushi Taro may sound like a place reserved for special occasions, their happy hour menu says otherwise as locals looking for an economical way to enjoy great sushi and beer will flock to Sushi Taro for this menu.