The popularity of sushi continues to soar in Nassau and Suffolk, whether for kaleidoscopic, colorful rolls or simple, impeccably prepared fish on ovals of vinegared rice. A lot of the best seafood on Long Island is uncooked. Here are Newsday’s choices for the 10 top sushi restaurants of 2016.
Arata Sushi(Credit: Newsday / Rebecca Cooney)
Arata Sushi, Syosset: Jimmy Lian, a Nobu veteran, prepares colorful, flavorful sushi here. And he also sends out lively riffs on the Asian-fusion theme. He works like a diamond cutter and the results are suitably pristine and precise. Recommended: omakase, or the chef's choice of what's best from the market that day, which may include eight pieces and diverting combinations such as white tuna with salsa verde and fluke with onion salsa; ceviche-packed fish tacos; the salmon "invincible sandwich"; maguro tuna "invictus"; shrimp shumai. (Pictured: The "Invincible Sandwich" Roll).
Omakase, a chef's choice plate, is served with, from left, tuna classic with creamy onion, salmon with crispy brussels sprouts and cilantro, yellow tail with yuzu jalapeno soy, grilled sea bass with miso and spicey kepap, and fluke cerviche at Arata Sushi in Syosset.
Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar(Credit: Yana Paskova)
Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar, Melville: Long Island's only four-star Japanese restaurant, Be-Ju is a remarkable experience. The dining room is tucked into a corner of Jewel restaurant, but the serene style and meticulous sushi from Shigeki Uchiyama and Tom Schaudel are distinctly its own. Recommended: a great omakase; o-toro, or fatty tuna; chu-toro, or medium-fatty tuna; scallops; bluefin tuna with green olive tapenade; steamed monkfish liver with sea urchin and ponzu sauce; tuna tataki with black truffle vinaigrette; shrimp-and-sea-urchin risotto. (Pictured: Wasabi tobiko sushi).
Bluefin tuna sushi is served at Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar in Melville.
Ginza(Credit: Newsday / Rebecca Cooney)
Ginza, Massapequa: Perfect fish from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo highlights the adventure of eating at Ginza, an opulent, imposing, ambitious establishment that invariably comes through. Elegant presentations, attentive service and eye-catching design. Recommended: fatty and medium-fatty tuna; Japanese snapper, or madai; bigeye snapper; baby yellowtail; horse mackerel; striped jack; live orange clam; toro tuna tartare; fluke usuzukuri; spirited sushi rolls that don't overwhelm the stellar fish; all traditional nigrizushi; and the chef's selection from Tsukiji. (Pictured: The icon roll).
At Ginza in Massapequa, The Ginza sushi and sashimi platter features such delicacies as blue fin tuna belly, sea urchin and baby yellowtail.
Hana(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Hana, Port Washington: Sleek and handsome behind a bamboo facade Hana marks a dramatic departure from the style of the many restaurants that have opened and closed here. It's an ideal stage for the splashily fresh seafood from the Tsukiji Market and the New Fulton Fish Market. Recommended: the multicourse omakase; chirashi, or scattered sushi, on rice; "blue skin" horse mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and Japanese mackerel; amberjack; striped bass; miso-braised black cod; pork buns; Wagyu A5 rib-eye and striploin; roasted lobster with garlic butter and shellfish risotto. (Pictured: The Kiss of Fire sushi roll).
Yellowtail topped with jalapeno is served at Hana in Port Washington.
Koiso(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)
Koiso, Carle Place: Kyoko and Kikumatsu Mitsumori are the mom and pop who own this old-school Japanese restaurant. Kikumatsu buys much of his own hopping-fresh local fish in Freeport, then expertly slices it with skills honed over 40 years. He's not interested in putting out innovative rolls, and your best bets here are the simplest: nigirizushi, sashimi, chirashi. Kyoko is responsible for the cooked menu, including huge homemade gyoza, ramen and donburi (rice bowls). (Pictued: Omakase sushi platter).
