It sounds so simple: a piece of raw fish coated in rice and seaweed, perhaps dipped in soy sauce, served with thin slices of pickled ginger and a mini mound of sinus-melting wasabi.
Often, however, it takes a lot of work to make something seem so simple. This is certainly the case with sushi. The best practitioners supplement their list of sushi ingredients with a healthy dose of passion for craftsmanship.
The Burlington area offers several places to get sushi; some places are edgy while others include it in menus anchored by other dishes. The best way to find out which restaurant makes your favorite sushi, of course, is to try as many as you can. Here are some starting points.
Asian bistro, Winooski
This restaurant located along the roundabout offers dinners consisting of seven or nine sushi accompanied by a California roll. Asian Bistro also does a sushi and sashimi dinner as well as chirashi sushi, which scatters a variety of slices of raw fish on a bed of rice.
Asian bistro, 25 Winooski Falls Road, Winooski. (802) 655-9800, www.asianbistrowinooskivt.com
Asiana Noodle Shop, Burlington
This College Street staple, as you might guess, offers noodle-based soups, but also has several sushi options on its menu. These options include a nigiri starter – seven pieces of chef’s choice sushi with spicy tuna maki and green salad – as well as a sushi set with four sushi pieces, three sashimi pieces and a spicy salmon maki.
Asiana noodle shop, 88 Church St., Burlington. (802) 862-8828, www.asiananoodle.com
Hana Japanese Restaurant, South Burlington
Housed in the Blue Mall along Dorset Street, Hana offers an extensive menu that includes hibachi, stir fry and tempura dishes. The list of sushi rolls, however, dominates the menu, with combos of salmon, tuna, and eel accented with avocado, peanut, and cucumber.
Hana Japanese Restaurant, 150 Dorset St., South Burlington. (802) 448-3525, www.hanavermont.com
Koto Japanese Steak House, South Burlington
This is the increasingly rare restaurant in the Burlington area that dates back to the 20e century; Koto has been on Shelburne Road since 1999. It’s of course not just a steak house, as Koto’s sushi list apparently includes every living creature found in the ocean, from tuna, salmon and fluke to squid , sea urchin and octopus.
Koto japanese steakhouse, 792 Shelburne Road, South Burlington. (802) 660-8976, www.kotovt.com
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Shinjuku Station, Burlington
Sushi purveyor Old North End leads its sushi menu not with seafood bounty, but with vegetarian options that include avocado rolls, sweet potato rolls and a vegetable roll made with avocado, carrot, cucumber and lettuce. Baked and traditional fish persuasion rolls are also available.
Shinjuku Station, 260 North Street, Burlington. (802) 540-8198, www.shinjukustationvt.com
Sushi Maeda, Burlington
A newcomer to the Burlington scene, Sushi Maeda has taken over the former empty space of the Outdoor Gear Exchange on Cherry Street to open a spacious restaurant. Diners can choose sushi rolls featuring cooked salmon, tuna taku, spicy scallops and takuan, a selection of pickled radishes.
Sushi Maeda, 152 Cherry St., Burlington. (802) 800-1801, www.sushimaeda.com
Volcano Asian Cuisine, Burlington
The New North End is slowly developing its dining scene, with this restaurant becoming one of its anchors. Volcano Asian Cuisine offers noodle and stir-fry dishes, and its extensive sushi menu — unsurprisingly, given the company’s name — volcano rolls featuring fish, cucumber, and fried crab.
Volcano Asian Cuisine, 1355 North Ave, Burlington. (802) 497-0475, www.volcanovtasiancuisine.com