I finally got the time to get by a few of the sushi bars I have read about on this board. Shiryhama, Motsouko and Sammy Sushi were all very good. I did find a few differences that separate them in my mind. I had Uni, Aji, Hamachi and Maguro at all locations to accurately compare my experience.
Motsouko- Authentic Japanese environment, clean and well layed out with lots of bar space. I was served my Haji whom I found to be professional and helpful in recommending what fit my taste. I had an early lunch and found the service to be slow. The sushi was top quality and prepared and served in a very traditional manner. I particularly liked the sushi served on a large palm leaf. The Aji was served with just the right amount of ginger and onion with a nice ponzu. The Uni was large and fresh. The Hamachi and Maguro were fine. Score: food-A, environment B+, chef A
Shiryhama Very authentic and intimate sushi bar. Mainly bar space with little table seating. I arrived at opening for lunch at 12:00. The Chef was busy preparing fish. I was the only one in the place for about 20 minutes and did not feel comfortable as the chef was un-engaging and to busy to make me feel for welcome. The sushi was in general not delicately prepared though all was of excellent quality. I particularly like the sushi rice as it had a sweetness to it unlike the other places. I was able to speak with the chef about his Uni and learned that he purchases local Uni that is delivered on the Styrofoam sheets. He indicated that he started this technique for maintaining the Uni quality. Hamachi, Aji and Maguro were all fine. Score: food-A, environment A. Chef B
Sammy If I had not heard good things about this place I would not have gone in based upon its looks. The place is best described as disheveled and unauthentic. The suchi bar is messy and old. But, the chef, Sammy, is the most engaging sushi chef I have met next to Toyo. The fish quality is excellent and best of all the prices are by far the most reasonable of all three places. Sammy was very helpful in explaining Uni quality, Aji preparation and sushi pricing. He talked about satisfying his customers with his fish and his prices. His preparation is fine but the presentation is lacking. He promises to guide his customers in selecting the best sushi for their states and what he finds to be the freshest everyday. And this he delivers. If you can get over the shabby environment and the slightly messy presentation you will find this place to be a real winner! Score: food A+, environment C, Chef A+