In praise of East Coast sushi…

…as opposed to West Coast sushi. Yes, there’s a difference. Some say that sushi on the West Coast is tastier, more fresh. Personally, I don’t buy it (why so much fake crabmeat?). But what I do like is East Coast sushi, and over the past week I’ve had the opportunity to dine out at two of the best sushi spots in NYC. What makes these fine establishments the best? For me, a good sushi place must have fabulous decor, good lounge music, and tasty rolls. Here are three of my East Coast favorites.


1) Japonais, New York Skip the main dining room of this Union Square hotspot and head upstairs to the lounge — a dimly lit space filled with the sounds of Seal and Suba and perfect for getting a little closer to a potential mate. Sushi pick: Unagi Avocado Roll. Cocktail pick: Asian Pear Martini.


2) Sushi Lounge, Hoboken Ignore the slightly cheesy name. “The Lounge,” as my friend Earl likes to call it, has a sushi menu to die for. And thanks to a nightly DJ, there’s no need to take the PATH train into the city on Saturday night. Sushi pick: Optimistic Roll. Cocktail pick: Peach Tea.


3) Pod, Philadelphia I always say, when in Philly, you can’t go wrong with a Stephen Starr restaurant. One of my faves is Pod, which features a bar complete with a conveyor belt that serves up plates of edamame and delicious rolls. Sushi pick: Pod Lobster Roll. Cocktail pick: Sake Mojito.

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