How does one judge whether a sushi shop is good or not? Some like me are addicted to magazines that tell us where to eat, others by word of mouth, like with almost anything. Like in the case of this sushi shop called O-sa-ka-na-te-i, located in Tsubame in the heart of Niigata City. I have been here and the one thing that impressed me the most was at how fresh the fish was from catch to serve-visible spasms and twitches from freshly caught fish. Others may not regard this as noteworthy. Some could say customer service is key, or timeliness, or even cleanliness. Some are more focused on garnishes and visual appeal. For me, it's the freshness of the sushi. At this sushi restaurant everything is good. Am I an expert? No. Are you? Who is? We all follow word of mouth, and not so much are own tongue. If a Japanese person claims that this restaurant is good, it's usual good and if Japanese trust other Japanese then I'm right behind them.
When I search through all of my intellectual property online and in hardback I am amazed at how much I haven't even added yet. I haven't even scratched the surface of my own content and materials, so this year I plan to offer more useful information on Japan, of course I'll continue my usual apotheosis on sake, and Jukujo.
I'm not sure it's me or not, but how sushi is served in Hokuriku and Tohoku is a little different from Kanto. I notice the portion sizes are a lot larger here. I also notice that the fish isn't cold, more like room temperature. I love it this way because all the flavors come out whereas in North America all the sushi is served super cold and straight from the freezer literally. Only the Japanese know how to prepare really good sushi.
So, if ever in Niigata City, and you have time and a car please click on the link above and follow the map. It's definitely well worth a stop and it's one of those highly recommended restaurants in magazines and newspapers. Can't remember who it was who asked me a year ago, but here is the post I had originally intended to post thanks to you.