I fell in love with sushi at the age of five and we have lived happily ever after since then. Although the pinnacle of my sushi journey was at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, there are still a number of respectable Tampa restaurants that serve quality sushi. Here are my recommendations on where to munch on some fish.
Tokai Japanese Restaurant - One important thing when it comes to sushi restaurants is consistency. Unlike other cuisines, you cannot easily hide how fresh your ingredients are, although some places do try with sauces and mayo. Tokai Sushi is my favorite sushi restaurant in the Tampa area because they're consistently fresh, and for the seven years that I lived in Brandon, I was never disappointed with their sushi. The sashimi is exceptional and any roll with fresh fish on top is always perfect. Coincidentally, I always have the same waitress at Tokai and it has been nice building a rapport with her.
Samurai Sushi - One of my favorite sushi restaurants is way out of the way in Riverview on Big Bend Road. Incredibly fresh sushi and a huge assortment of creative rolls. This place would certainly be the talk of the town if it wasn't for it's awkward location. When I get the chance to eat out here I always enjoy it. I hear the owner has opened a new shop in Downtown Tampa called On-A-Roll and I plan to make my way there sometime soon.
Samurai Blue - I have had my high and lows with Samurai Blue, but for the past few years I have really enjoyed the sushi and service during my visits. The owners are really friendly and I have always loved the interior of the restaurant with a high brick ceiling. I like how creative Samurai Blue is with their rolls as well and love their tempura banana. The yuzu saketini is the perfect companion to a great night out of sushi.
Sushi Alive Set in Westchase, this contemporary, and surprisingly affordable sushi destination is a great place to enjoy dinner and lunch with a variety of signature sushi selections, entrees, appetizers, bento plates, teriyaki bowls and more.
Follow Carlos Hernandez on Twitter @CarlosEats