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Zer Netmouse
July 29th, 2004
06:34 pm

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so I've got Yatsuba..
and Sushi.com downtown. I've tried Miki and wasn't impressed.

Are there any other really good sushi places in the near Ann Arbor area I perhaps ought to know about?


--Anne

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From:sraun
Date:July 29th, 2004 04:00 pm (UTC)
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Want me to ask on GT? Between them and SEMGS (which has a high GT overlap), they probably know every sushi place in MI, IL & IN.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 29th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Want me to ask on GT? Between them and SEMGS (which has a high GT overlap), they probably know every sushi place in MI, IL & IN.


um, sure!
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From:sraun
Date:July 31st, 2004 11:00 am (UTC)
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From someone in GT:

As for sushi, I prefer Makkara on Washtenaw across from Arbor Land mall. I think Wasabi, Miki and Hodaiko are decent, but Wasabi is better than Miki. I have not been to Hodaiko in many years but some of my friends seem to like it quite a bit.

Hodaiko is in Three Oaks Plaza ??? across from Meijer's on Ann Arbor - Saline road. Wasabi is downtown on Liberty ?? near the key bank. It's been given rave reviews in the papers, but I still prefer Makkara. Makkara has a nice $12 special of a roll and either 3 or 6 nigiri. Yum.
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From:sarahf
Date:July 29th, 2004 04:51 pm (UTC)
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There's a great restaurant on Plymouth Rd, in the complex just before North Campus. Don't remember what it's called--some starting with an "S"--but it was my favorite Japanese restaurant.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 29th, 2004 07:57 pm (UTC)

Saica?

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Thanks for the reference. I'll check it out!

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From:sarahf
Date:July 30th, 2004 07:55 am (UTC)

Re: Saica?

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Yes, that's it. It's been a long while since I've been there, but I really liked it. We kinda defaulted to Yatsuba since we moved to that side of town, but Saica was great. What we really liked about it was that it did wonderful sushi (in my estimation), but also did those other cool Japanese cook-at-the-table-soup-things-whose-name-escapes-me-now, which Jon really likes. So we could each get something great without having to "make do" when the other got a craving. Hope you like it.
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From:scottij
Date:July 29th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)

Now you're talking my language!

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Sushi.come is the worst sushi I've ever had. Avoid it like the plague.

The one on north campus is called Saica, and is in the shopping center behind Cafe Marie. They are pretty good.

For my money, the best sushi to be had is either at Yotsuba, or at Yamato, which is in Kerrytown. I personally think Yamato is the best sushi in Ann Arbor -- very authentic restaurant. It's tucked in behind the Kerrytown shops, just off the courtyard between the food market and the building with Kitchen Port.

Other sushi places in AA:

Seoul Garden on Boardwalk in south Ann Arbor has sushi. They used to have an all you can eat sushi dinner on Monday nights. Not sure if they still do or not.

Makkara is a little take out cafe. You can buy their sushi at Arbor Farms, or at the main cafe at Washtenaw and Pittsfield Rd. They are pretty good.

Godaiko is in the Oak Valley Shopping Center (where Outback is). I've never eaten there, but I've heard it's good.

Fuji is also over in Kerrytown (in Braun Court by the Aut bar). It's ok, but not amazing.

Totoro opened on State St. last year. It's across the street from Zanzibar. They're pretty good.

Pacific Rim has some sushi, but is pretty upscale. They actually have excellent food all around -- mainly French and Asian, and are one of my favorite places to eat in Ann Arbor.

There are probably a number of sushi places I haven't mentioned, but I think these are the best that I've tried.

Mmm... Sushi...
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From:netmouse
Date:July 29th, 2004 09:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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good to know about Yamoto, and I will look and see where saica is. I was also very impressed by yatsoba. I have entered all the places you guys recommend into my cell phone and will probably check them out at some point, whether I send Neil there or not. :)

thanks for the detailed comments,

--Anne


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From:tammylc
Date:July 30th, 2004 05:14 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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Speaking of sending Neil, are we still dinnering tonight, perhaps?
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From:netmouse
Date:July 30th, 2004 05:32 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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I really don't know. I don't want to presume too much on what Neil might want to do. I would favor Yamoto if any place. Mary Kay seemed really wiped out last night; I hope she made it to the hotel safely. I didn't talk to her about the idea. My guess is that Neil might want to just eat at the hotel for the chance to mix with conference people. Last night he seemed disturbed to be arriving after the programming has already started and missing presentations of papers on his work.

