5 Ways to Know you’ve Found a Top Sushi Place

Five Qualities of Top Sushi

Osaka sushi plate beautiful presentation

A top sushi place is hard to find, but when you find one, you’ll know it. At Osaka Japanese Bistro we’ve spent over 50 years perfecting the art of great sushi. Our sushi recipes are perfected using traditional methods of sushi-making, prepared by classically trained and experienced sushi chefs, and using only the freshest fish and finest quality ingredients. This is why so many Las Vegas casinos depend on us to provide sushi to their guests at buffets and other venues. We think we know a thing or two about great sushi and we’d like to share that knowledge with you.

While good sushi may satisfy your palate, the best quality sushi is a delightful and exotic experience that ignites your senses. Rather than merely a meal, the best sushi is a unique combination of art and science, crafted with attention to detail that leaves a lasting impression. Each sushi order is made fresh, created specifically for you, the customer. The sushi chef’s years of experience, training, knowledge and passion are reflected in each and every plate of sushi that is served.

But what are the key factors that separate merely good sushi and truly amazing sushi?

Five Signs you’ve Found the Best Quality Sushi


1. Presentation

More than any other food, sushi presentation matters almost as much as taste. Visit the sushi bar itself where the work si done. You should immediately see an impressive display, the sushi chef’s iced case with his supply fresh fish full of luster and shine and never any fishy odor around. An array of other fresh ingredients should be neatly arranged in the display case. The same care taken to make ingredients visibly appealing is likely taken in preparing your dish. When your entrée arrives, a truly perfect plate of sushi will look fresh and carefully composed, full of vibrant colors and a purposeful presentation and overall artistry that demonstrates the chef’s careful use of his tools and ingredients to deliver a beautiful dish.

Nigiri fresh roe and shrimp arrangement

2. Sushi Rice

The rice is a critical element in sushi and never an afterthought. It is so important, that a master sushi chef may spend years learning to craft the perfect rice. Typically dressed with seasoned vinegar, sushi rice should have a glossy sheen.

Sushi rice has the perfect texture to play off the fish. It should be sticky so that it holds together as you take a bite, but should still separate into individual grains once in your mouth, delicate enough that it brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. No matter what kind of sushi is on the menu, the rice is the core ingredient and starting point for great sushi.

3. Fresh Sushi Ingredients

Daily access to fresh, high quality fish is the mark of a superb sushi restaurant. To put it simply, the fish should be extremely fresh, usually delivered daily. It should never smell “fishy” which is a sign the fish is no longer fresh.

tiger roll Osaka Japanese restaurant sushi roll

Each piece of sushi should have a clean taste, with a variety of textures that melt smoothly in your mouth. Ingredients like seaweed should be crisp, not soggy or rubbery.  The restaurant should serve high-grade soy sauce that is mellow in taste, and should be made from freshly grated wasabi root.

4. Technique and Skill

The sushi chef is the heart and soul of the sushi experience. With years of training, a skilled chef will have excellent knife skills and manual dexterity, many years experience with a range of menus, flavors and recipes, and a personal, unique style that contributes to the uniqueness of the restaurant. In addition, the sushi chef’s commitment to the art of creating sushi is evidenced through a constant drive for self-improvement. An artist to the core, a sushi chef takes great pride in pleasing his audience.

Shinjuku sushi at Osaka Japanese Bistro Las Vegas

5. Creativity

The best quality sushi will reflect the restaurant’s unique style and personality. This will be reflected in the creativity of the menu. The sushi chef’s artistic vision should entice customers with a variety of culinary selections built around many types of fish and other ingredients. Many develop specialties using local ingredients or to please local tastes. Others perfect old classics with flair and extra touches to add variety and style. To truly appreciate a great sushi chef, look for the “chef’s choice” on the menu. It indicates that they are excited to inspire your palate with innovative cuisine. A changing menu is also a great sign. This means that the restaurant is constantly experimenting with new combinations to tantalize your taste buds.

Great Sushi is in How it Tastes

Of course, the final test of your great sushi experience will be when you actually consume the sushi.  But first, a true sushi experience is more than just eating your food. It is an experience of many senses – visual, because a beautiful presentation will whet your appetite; your nose, because fresh and delicate smells will prepare your taste buds, and of course taste, the most perfect, melt-in-your-mouth sushi rice will make room for all the accompanying ingredients to deliver a wonderfully delicious sushi experience. The best quality sushi will always deliver fresh and exciting tastes that make you linger over the sensation and then go back for another bite.

Enjoy Top Sushi at Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas

The ideal piece of sushi combines a variety of fresh ingredients to achieve a delicate balance of flavors. While the taste should be fantastic, the presentation, chef’s expertise, and the originality of the restaurant’s menu and ambiance are just as important.

