Best Sushi

Lines form regularly outside Ebisu, waiting patiently for a crack at a table or a seat inside. Poking your head inside, you'd be hard-pressed to discover the place's appeal from its ordinary, rather brown, and somewhat tired dŽcor: There are about nine tables, four or five more in a little tatami room, and — hey! — 18 seats at a long dark-green sushi bar. A further hint, besides the 18-seater, can be found on the daily changing specials board on the wall. There are a dozen fresh fish and shellfish listed on the sushi side, and an equal number of dishes on the one entitled “kitchen.” One recent night, the sushi specials (in addition to the more than two dozen on the printed menu — in Japanese, so it helps if you know your hamachi from your unagi!) included live scallops, four different kinds of toro (tuna), striped bass, and live uni (priced at $17.50, much higher than the other dishes), as well as Kobe beef sashimi. Kitchen specials included crab cakes, deep-fried sand dabs, and grilled fresh squid. We prefer the old-style nigiri sushi, and shudder at the thought of rolls called Hanukkah and Louisiana Hot Link, but they're there if you want them. Ebisu is currently closed for renovations in honor of its 25th anniversary, and is planning to re-open in June.

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