Eleven Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley

Eleven Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley
Louie Banks

Since coming to the United States from Tokyo in the 1960s (when the California Roll was born), sushi has been found everywhere from grocery stores and restaurants to convenience marts in all 50 states and popular culture. (Hell, even Tony and Carmela ate it in The Sopranos' final-season opener.)

And with sushi creations ranging from the seriously simple to gourmet goodness to just plain crazy and fun, picking the Valley's best depends on what you're in the mood for. That's why we've selected 11 of our favorite places for sushi -- in no particular order and tailored to a variety of tastes.

• Fresh Wasabi

This strip-mall eatery in Glendale serves up pretty plates of sushi from a sizable selection. There are baked creations like scallop rolls, standard but flavorful spicy tuna rolls, and specialty creations like the Hotty Hamachi, a jalapeño-and-ponzu-infused yellowtail delight, and the mighty Coyotes Roll, made with salmon, eel, cream cheese, avocado and topped with orange tobiko. Solid service goes with the rolls.

• SakeBomber Sushi & Grill

Two miles from ASU's Tempe campus, Chef Eric Wang brings his Japanese fusion cuisine to this colorful and casual restaurant, featuring several adventurous rolls in addition to the popular beer cocktail known as the sake bomb. Dare to check out the fried chimichanga roll with (gulp) fried chicken, avocado, and jalapeño and the Volcano made with spicy tuna. Extra points for kung fu movies on the television sets.

• Sushi Ken

This crazy-popular and sometimes chaotic Ahwatukee Foothills restaurant from the former proprietors of Tucson's Sushi Ten may be bare bones in appearance, but its satisfying and reasonably priced sushi (several rolls are available for around $5 each) make up for the minimal décor. Try the uni and mackerel, and don't miss the chirashi, or "scattered" sushi. Wallet-wise, lunch specials are also a bonus.

• Yasu Sushi Bistro

No gimmicks at this cozy little gem in North Phoenix owned by chef Yasu Hashino. With impeccably fresh fish (don't miss the black cod and tuna carpaccio) and specials of the day such as sanma (mackerel pike) and ankimo (monkfish liver pate), guests may have a tough time deciding on sushi or Hashino's specialty, sumibiyaki, which are dishes grilled over Japanese oak charcoal.

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