LifestyleRestaurants Nagashima Japanese Restaurant August 25, 2010 3:36 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Recent blog post from Erica Marcus I was minding my own business at Nagashima’s sushi bar last night, when a customer walked in with an enormous bouquet of greenery and presented it to a grateful sushi chef. It took me a while to recognize the greenery in question because I’d never seen so much of it in one place: It was shiso, the tart, fuzzy frill-edged leaf used as a garnish with sushi. The shiso (AKA perilla) was handed to a waiter, who brought it into the kitchen. I grabbed my camera and went after him, but the sushi chef, Jin, followed me and beckoned me instead to the restaurant’s back door. Outside, in the parking lot, he showed me his own potted shiso bushes (one green, pictured here, and one red), along with a Japanese cucumber plant and two Styrofoam boxes in which grew curly parsley. I’m not a big shiso fan, but when I returned to my post at the sushi bar, I dutifully ate the locally grown leaf on my plate—as well as the parsley I had been planning to leave over. ________________________________________ Nagashima has ranked among Long Island better Japanese restaurants for many years. It's still lively and inviting. The sushi chefs are in overdrive with stylish, flavorful handrolls. And with dishes such as "eggplant Oreo," a snappy little construct with good flavor, flair and an ode to the architecture of the cookie; excellent, lush white tuna kushiyaki; lustrous bonito and Spanish mackerel tataki; and shrimp-stuffed shiitake mushrooms. The sashimi also is recommended, especially yellowtail, tuna and fluke. But the tempuras and teriyakis are standard, nothing inspiring. Yakitori also is routine. The best strategy here is to go over the specials, which lead the selections. Otherwise, stick with the more playful sushi rolls. You may precede them with a satisfying soup, miso among them. No need to stay for dessert. Service is efficient and generally friendly; you won't get that impression on the phone. Peter M. Gianotti Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.