I'm a little scattered right now.
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From:tammylc
Date:July 30th, 2004 05:39 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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Well, let me know if something comes together.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 30th, 2004 06:10 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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I guess I was thinking it would be nice if someone wanted to go out anyway, if they could just go to a place Neil would like, like Yamoto, and have space for us at the table, and then I could offer him that option when he gets here. I get the impression that Yatsuba and Yamoto are both small places and one ought to have a reservation for dinner on Friday. But I don't want to impose on people and have them make plans and hope to have dinner with Neil when he might decide against, you know?

that was why I was pleased when Mary Kay declared her intention to try out restaurants - I thought you guys might already be going out and then we could either hitch on or not, and that would be flexible. (also, of course, Neil's flight might be delayed and this could all be a moot point. But weather at least seems okay, so I don't expect that)
I need to get Neil to Borders by 7:30 so he needs to have a slightly early dinner. I don't want to try to plan too much in. I could probably just ask him what he wants to do, but I have to admit I'm a little intimidated by him in an odd way. I'm torn.

(you could tell that, I bet)

Sorry I'm being so wishy-washy.
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From:backrubbear
Date:July 30th, 2004 07:07 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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Actually, dizzi_d and I both love Sushi.come. It has all been good and is probably the best priced sushi in the area. Perhaps you had a bad night there?

I used to hit Saica for lunch when I worked in Arbor Lakes. Not too bad, but nothing exciting.

Godaiko is yummy. I'd put them and Yotsuba about on par with Godaiko having much better specialty rolls.

Miki is poor. I don't recommend them.

There's also Wasabi on (I think) Washington. I ate there twice soon after they opened and never went back. However, like many new restaurants, they may have improved.

Seoul Garden... I've had sushi there about 5 different times, all during lunch. I refuse to go back there again. However, someone recently suggested that their sushi is fine for Korean sushi, which is supposed to be slightly different than Japanese sushi.

If I had to come up with my list of places to eat in A2 for sushi, in order it would be:

Sushi.come
Godaiko
Yotsuba
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From:tammylc
Date:July 30th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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Wasabi went the way of many new restaurants - didn't get better and disappeared.

Funny that Miki is getting the big thumbs down. I remember when people considered it Ann Arbor's best - but there's a lot more competition now!
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From:bjorng
Date:July 31st, 2004 04:50 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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It's been a while since Miki was tops according to anyone I knew. Ten to fifteen years ago, when there were only a couple of sushi places in town, Fuji in Kerrytown had better buzz in my circle of friends. (I haven't been to Fuji in about a decade now. Hmm.) I was never terribly fond of either of those, though they both made serviceable sushi. Of course, my tastes have changed a lot since then....
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From:tammylc
Date:July 31st, 2004 05:07 am (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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Yeah, it was around 7 or 8 years ago that I'm remembering.
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From:tammylc
Date:July 30th, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Now you're talking my language!

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Eric and I went to Yamato tonight. You're right - it was very good. Service was kinda flakey (my stir fried noodles came out waaaay after all the other food), but it sure was tasty.
From:djinnlurker
Date:July 30th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC)
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Yamato is very small, and doesn't have large tables. If you're planning to try it, definitely get a reservation.

Excellent quality, though a less extensive selection of sushi than most places, and he sticks to the traditional stuff (none of the exotica like deep-fried sushi rolls, "Michigan Roll," etc.). Probably the best-trained Japanese chef in Ann Arbor. Literally a mom-and-pop place. Cozy, and you feel welcome. Windows look out on the Kerrytown courtyard.

Godaiko is also good, more of a range both in items and quality, and a lot of innovative stuff. Bigger, flashier. You're more likely to be able to get a table there.

(This is Joe from AASFA, btw. If you have any questions, feel free to email me; I know both places pretty well.)
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From:scottij
Date:July 30th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC)
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Good point about the size of Yamato. Though if you go for lunch, I've never had trouble just walking in and getting a table. I've only been for dinner once, so I can't comment on that.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 30th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC)
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If it were four people or less, I wouldn't worry either. It sounded like she's bringing a larger group.

(Whoever mentioned Wasabi up there -- it's closed now.)
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From:netmouse
Date:August 4th, 2004 05:08 am (UTC)

thanks for the descriptions -kudos for accuracy

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Yamato is very small, and doesn't have large tables. If you're planning to try it, definitely get a reservation.

Excellent quality, though a less extensive selection of sushi than most places, and he sticks to the traditional stuff (none of the exotica like deep-fried sushi rolls, "Michigan Roll," etc.). Probably the best-trained Japanese chef in Ann Arbor. Literally a mom-and-pop place. Cozy, and you feel welcome. Windows look out on the Kerrytown courtyard.