It is rare to find a sushi experience that meets each of these criteria, but here at Osaka Japanese Bistro we are proud to have achieved this feat. Try our unique menu and dare to be inspired!

Ten Japan Travel Tips for First Time Visitors

Kyoto Japan- Kiyomizu-dera is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

If you are a Westerner travelling to Japan for the first time, there are some useful tips to help you feel more familiar with the Japanese culture once you arrive. Japan is a rich culture with traditions that date back centuries, contributing to an organized, harmonious nation on a very crowded set of islands that make up Japan. Below are ten key tips you are not going to want to overlook when planning a trip to Japan:

  1. Learn a few basic Japanese phrases. This will help you when navigating around Japan. Just knowing a few to several phrases will get you through more doors, make it easier to Kyoto shopkeeper preparing food samples for her customerscommunicate your needs, and will act as a cultural ice-breaker. Here’s one to help you navigate the subway: “Sumimasen. Eigo no mappu wo arimasuka? Arigatou gozaimasu!” English translation: “Excuse me. Is there an English map? Thank you so much!” Another is: “O genki-desu ka? Genkidesu.” or “How are you? I’m fine”. And always say “Arigatou gozaimasu” (are-ee-gah-toe go-zai-mass) or Thank you so much. Use this Japanese language guide to learn more helpful phrases.
  2. Have some cash Yen on hand. Japan is still largely a cash society. Credit card use is limited, and you’ll want to have several thousand Yen on hand at least. If you’re flying in from the US or Europe, exchanging within Japan gives you a better rate. If you’re coming from Australia, Canada, or the U.K. you’re better off exchanging your money into Yen before you fly. You will be able to use most major credit cards to get money at the ATMs in Japan, but be prepared to pay big fees for this.
  3. Restaurants. It’s hard to find a bad meal in Japan, from high-end fusion restaurants down to tiny $8 bowl of noodle shops. Japan cherishes their rich food tradition and they do it with a flair all Plastic Japanese noodle bowls on display in Japanese restaurant windowtheir own. From crab claws to octopus balls to sashimi, to teppanyaki, kaiseki, and steaks–you’re bound to find a good meal wherever you travel in Japan.
  4. Save money eating out.  Speaking of noodle shops, they are everywhere in Japan–like hamburger joints in America or fish and chips shops in the UK. The great news is, they serve inexpensive, filling meals generally consisting of some kind of “noodle bowl” combination, featuring vegetables, beef, or fish mixed with a variety of choices on noodles, like yakisoba, udon, or ramen. Simple, fast, filling and found everywhere, don’t miss enjoying a simple noodle dish during your stay in Japan.
  5. Get a Japan Rail Pass. This is for those looking to travel to other cities and destinations in Japan A JR pass will save you money and time as you travel around. This pass is only available to foreign visitors and is economically priced lower than the fares that locals pay. Good for one-three TOKYO JAPAN -Shinkansen Hayate train at Tokyo Station.weeks, a Japan Rail Pass is a great way to get around.
  6. Mannerliness. Manners are everything in Japan. Gratitude is also at the top of the list. Bow a lot in appreciation, remove hands from pockets, say “Arigatou gozaimasu” after almost any interaction with the Japanese, and you will be well-received.
  7. Don’t litter! This is another biggie. You won’t see litter bins on every corner like you do in Europe and North America. That’s because the Japanese have special rubbish bin areas, and take meticulous pains to keep their city streets among the cleanest in the world. Basically, hold on to your trash until you find a litter bin area. The Japanese also recycle everything–you’ll see the bins and symbols for what goes where.
  8. No need to tip. There is no need to tip anyone in Japan–ever. In fact, the Japanese people find it rude to tip, thinking that it is like a bribe to “do better,” or a way of telling them they need to improve their service. If you tip out of habit, don’t be surprised if a hotel employee or waiter chases you down to (politely) return the money.
  9. TOKYO - DECEMBER 10: Pedestrians cross at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan, one of the world's busiest crosswalksCab rides. Taxis in Japan are generally very expensive. When public transportation shuts down between 10 p.m. and midnight, they’re in much greater demand. Split fares with groups to cut costs. Use them for short trips–say, to and from your hotel to close-by places (within a mile or two). And remember, don’t tip!
  10. Peace and quiet. Another anomaly to Westerners is the strange quiet found even in busy crowded streets. You may wonder, “Why is everyone so quiet?” But, this is the level of appreciation the Japanese have for pleasant peace and quiet. Speak in a low voice even when talking outside, or you will be considered rude.

And, most of all, have fun and enjoy your trip to Japan.