Sushi, Anyone?

One thing I’ve noticed about Orlando in the past decade or so is the proliferation of sushi restaurants. I first tried the delicacy about 11 years ago, and immediately fell in love with the mixture of rice, seaweed, seafood, and wasabi. Ichiban used to have the only sushi I deemed trustworthy, but I’m happy to say there are now several restaurants that put out consistently good, if not great, sushi.

Standing head and shoulders above the rest, in my opinion, is Amura. They have locations in downtown Orlando (still open on Church Street despite the third-world-looking construction right outside their front door), on “restaurant row” near I-4 on Sand Lake, and a new location has sprung up in the nouveau-chic Colonialtown area in Sanford/Lake Mary. Each and every time I have visited Amura, it’s been amazing. They feature a variety of rolls, and I have yet to try one that is less-than-exceptional.

Ichiban is still good; I would go so far as to say it’s the second-best place to get sushi in Orlando. Nipping (pardon the racially-insensitive pun) at its heels, however, is Fuji Sushi . When you take into account the fact that they have a location on Lee Road, you’ll be as amazed as I was the first time I dined there by the quality of food and friendliness of their servers and chefs. They also have a restaurant in the Dr. Phillips area, but I’ve not been there. Seito has also opened up a Baldwin Park location to go with their original store in the Winter Park Villages. I can’t really say anything bad about Seito, but consistency doesn’t seem to be their strongest point and their selection is far-from-breathtaking.

Bad sushi is about the most unpleasant 2-word combination I can think of, next to “Yanni concert.” Unfortunately, that’s what I’ve had both times I’ve been to Hana Sushiin Altamonte Springs. The crap they put out at Crazy Buffet is better than that. I’m also unimpressed with Kobe, though their prices during the early dinner hours are hard to beat. When it comes to things like sushi, though, I’m not so sure that discount-shopping is recommended. The other thing about Kobe is that after your meal, they invite you to their resort room and have their way with you (whether you asked for it or not).

Forgive my closed-mindedness, but there are certain parts of Central Florida that I will never trust enough to cram their sushi in my mouth. They include (but are not limited to) Casselberry, Ocoee, Oviedo, Pine Hills, Clermont, Winter Springs, Union Park, and the Parramore area. I just recently got over my anti-roundeye policy where sushi chefs are concerned, but I’m not yet ready to venture out into the aforementioned hamlets. ‘Nuff said.

If you’ve found some stellar sushi at a place I omitted, please feel free to comment…or if you disagree with my assessments, please step to this. In a city that not only tolerates but regales predictable crap like the O.G., discerning palates are hard to come by-but easy to come on (if I’m allowed to get NC-17 here). I’d honestly like to get your take on sushi in Central Florida.

3 Comments so far

  1. FryGuy (unregistered) on August 12th, 2005 @ 1:28 am

    Amura is one of the best in town, for price and quality.Other Places of Note
    Ran-Getsu in I-Drive
    Sushi Hatsu in Downtown
    Shari Sushi in Thorton Park for the yups
    And Publix…just kidding


  2. Jason Ferguson (unregistered) on August 12th, 2005 @ 8:21 am

    Drew: sorry to tell you, but the best sushi in town is actually in Casselberry. Fo’real. At Yae Sushi, just a bit north of Aloma on 436 (it might technically still be in Winter Park if that makes you feel better).

    Again, “best sushi” is like “best children,” the edge always goes to what you know, but Yae Sushi is seriously awesome and perhaps the most authentic Japanese restaurant in town.


  3. Chenel Currence (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

    Hello there,

    I love Amura’s and eat there quite frequently. But my 2nd choice is Fuji Sushi. They are excellent and have received the AOL City Guide Aware, The Scott Joseph Food Critic Award as well as many others. They 2 locations, but the one that I go to is at 6700 Conroy Road, Orlando, Fl 32835. Their phone number is (407) 298-2989. Their website is fujisushiconroy.com.

    I was blown away by the fresh delicious bubba rolls.



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