Godaiko is also good, more of a range both in items and quality, and a lot of innovative stuff. Bigger, flashier. You're more likely to be able to get a table there.


Neil had a friend come into town Saturday night and asked to have a place recommended to him for dinner (specifically sushi). I gave him roughly these descriptions of Godaiko and Yamoto and my own description of Yatsuba and based on those he decided to go to Yamoto.

The following day he reported that he was really glad he picked that one, that it was just as you'd described it, and the food was really good. So thanks!

:)
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From:rmeidaking
Date:July 30th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC)
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Ann Arbor has a surprising number of little sushi places for such a relatively small city. It's to the point that I suspect all these college students are having pizza, Mexican or sushi every night.

That having been said, I have yet to find a sushi place that stands out from the rest that doesn't also stand out for having to pay $25 for a decent lunch.

I had a nice lunch at a shop in Briarwood Mall; they had a reasonable combo for around $10. I had a not-so-nice combo at a place on Washtenaw, just up from the Subway. The guy I was with from work raved about the place; who knows what he'd say to one of the shops I was used to in Chicago.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems there shouldn't be that much variation and level of quality in what is basically fresh raw fish and white rice, with wasabi and soy sauce on the side....nevertheless, there is.

I would check out more dinner-type restaurants, but S doesn't much like fish of any kind, and especially if it hasn't been nicely grilled first. :-)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 30th, 2004 10:51 am (UTC)

Another vote for Godaiko

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Clif Flynt here, via a note to the GT list.

Godaiko and Saica are my favorites for Japanese food in AA. There's also a decent sushi/bakery on the
south side Washtenaw just a bit West of Arborland.

When you're in a hurry, the plastic-box sushi from Meijer's is no worse than any other pre-made sushi
I've had, and better than many pre-made sushi collections.

I've done the all-you-can-eat at Seoul Garden in the past, and with that deal, the price/quantity/quality
ratio comes out pretty good. I wasn't pleased or displeased with the sushi otherwise. For Korean food
in AA, I prefer Kana, Seoul Kitchen (near campus), or Bell's Diner on W. Stadium.
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From:bjorng
Date:July 31st, 2004 04:46 am (UTC)
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I really like Yamato, and as an overall Japanese restaurant I'd say it's the best in town. Their sushi is of consistently high quality, and they have a good variety on their "sushi menu". It has been around for a long time, and quietly puts out excellent food.

I'm also very fond of Godaiko, which has the added benefit of a daily two-for-one special on rolls. (Different roll every day.) The owner is also the head sushi chef, and most nights he's behind the sushi bar. My old boss, Terry, is a regular there, and he loves it for his kids -- he can get a quality meal for himself, and get them something good and filling for not much money.

I've been going to Saica off and on since it opened (maybe five years ago?) and it has also treated me well. In my opinion, it has improved in the last couple of years. That's the place that got me hooked on asparagus rolls -- they put something else in it that just makes it taste wonderful to me. Not that I recommend that roll to just anyone, but it says something about their work that a simple vegetable roll can be so good.

The sushi/bakery on Washtenaw is called Makkara Sushi. That's more of a lunch place in my book. They have these huge (11-piece) rolls that they call "california rolls" but come in about a dozen different varieties. Quality is good but not stellar. I think it's an excellent value, though. You can get a *big* lunch with a small soup for about nine bucks.

There's also Totoro on State Street north of Liberty, which is a pretty good place with (I think) very nice ambience. I rarely went there, though. With sushi.come right around the corner it was hard to justify going to a more expensive place just for nicer tables.

Speaking on the broader topic of value, I think that Yotsuba's lunch specials are an excellent value. They usually run about nine to ten bucks, always include a salad and a big bowl of soup (usually soba) and some other goodie -- either a smallish sushi sampler or a big rice-bowl with some yummies on it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 1st, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
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This is Wes Plouff via the GT list. Here's a slightly off-topic suggestion offered in the same spirit as Bruce Schneier's famous recommendation that the Tunnel Bar-B-Q has the best ribs in Minneapolis.

Try calibrating your Ann Arbor sushi experiences against Noble Fish in Clawson. It's a Japanese grocery on 14 Mile just east of Main St, about 2 miles west of I-75. The sushi bar in the back seats no more than 15 people. They are closed Mondays and otherwise open only to 7 PM.

What makes it worth the drive east is the freshest sushi in SE Michigan. They pretty much stick with traditional varieties, the preparation is near flawless, and the prices are moderate.
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From:bjorng
Date:August 1st, 2004 06:41 pm (UTC)
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I wish I knew what the GT list was.... I'd love to follow your suggestion, but I recently moved to Atlanta, and Clawson is pretty inconvenient for me now.
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