The Best Sushi I Have Ever Eaten In My Life

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Even though I have been going to Japan (every other year or so) since I was 15 I have never been to Tsukiji Fish Market - even though everyone tells me I must go take a look (c'mon - what's the excitement over waking up at 4:00am to go see people buy/sell fish? Especially when you are IN THE WAY of them doing business, while bothering them by taking pictures and walking slowing through their narrow hallways). My brother and I finally made it there, but just a bit late (got there at around 11:00am, when most of the fish stands have already closed for the day). For those who are still interested to check Tsukiji Fish Market out click here.

The REAL reason why I am writing this post is for Sushi Yamasaki. I should note that while I was reading my copy of the March 2008 issue of GQ on the flight to Tokyo I read this article by Alan Richman, who said that the best oo-toro (fatty tuna) in Japan is found at Sushi Dai at the Tsukiji Market. I told my brother about the article and we decided to go check it out...

When we walked to Sushi Dai we instantly noticed a stupid-as-heck line that is longer than a Hanna Montana concert pre-sale ticket line. While we stood in line I realized that almost everyone in line was a tourist - Korean, Chinese, American (one even had the issue of GQ in hand), and Japanese tourists from out-of-town - everyone had a copy of some tourist guide... that's when I realized that SUSHI DAI IS NOT WORTH WAITING AN HOUR FOR, and got out of the queue...

With my newfound task of finding an alternate restaurant, I had one criterion - the LOCALS MUST LOVE IT - I didn't travel thousands of miles just to eat at a tourist trap! We did a full circle around Tsukiji only to come back to Sushi Dai, but noticed a Tsukiji employee (they have uniforms and badges) taking some suit-wearing men into a smaller restaurant next door called Sushi Yamasaki (やまさき) - this only meant ONE THING - not only is this place good enough for the local fish market employees, it is also good enough to bring *their* clients to! Once we realized that we queued up in line (3 people in front of us instead of the 40+ at Sushi Dai) and I HAD THE BEST CHU-TORO (medium-fatty tuna) AND UNI (sea urchin) I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE SO FAR.

For those who would like to check Yamasaki out - here is the address of Sushi Dai - just go there and walk next door ;) Although they have set menus (good for those who don't speak Japanese), I would recommend finding a friend who can translate and order a la carte. You won't regret it.

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