Sushi in Scottsdale is Stronger Than Ever

As with many ancient foods, the history of sushi is surrounded by legends and folklore. In an ancient Japanese wives’ tale, an elderly woman began hiding her pots of rice in osprey nests, fearing that thieves would steal them. Over time, she collected her pots and found the rice had begun to ferment. She also discovered that fish scraps from the osprey’s meal had mixed into the rice. Not only was the mixture tasty, the rice served as a way of preserving the fish, thus starting a new way of extending the shelf life of seafood.

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While it’s a cute story, the true origins of sushi are somewhat more mysterious. A fourth century Chinese dictionary mentions salted fish being placed in cooked rice, causing it to undergo a fermentation process. This may be the first time the concept of sushi appeared in print. The process of using fermented rice as a fish preservative originated in Southeast Asia several centuries ago. When rice begins to ferment, lactic acid bacilli are produced. The acid, along with salt, causes a reaction that slows the bacterial growth in fish. This process is sometimes referred to as pickling, and is the reason why the sushi kitchen iscalled a tsuke-ba or “pickling place.”

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Los Angeles was the first city in America to successfully embrace sushi. In 1966, a man named Noritoshi Kanai and his Jewish business partner, Harry Wolff, opened Kawafuku Restaurant in Little Tokyo. Kawafuku was the first to offer traditional nigiri sushi to American patrons. The sushi bar was successful with Japanese businessmen, who then introduced it to their American colleagues. In 1970, the first sushi bar outside of Little Tokyo, Osho, opened in Hollywood and catered to celebrities. This gave sushi the final push it needed to reach American success. Soon after, several sushi bars opened in both New York and Chicago, helping the dish spread throughout the U.S.

Sushi is constantly evolving. Modern sushi chefs have introduced new ingredients, preparation and serving methods. Traditional nigiri sushi is still served throughout the U.S., but cut rolls wrapped in seaweed or soy paper have gained popularity in recent years. Creative additions like cream cheese, spicy mayonnaise and deep-fried rolls reflect a distinct Western influence that sushi connoisseurs alternately love and disdain. Even vegetarians can enjoy modern vegetable-style sushi rolls.

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It’s a great time to be a sushi aficionado. The Japanese food scene in Scottsdale is stronger than ever as the American palate is evolving to be less squeamish towards raw fish and much more inclined towards simplicity than the fanciful mayonnaise-drenched rolls of yesteryear. Little Tokyo in itself is sushi central and not far from it are powerhouses like Sushi Zo and Sugarfish. You’ll get a good mix of affordable plus luxurious choices – all without driving very far.

 

Below is a List of 24 of Scottsdale’s Best Sushi Restuarants:

Big Eye Sushi Bar

Big Eye Sushi Bar1

Born in Seoul, South Korea, chef Yohan Yun first began working sushi restaurants when we was 16 years old.  However, he credits his father with teaching him many of the skills that he still uses at Big Eye Sushi Bar to craft miso, soy sauce, and nato, a type of …

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Sushi Brokers

Sushi Brokers2

SUSHI BROKERS IS SUSHI AND MORE…. Fresh top quality fish, expertly prepared by our amazing sushi chefs. Choose from over 20 creative sushi rolls that are interesting and tasty! A nice selection of wines are offered for the perfect pairing. In addition, we feature many bottled beers, sake and a …

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RA Sushi Bar – Kierland

RA Sushi Bar2

Nothing goes better with shopping than sushi. RA’s North Scottsdale location is in the Kierland Commons shopping plaza at Scottsdale Road and Greenway Parkway. Swim on in for lunch or dinner and enjoy your favorite sushi, signature rolls and Japanese fusion cuisine or simply relax on the patio with some …

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Sushi Ko

Sushi Ko2

SushiKo is committed to only the best quality Sushi and freshest ingredients. Paired with excellent service and traditional Japanese dining, SushiKo is a must visit in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dai Hayashi was born in 1954 and raised in Japan. He also traveled around the world with backpack. In 1979 he ended …

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Asian Island

Asian Island1

Asian Island offers delicious dining, takeout and delivery to Scottsdale, AZ. Asian Island is a cornerstone in the Scottsdale community and has been recognized for its outstanding Sushi cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff. Our Sushi restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on …

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Noh

Noh

Serving a theatre of Japanese cuisine…sushi, sashimi and traditional Japanese dishes with a contemporary twist.        Serving a theatre of Japanese cuisine…sushi, sashimi and traditional Japanese dishes with a contemporary twist…

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Toyama

Toyama1

Laid-back space offering traditional Japanese fare, such as tempura & sushi, plus a wine/sake list. Hidden away from most is a quiet little Japanese/sushi restaurant which has lived in the same spot for years. Very unassuming and not much on decor but a great place to stop for sushi or …

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Yume Sushi Grill

Yume Sushi1

Good food. Good service. Good price.  Where people doing what they love to do. Sushi Restaurant – Japanese Restaurant – Korean Restaurant specializing in Asian Fusion, Barbeque, Japanese, Korean and Sushi Bars.         Good food. Good service. Good price.  Where people doing what they love to do. Sushi …

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Blu Sushi

Blu Sushi1

Blu Sushi in Scottsdale offers excellent service, delicious Japanese dishes, and quality food for reasonable prices. Featuring a modern, laid-back atmosphere, our chefs prepare the freshest ingredients from the appetizer to desserts. Try unique dishes such as Monkey Brain, seaweed salad, or Bulgogi. We also offer over 30 varieties of …

