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Eat Feature

Japanese

Christopher Myers
Sushi Hana

Eat Special Issue 2009

Cool Comfort EAT: City Paper's annual dining guide

Barbecue and Pit Andy Nelson's Barbecue 11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com, $-$$ Whe...

Breakfast Blue Moon Café 1621 Aliceanna St., (410) 522-3940, $ For years, Blue Moon has been saving t...

Cafés Atwater's Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396; 1425 Clarkview Road, Suit...

Caribbean Judy's Island Grill and Bake Shop 5216 Park Heights Ave., (410) 367-0272, judysislandgrill.com, $-$...

Chinese Grace Garden Chinese Restaurant 1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581, gracegardenchinese.co...

Classic American Burke's Restaurant and Café 36 Light St., (410) 752-4189, burkescafe.com, $$-$$$ Burke's is n...

Contemporary American Abacrombie Fine Food and Accommodations 58 W. Biddle St., (410) 837-3630, abacrombie.net, $$$ Cork...

Delis Attman's Authentic New York Delicatessen 1019 E. Lombard St., (410) 563-2666, attmansdeli.com, $ N...

Diners Jimmy's Restaurant 801 S. Broadway, (410) 327-3273, $ A cornerstone of Fells Point, Jimmy's slings ...

Eclectic Golden West Café 1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com, $-$$ Baltimore has ple...

Ethiopian Dukem #2 1100 Maryland Ave., (410) 385-0318, dukemrestaurant.com, $-$$ Luckily, pretty much the on...

French Bonaparte Breads 903 S. Ann St., (410) 342-4000, $ This Fells Point bakery boasts a surprisingly e...

Hawaiian Roy's 720 Aliceanna St., (410) 659-0099, roysrestaurant.com, $$$ With so many fabulous local resta...

Indian and Nepalese Akbar 823 N. Charles St., (410) 539-0944, akbar-restaurant.com, $$ Akbar has the feel of a secret ...

Irish James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant 616 S. President St., (410) 727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$...

Italian Aldo's 306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com, $$$ "Sophisticated" and Little Italy don't...

Japanese Aloha Sushi 1218 N. Charles St., (443) 759-8531, $-$$ Everything about Aloha Sushi is just right...

Korean Joung Kak 18 W. 20th St., (410) 837-5231, $$ Its partisans will tell you this is the best Korean r...

Latin Arcos Restaurant and Bar 129 S. Broadway, (410) 522-4777, arcosrestaurante.com, $$ Because there's...

Mediterranean Black Olive 814 S. Bond St., (410) 276-7141, theblackolive.com, $$-$$$ Fells Point Greek restauran...

Middle Eastern Amer's Café 7624 Belair Road, Belair Beltway Plaza, Nottingham, (410) 668-5100, amerscafe.com,...

Pizza Angelo's Carry-Out 3600 Keswick Road, (410) 235-2595, angeloshampden.com, $ Best pizza in Hampden ...

Pub Grub Curb Shoppe Bar and Grill 5736 Falls Road, (410) 433-8299, curbshoppe.com, $ This neighborhood pub...

Russian Vernisage 1004 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 484-7701, $$-$$$ With its glass chandeliers an...

Seafood Blue Sea Grill 614 Water St., (410) 837-7300, blueseagrill.com, $$$ A daily selection of "Fresh ...

Southern Charleston 1000 Lancaster St., (410) 332-7373, charlestonrestaurant.com, $$$ Somewhere along the l...

Spanish Pazo 1425 Aliceanna St., (410) 534-7296, pazorestaurant.com, $$$ If you don't leave Pazo a little ...

Thai Ban Thai 340 N. Charles St., (410) 727-7971, banthai.us, $$ Ban Thai is our favorite place to eave...

Upscale Comfort Food Ale Mary's 1939 Fleet St., (410) 276-2044, alemarys.com, $$ Kudos to Ale Mary's for celebrating th...

Vegetarian Liquid Earth 1626 Aliceanna St., (410) 276-6606, liquidearth.com, $$ We've appreciated the vegetar...

Vietnamese Baltimore Pho 1114 Hollins St., (410) 752-4746, baltimorepho.com, $$ Despite the downtrodden local...

Eat 2009

Posted 3/4/2009

Aloha Sushi

1218 N. Charles St., (443) 759-8531, $-$$

Everything about Aloha Sushi is just right. Central Mount Vernon location? Check. Out the door tipsy and full for $30 (for a couple)? Check. Fresh and plentiful fish? Check. The generally quiet dining room is dressed simply with spare Asian decor, service is without fail friendly and prompt, and with a $1 sushi menu and most other items falling in the less-than-$10 range, the food is pleasantly affordable. Sushi is subject to individual taste, but we could nosh on buttery yellowtail nigiri until our stomachs rupture; ditto for the small elegant crispy rolls drizzled with pop-in-your-mouth beads of roe.

Famous Yakitori One

2101 Maryland Ave., (410) 332-1100, $

Baltimore has long needed a place like this: a Japanese restaurant that eschews sushi for cheap and delicious national dishes. Famous Yakitori One delivers with a variety of yakitori from traditional flavors like chicken gizzard to nouveau offerings like avocado wrapped in bacon. The ramen is flavorful and will make you forget all about Cup O' Noodles. We haven't tried the okonomiyaki (a savory pancake that we've only had in Japan), but we can't wait. The friendly and attentive service and the cool subterranean dining room make this a place where we could see becoming regulars.

Matsuri

1105 S. Charles St., (410) 752-8561, masturi.us, $$

No matter how many fancy new places with rotating sushi bars or specialty cocktails open in town, we gravitate to Matsuri when we get that raw-fish yen. But there's more to Matsuri than fresh, flavorful sashimi, sushi, and stunt rolls--there are also plenty of outstanding Japanese noodle dishes, sobas, soups, donburis, and even some teriyakis on the menu. And if you want a little taste of everything, order a bento box--sushi, daily appetizer special, teriyaki, and tempura.

Minato

1013 N. Charles St., (410) 332-0332, minatosushibar.com, $$

Minato had a place in the little nub of wasabi we call a heart long before it moved into its stylish digs just south of Chase Street. Owner Alex Tran and his crack staff make diners feel like part of the family. The fish is fresh and sumptuous, the stunt rolls are inventive, masterfully combining flavors like the tsunami rolls with spicy tuna and avocado inside and mango outside, and the non-sushi entrees like pho, soba, udon, katsu, tempura, and don are hearty and thoroughly enjoyable.

Sushi Hana

6080 Falls Road, (410) 377-4228, sushihanabaltimore.com; 6 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, (410) 823-0372, sushihanatowson, $$

Both Sushi Hana's original Towson Circle location and its newer venture behind the Lake Falls Village Center in Mount Washington have much to recommend them, though we've become partial to the Baltimore location for its more modern interior, ample parking, and not-in-Towson-ness. At either location you'll find some of the freshest tastiest fish in the area with myriad stunt rolls--the list covers the front and back of a page and it's not large type. And the sushi combination specials are reasonably priced and come with soup, salad, and a generous offering of fish.

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