Kikumatsu (left) and Kyoko Mitsumori own Koiso in Carle Place.
Nagashima(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Nagashima, Jericho: The pleasure of Nagashima is its restraint. Makoto Kobayashi's emphasis is on the very fresh fish, flawlessly sliced. Try to get a seat at the sushi bar and witness his artistry up close. Recommended: sushi and sashimi combination platters; chirashi sushi; a la carte yellowtail toro, maguro tuna, fluke, jumbo sweet shrimp, squid, octopus, freshwater eel; yellowtail and scallion roll; salmon tataki with miso-mustard vinaigrette; grilled yellowtail collar; buckwheat noodle soup with seafood and chicken; spicy pork soup. (Pictured: The chirashi bowl).
A sashimi appetizer of the chef's devising consists of salmon, sesame crusted seared tuna and albacore, and assorted vegetables at Nagashima in Jericho.
Nikkei of Peru(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Nikkei of Peru, Port Washington: Hermanto and Lina Jong's rousing fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine pack Nikkei of Peru almost every night. The Jongs both have worked in the Nobu empire. Six of the 42 seats are at the sushi bar. Wait for one. Recommended: the "inspiration" menu, with silky fish and perfectly paired toppings, from chimichurri to threads of crisp onion; sashimi tacos with tomatillo salsa; ceviche of shellfish and finfish; traditional sushi and sashimi; seared beef wontons; beef tiradito-style; steamed monkfish liver with sweet miso sauce and caviar; roasted chicken; sliders. (Pictured: Beef tiradito).
Ceviche mixta, a mixture of shellfish, fish, tomato, onion and fresh lime juice, is served at Nikkei of Peru in Port Washington.
Taka(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)
Taka, Westbury: Taka Yamaguchi offers a lesson in sushi at the bar, where the coveted seats in his namesake restaurant are located. There's no fussiness, no over-orchestration, no out-of-sync flavors in his modest, strip-mall setting. You immediately know why you're here. Recommended: the chef's choice production, seasonal and whimsical, with likely selections including Spanish mackerel capped with scallion and ginger, marinated mackerel, yellowtail sushi with shiso leaf, fatty tuna, sweet shrimp, salmon skin roll, spicy scallop, sea urchin. (Pictured: Oysters on the half shell and raw octopus).
Aji (Spanish mackerel) sushi is topped with ginger and scallions at Taka in Westbury.
Toku Modern Asian(Credit: Jin Lee)
Toku Modern Asian, Manhasset: Toku Modern Asian is a showcase for handsome design and creative cuisine. It's situated in the Americana shopping center. Recommended: toro tartare, fluke tiradito, chu-toro carpaccio, Japanese snapper, amberjack, sweet shrimp, live scallop; traditional sushi rolls; house special sushi rolls; lobster taco; yellowtail with jalapeño and ponzu sauce; pork buns; kung pao chicken; Kurobuta pork gyoza; octopus carpaccio with crisp fried leeks; pork ramen; chicken ramen; Kobe beef and shishito pepper skewer; roasted lobster with udon noodles. (Picured: Lobster tacos).
Octopus carpaccio is served at Toku Modern Asian in Manhasset.
Yamaguchi(Credit: Michael Nagle)
Yamaguchi, Port Washington: After a devastating fire, Yamaguchi came back last year and opened at a new address a few doors down from the original site. The much-missed restaurant immediately was jammed by diners seeking purists' delights, focused and unadorned, devoted to simplicity and clarity. They found them once more. Recommended: fatty tuna, maguro tuna, yellowtail, mackerel, scallops, and any sushi or sashimi your host or hostess suggests; fluke usuzukuri; squid with cod roe; salmon roe with grated yam; fried icefish; lobster katsu. (Pictured: Chef's sushi and sashimi special).
Beef with scallions is served at Yamaguchi in Port Washington.