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Akita Sushi

Akita Sushi1

Akita Sushi offers delicious dining and takeout to Scottsdale, AZ.  Come join us at one of the scottsdale’s only revolving sushi bar. We specialize in a variety of fresh sushi prepared just for your taste! Akita Sushi is a cornerstone in the Scottsdale community and has been recognized for its …

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Bei

Bei1

Come and join us for high quality sushi and cuisine that won’t break the bank. Not hungry? Come and enjoy one of our signature cocktails! We Value Our Customers!  Every day, we offer lunch specials and happy hour specials.  Happy Hour   We Proudly Serve:  Sushi, Various Asian Cuisines, including …

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Nori Sushi Scottsdale

Nori Sushi1

If you’ve been to Nori Sushi in Phoenix (or West Hollywood), you have an idea of what to expect at the new Nori Sushi in Scottsdale. Tucked away in the McDowell Mountain Marketplace at Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway, the eatery is an offshoot of Nori Sushi and Asian …

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ShinBay

ShinBay

ShinBay offers traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine with emphasis on seasonality of food, the highest quality of ingredients and attention to the presentation. We specialize in Omakase style chef’s tasting course dining. Enjoy a respite from everyday, with inspired cuisine and hospitality in a tranquil setting. Currently, we serve guests …

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Sushi J

Sushi J1

Head chef Jay Chung talks about Sushi J and about what makes us special! Led by head chef, Jay Chung, please come by and taste the freshest sushi and sashimi in Scottsdale and stay for the great sake. Located near Old Town Scottsdale, once you try our dishes, we are …

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Hiro Sushi

Hiro Sushi1

Hiro welcomes you to enjoy traditional Japanese food served fresh from our sushi bar and kitchen. Hiro san trained in Japan for over 25 years and now he would like to share the taste of the traditional Japanese sushi with Arizona.            Hiro welcomes you to …

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Sakana Sushi & Grill

Sakana1

Since 1994, Sakana Sushi & Grill has served the Greater Phoenix Metro area with the highest quality food and service. We curretly have four locations around the Valley in Ahatukee, Glendale, Scottsdale and Superstition Springs.

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Kona Grill

kona1

kona grill provides an exotic escape from the everyday. From the freshest fish for our award winning sushi, to the innovative entrees all prepared in our own scratch kitchen. The freshest ingredients • From scratch • The way it should be Visit Kona Grill Scottsdale, the best restaurant, sushi bar and …

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Roka Akor

Roka Akor1

Our menu features prime cut steaks, seafood, and vegetables with unique Japanese-inspired marinades and sauces, along with sushi, sashimi, tempura, and extraordinary desserts. The menu changes regularly to reflect seasonal offerings. Roka Akor Scottsdale offers the unparalleled combination of thoughtful design and contemporary Robata Japanese cuisine. The restaurant’s name is …

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RA Sushi – Oldt Town

RA1

Lively music, a vibrant crowd, inventive cocktails and the best sushi this side of Tokyo. You know when you’re in the RA because there’s no other place like it. Order up the best sushi in town and delight in our signature rolls or amazing Japanese inspired cuisine. Whatever you choose, …

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Pure Sushi Bar & Dining

Pure1

We here at Pure strive to provide the greatest dining experience possible. We receive fresh fish 6 days a week. Our chefs are constantly working on new features and specialty seafood items. We pair our food with an extensive wine list (including over 20 premium sakes) in a cool, modern …

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Geisha A Go Go

Geisha A go go1

Geisha A Go Go, the latest craze in Asian Cuisine, has brought Tokyo to Old Town Scottsdale. Go Go blends Asian tradition with Tokyo’s quirky pop culture. The restaurant offers a traditional Asian menu featuring Hot Rock cooking and crispy, whole-fried fish plates accompanied by a large selection of Asian …

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Benihana

Benihana1

Prepare for a dining experience unlike any other. Watch as your personal chef performs the ancient art of Teppanyaki. Listen as razor-sharp blades slice through tender steak and juicy chicken. Take in the aroma of sizzling shrimp, lobster and savory vegetables. Or visit our sushi bar, where your sushi chef …

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Sapporo

Sapporo

Scottsdale’s hottest happy hour and most innovative sushi, cocktails and teppanyaki fare Known for its  vibrant nightlife atmosphere and fresh, high-quality food, Sapporo also has a dramatic exterior framed by giant torches, lighting up the Scottsdale sky. The interior is equally dramatic and includes an elegant elliptical bar where the passion-mango …

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Sushi Roku at the W Scottsdale

Sushi Roku

Sushi Roku combines the finest, freshest fish from pristine waters around the globe with the kind of artistry that can only be provided by a mature sushi chef ensuring superlative traditional sushi, together with a splash of California innovation. Sushi Roku is a pioneer of contemporary sushi, incorporating diverse, non-traditional …

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About Todd

Todd Navin – Owner and Publisher of Navin Media Group. Mr. Navin has launched several successful websites in the Scottsdale area including OldTownScottsdale.com and UpTownScottsdale.com and the "NEW" addition to the family - Back Pocket Guide. The printed "Scottsdale Dining Edition" will be available for the Winter 2016.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the GREAT info, very useful!

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