Yes, the place is only slightly larger than a hand roll. Yes, it's tucked in a corner of a strip mall. Yes, reservations are a must; non-negotiable! Yes, the menu is hand scrawled on the wall behind the chef. And yes, this is the antidote to all those overpriced, flavorless, rice-heavy rolls offered by high-end resorts. As for the nigiri, the fish is exquisite: clean, flavorful and meaty with expert knife cuts, perfect portions and just the right amount of rice to showcase the fish. We asked the chef for his opinion of the best catches in his case and tried the toro, snapper, king salmon and eel. Had I not deferred to the chef, I would not have tried the snapper. Forget mainland snapper that's basically tasteless rock fish. This is deep, deep water snapper. So incredibly flavorful. Cool, dense and wonderfully satisfying. Regarding the rolls, you don't have to fear any "whimsical" Americanized experiments that overpower the fish with cloying sauces and gimmicky names to distract and confuse. Again, the freshness of the fish takes center stage, which all I really ask of a sushi bar. And yet, it's so hard to find! Not at Koiso. This is the sushi you've been looking for.
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