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 2017.
Note: Most dishes mentioned are samples of the restaurants’ menus and may not be available at all times. Seasonal changes and dish substitutions are common.
Arata Sushi (18 Cold Spring Rd., Syosset): Jimmy Lian, a Nobu veteran, prepares colorful, flavorful sushi here, as well as inventive riffs on the Asian-fusion theme. Lian works like a diamond cutter for results that are pristine and precise. Recommended: omakase -- or the chef's choice of what's best from the market that day -- which may include sushi of diverting combinations such as white tuna with salsa verde and fluke with onion salsa. Also look for ceviche-packed fish tacos; the salmon "invincible sandwich"; maguro tuna "invictus"; shrimp shumai. More info: 516-921-8154
Crabmeat samosa is served at Arata Sushi in Syosset.
Ginza (45 Carmans Rd., Massapequa): Impeccable fish from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo anchors the adventurous meals at Ginza, an opulent, imposing, ambitious establishment that always comes through. Elegant presentation, attentive service and eye-catching design enhance the experience. 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 smother the stellar fish; traditional nigrizushi; and the chef's selection from Tsukiji. More info: 516-882-9688, ginzali.com
The Ginza sushi and sashimi platter features such delicacies as blue fin tuna belly, sea urchin and baby yellowtail at Ginza in Massapequa.
Hana (14 Haven Ave., Port Washington): Sleek, handsome and behind a bamboo facade, Hana marks a dramatic departure from the many restaurants that have opened and closed in this location, and serves up 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. More info: 516-883-4262, hanaportwashington.com
Miso-braised black cod is served at Hana in Port Washington.
Koi Sushi Lounge
Koi Sushi Lounge (136 Main St., Sayville): This former diner on Sayville's Main Street exudes bling inside and out, from a glimmering silver facade to a futuristic sushi bar to plates of raw fish decked out with droplets of bright sauce or funky garnishes. While Koi proudly swims against the purist sushi ethic, chef Danny Dong is still serious about fish, sourcing both via mail order from Japan and Queens fish markets. His nigiri sushi is bouncy-fresh and generous. Recommended: beef negimaki; filet-mignon carpaccio in yuzu sauce; yellowtail cigars with wasabi-yuzu and sour plum sauce; bomb lobster roll; nigiri sushi; sashimi. More info: 631-563-0777, koisushiny.com
Beef negimaki is served at Koi Sushi Lounge in Sayville.
Koiso (540 Westbury Ave., 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 knife skills honed over 40 years. He's not interested in creating complicated rolls, so 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). More info: 516-333-3434
Homemade gyoza, fried dumplings, are served at Koiso in Carle Place.
Nagashima (12 Jericho Tpke., Jericho): The pleasure of Nagashima is its restraint and chef Makoto Kobayashi's emphasis is on very fresh fish, flawlessly sliced. Snag 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. More info: 516-338-0022
A hand roll with sockeye salmon roe sushi is served at Nagashima in Jericho.
Nikkei of Peru
Nikkei of Peru (Multiple locations): Hermanto and Lina Jong's rousing fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine pack Nikkei of Peru in both Port Washington (55 Shore Rd.) and Oyster Bay (94 South St.) almost every night. The Jongs both have worked in the Nobu empire and six of Nikkei's 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. More info: nikkeiofperu.com
The Nikkei "Inspiration Sushi" is served at Nikkei of Peru in Port Washington.
Taka (821 Carman Ave., 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 this 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. More info: 516-876-0033
Oysters on the half shell and raw octopus are served at Taka in Westbury.
Toku Modern Asian
Toku Modern Asian (2014 Northern Blvd., 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. More info: 516-627-8658
Octopus carpaccio is served at Toku Modern Asian in Manhasset.
Yamaguchi (49 Main St., Port Washington): For more than 30 years, owners Akira and Yasuko Yamaguchi have been serving sushi that is focused and unadorned, attracting a devoted following. Their creations delight purists seeking simplicity and clarity. 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. More info: 516-883-3500, restaurantyamaguchi.com
Beef with scallions is served at Yamaguchi in Port Washington.