No. 35: Yasu
Sushi enthusiasts with a serious taste for refinement have been waiting for a place like this for a long time: A small sushi bar focussed on nothing but sushi.
Where the fish is expertly selected for the purpose, and served at the right age (this time equation is more complicated and nuanced than a simple race from ocean to plate). And, above all, where each piece of fish is served on perfect rice—just a little warm, firm enough that every grain can be distinguished one from another on the tongue, and infused with just enough vinegar to brighten the fish served on top of it. (Or under it, actually, if you eat as you should, with your fingers, and flip the bundle over as you pop it into your mouth.)
The modern, stark restaurant has just 10 seats at its bar—plus a deuce in the alcove by its front window. So Yasuhisa Ouchi and his team can do things as they are meant to be—making and serving you their sushi one piece at a time, in its prime. Expect sea eel, Japanese snapper (tai), uni, snow crab, flounder, bonito, toro—and whatever else is in its seasonal prime and available. The only option is a set omakase menu of 18 to 20 pieces of sushi. The sake list is not long, but has good options.
There are two seatings per evening, and the mood is subdued, verging on reverential.
Perhaps Canada’s best restaurant for sushi. – JOSH JOSEPHSON
Certainly the best sushi I have had for years. – PATRICE BASILLE