Despite its lack of beachfront property, the Valley of the Sun isn’t lacking when it comes to seafood. Phoenix sushi restaurants routinely prove they belong in the same class as their coastal cousins. In honor of their accomplishments, here are seven of the best restaurants in Phoenix and the yearbook-quality superlatives that their menu items deserve. Most Talented: Omakase at Nobuo at Teeter HouseAmong downtown Phoenix restaurants, Nobuo stands out. The Arizona Republic lauded James Beard Award winner Nobuo Fukuda’s signature tasting menu, saying, “Our eight-course, 2 1/2-hour omakase dinner wasn't merely artfully crafted; it reflected an artist's sensibility. … Most every dish was ingeniously original. And it was all utterly delicious.” Most Likely to Succeed: Chef’s Tasting Menus at ShinBayShinBay’s meteoric ascent to prominence began with a James Beard Award semifinalist nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2012. Chef Shinji Kurita earned a James Beard Award semifinalist nomination for Best Chef Southwest the following year. Kurita continues this tradition of excellence by preparing new tasting menus daily. Most School Spirit: D-Backs Roll at Sushi DorakuProudly announcing its support for the home team, the D-Backs Roll includes white fish belly, cucumber, eel sauce, and a fiery combination of spicy tuna, jalapeño, and Sriracha sauce. Class Clown: BBQ Short Rib Roll at Sushi AveSushi Ave doesn’t pass up the opportunity to put a whimsical spin on traditional maki. Chefs add barbecued short rib to a roll featuring an otherwise classical assortment of crabmeat, avocado, and cucumber.Most Popular: Spicy Tuna Roll at Hana Japanese EateryChefs fly in seafood daily, using ocean-fresh fish to craft classics such as its fiery spicy tuna roll. Phoenix magazine readers rallied behind this crowd favorite and named Hana Japanese Eatery the Valley’s best sushi in 2015. Most Tech Savvy: Everything at Sushi StationA circular conveyer belt runs between the chefs and diners at Sushi Station, ferrying orders of maki, nigiri, and more directly alongside tables. Guests may pick and choose as the sushi passes by, and each plate’s color helpfully denotes to its cost. Best Dressed: Tsunami Roll at ShimogamoForegoing rice entirely, Shimogamo’s fried Tsunami Roll features crabmeat, avocado, and cucumber wrapped in sliced tuna and paper-thin nori. A sunburst pattern of citrus-tinged miso and Sriracha sauce encircles each roll on the plate.
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