Though there’s no statistical evidence, word-of-mouth has made one thing clear: Long Islanders love their sushi. And they crave a range of options when it comes to dining out: Prodigious institutions that have mastered the art of sashimi to laid-back hideaways where rolls with vegetable or meat fillings take center stage. Strike gold (or soy sauce) at seven Long Island sushi restaurants that sit atop the food chain.
Kotobuki, Babylon, Hauppauge & Roslyn
Locals have their nose to the ground when it comes to sushi and Kotobuki has the lines to prove it. Prepare for a meal that steals the show as the fish is thinly sliced in front of hungry patrons by expert sushi chefs and presented in artistic and colorful rolls. Go.
Aji 53, Bay Shore & Smithtown
Nestled in the heart of Bay Shore and Smithtown, Aji 53 easily answers the question: “Where should we meet?” The Japanese-fusion kitchen dishes out creative and elegantly plated sushi in a trendy, funky atmosphere. Think flat-black warehouse ceilings lined with concave mirrors and a fluorescent light illuminated bar. As for the specialties, the American Dream roll is made with rock shrimp tempura, spicy lobster and spicy kani and served with a spicy creamy sauce. The Bay Shore roll (ahi tuna and avocado inside spicy crunchy salmon, topped with a spicy miso sauce) has been known to attract large crowds. Go.
Monsoon Asian Kitchen & Lounge, Babylon
It’s hard to miss Monsoon. The trendy two-story building that housed a bank in the 20s features a 35-foot red tile and black lattice ceiling, 30-foot bar, six-foot long communal tables and high-tech entertainment. The sushi menu is just as swanky. Try the Monsoon roll prepared with lobster, spicy tuna, avocado and jalapeño or the classic vegetable roll with sweet potato, spinach, Japanese eggplant and ginger teriyaki. Go.
Hidden in the Oakdale shopping center, Onsen keeps a low profile but elicits quite the flavor package. Each dish is as eye-catching as it is tasteful. The cooked spider roll, the lobster tempura roll and shrimp dominated tiger roll are highly recommended. For those feeling ambitious, the sushi & sashimi for two platter offers 10 pieces of sushi, 21 pieces of sashimi and two chef’s choice rolls like spicy tuna or spicy salmon. Go.
Kashi, Huntington, Syosset, Rockville Centre, Bellmore & Stamford
Kashi is known for its style, sophistication and sushi. The lounge features sashimi, rolls, tempura, teriyaki and hibachi preparations. Signature rolls, like the Sweet 16 with its interesting meld of shrimp tempura and cucumber topped with lobster salad, seared pepper, tuna and avocado in a spicy citrus sauce, add creativity to the menu. The Sunset Blvd., a mix of salmon, yellowtail, spicy, crunchy tuna and a drizzle of plum reduction, is another hit. Go.
Sushi Ya, Garden City
When sushi is the first word of the name, you know it must be good. The chef’s special is the Iron Tuna, an elegant-tasting spicy tuna wrapped with seared tuna in a plum citrus sauce. The traditional favorites have also made a name for themselves including the salmon roll and California rolls. Go.
Styled after the most fashionable districts in Tokyo, Ginza sparkles under the moonlight. The 5,400 square-foot modern Asian-inspired space seats a total of 175 diners, with a special chef’s sushi bar that hosts 10. The Tokyo roll with crabmeat, caviar, shrimp and mayo, the Yellowtail Jalapeño roll and the Oyster roll are top notch. Go.