Matt’s Casbah

Korean Wings

Interior

***** (5 stars)

Usually when small restaurants try to be too many things they fail at being any one great thing, but Matt’s is the exception to this rule. It has separate spaces for fine dining, outdoor beach-type dining, sushi bar, dive bar, and a live performance area. The same menu is served throughout, but there is definitely a different feel to it, depending upon where you are seated.

We had lunch in the fine dining area, and really enjoyed our Korean wings appetizer and the sushi we shared. The sashimi sampler is a great deal, providing 4 or 5 pieces of four different fish, and a large Japanese style salad.

We also liked the unusual roll we had, which incorporated a smoked salmon pate that was very different (and far smokier) that a normal sushi smoked salmon.

Service was friendly and efficient, and the music soundtrack was great.

Matt’s Casbah
801 E New Haven
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 574-1099
http://www.yelp.com/biz/matts-casbah-melbourne

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa

Toro hand roll

Yellowtail, scallop, snapper, sea bass

Albacore and salmon

Tuna sashimi

Exterior

Interior

***** (5 stars)

I was afraid this might be all celebrity chef smoke and mirrors, but it was just really great fish quality, really great rice quality, and some subtle sauces coming together to create a fantastic experience.

We went at lunchtime and were lucky to walk in and get a table, as we soon realized the tiny 40-seat space almost always has a line.

We had the Nozawa omakase, which took us from edamame and sashimi through ten pieces of wonderful nigiri, and ended with two superb hand rolls. The standouts were the amazing scallop nigiri (which was the day’s special) and the two hand rolls. Normally handrolls aren’t a favorite of mine because of the high ratio of nori to stuffing, but these were wonderful. The nori was paper thin and had been crisped somehow, and the warm rice and cool stuffing made an amazing combination.

This was just absolutely great sushi. And at $37, the lunch Nozawa omakase is well worth it.

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa
212 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 276-6900
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sugarfish-by-sushi-nozawa-beverly-hills

Hamasaku

Green tea pudding

Sashimi (second round of omakase)

Sashimi

Corn custard

Oysters

Interior

Exterior

***** (5 stars)

There are so many sushi places to choose from on the west side of town, but some are over-priced without delivering a truly high-end experience, and others deliver the experience but only if you let the chef boss you around (eat this like this, don’t put soy sauce on that, etc.)

Hamasaku avoids these pitfalls. The atmosphere is laid back, and the price is great.

I was very impressed with the omakase. There are two basic options, a mostly cooked version, and a sushi option. We opted for the latter, and it was a great choice.

Your meal includes an oyster appetizer, corn custard, two separate plates of seven assorted nigiri (14 total), a complex miso seafood soup and dessert. The nigiri was really excellent, with a great variety of interesting fish, and deftly prepared. At $65 for the complete meal, it was a great deal.

We also opted for the $20 optional sashimi course. It was good, too, but frankly it was superfluous, given all the other excellent fish on the nigiri courses.

Note that the wine list is much more extensive than the version on their website.

The place is a bit tough to find, tucked into the inside corner of a strip mall. It’s simply but nicely decorated. It seats more people than you would guess, but even when full the noise level is fine.

Hamasaku
11043 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 479-7636
https://www.yelp.com/biz/hamasaku-los-angeles

Yojisan Sushi

Complimentary dessert

Salmon skin roll

Chirashi

Exterior

Salad and soup

**** (4 stars)

This is a good sushi restaurant offering fairly standard fare in the heart of Beverly Hills. If the prices seem a bit higher than other places it might be due more to the rent than anything extraordinary about it, but the fish is all fresh, and the service is friendly and efficient. There is also a small outdoor seating area that is quite pleasant, an unusual feature in this area.

Yojisan Sushi
260 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(424) 245-3799
https://www.yelp.com/biz/yojisan-sushi-beverly-hills

Saké

Dragon egg

Dragon egg

Short rib

House salad

Bass grouper

Dining area

Beef tataki and popcorn shrimp

Kingfish

Sashimi appetizer

Sake wall

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This very stylish restaurant in the Rocks is surprisingly large, yet intimate, with romantic lighting levels, and a modern club type soundtrack.

We had the “Chef’s New Classics” tasting menu, a mixture of raw and cooked dishes that included fish and meat. They were all good, but I actually preferred the sashimi appetizer we also ordered, as the fish was of excellent quality, and my preference runs to sashimi.

The Dragon egg is an interesting dessert option. It is presented at the table with an interesting flourish, as warm sauce breaks open the candy egg to reveal the inner Dessert.

Saké
12 Argyle St
The Rocks
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 9259 5656
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sak%C3%A9-sydney

LemonShark Poke Orlando

Custom poke medium

Kitchen

**** (4 stars)

This is a much better use of this space than the prior occupant. Unfortunately, it’s still a bit dark and drab, but the food is better and more interesting.

I spend a lot of time in Chicago, where there are poke places all over town, but this is the first one in this part of Orlando, and so far it is popular. The assembly line process works well for poke, because there are so many potential ingredients. You can get a better bowl of fish and rice up the street at Bonsai Sushi, but there are more variants here, and it is cheaper. You can also get a version on lettuce rather than rice, if you’re really trying to cut carbs.

I tried the ahi tuna, spicy salmon and miso glazed salmon. The tuna was still a bit frozen, but quickly thawed, and seemed fresher than the salmon. The miso glaze turned out to be something squirted on, no actual glaze. The crab salad topping was good; the avocado topping was more like guacamole, but it was okay. There are a lot of sauces to choose from. The iced tea dispenser was either empty or not working.

Service was efficient.

LemonShark Poke Orlando
7600 Dr Phillips Blvd
Ste 102
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 730-5201
http://www.yelp.com/biz/lemonshark-poke-orlando-orlando-2

Akina

Sashimi Bento

Alakan Roll, Poki Roll, Ikura

Roti with red curry

Exterior

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a very upscale restaurant for a strip mall type location. Great decor, and an extensive pan-Asian menu including Sushi, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and even Indian cuisines.

We started with an order of Roti with curry sauce, because what other sushi restaurant has that?! It was excellent, with perfectly fresh roti. The sauce was so good I saved it to put on my rice.

I had the lunch sashimi bento box, which included seven nice pieces of fish, seaweed salad and lettuce salad, rice, and a very large bowl of miso soup. The miso was a bit sweeter than normal, but everything else was great.

We also had two rolls and some ikura sashimi. All were good.

Pricing might be a bit high for the area, but I thought it was worth it. Service was exceptional. I’ve never had a soft drink refilled so many times!

Akina
4300 S Hwy 27
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 243-8988
http://www.yelp.com/biz/akina-clermont

sushigami

Dragon Roll

Flamingo Roll

Reptile roll

Salmon

Conveyor

Interior

**** (4 stars)

Although this place is literally out in the center of the mall I walked past it twice looking for an overhead sign on a storefront! The signage is quite small, in contrast to the sprawling conveyor belt system that transports the sushi.

Like all “revolving” sushi places, the offerings are on plates color-coded for price, from $3-6. When you’re finished eating they simply tally up the plates to calculate your check.

I liked the sushi here much more than I was expecting. The ingredients were fresh and the offerings were quite varied. My favorite item was the flamingo roll.

Each serving is essentially half a roll, so the pricing is typical to slightly high. On the other hand, because it is half a roll you can try twice and many things, which is great, especially if you and your companion disagree on ingredients.

sushigami
8001 S Orange Blossom Trl
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 850-9091
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sushigami-orlando

Oudom Thai & Sushi

Lettuce Wraps

Pad Thai

Dynamite roll

Interior

**** (4 stars)

Oudom is the latest occupant of a space that has been a revolving door for restaurants, and I hope it does better than its predecessors, because it is a much better restaurant.

We started with their Dynamite Roll, which emphasizes sriracha rather than wassabi. It was a well-made roll with a good balance of flavors.

Pad Thai was a bit lackluster, I thought. It lacked the crispness that should have been imparted by lime juice, and I didn’t detect any egg.

The lettuce wraps were our favorite. The mixture incorporated lots of cilantro, ginger and citrus, and was fresh and very flavorful.

The space is largely unchanged from its last incarnation. It’s open and high-ceilinged, and pleasant to be in.

Our server was friendly and efficient, and the pricing is reasonable.

Oudom Thai & Sushi
100 S Eola Dr
Ste 105
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 849-3739
https://www.yelp.com/biz/oudom-thai-and-sushi-orlando-2