Best Sushi - 2003
Readers' Choice: Miso on Meramec
A sad fact about sushi restaurants: Even when the fish is fantastic, the surroundings often feel icky. There's almost always a weird, hushed quality to the room -- kind of like how people muffle their speech and behavior in a bookstore even though it's not a library, it's a bookstore. Restaurants are meant to be boisterous, social, outward experiences, but for some reason people fear acting as such around raw fish. Except at Sekisui, one of St. Louis' newest -- and now Best -- sushi outpost. Not only are the nigiri here plumper and smoother than you're likely to find anywhere else (the salmon, especially, goes down like butter), but the ambiance is invigorating. Credit the outgoing sushi chefs who chat up bar patrons, the silly anime showing on TV sets or the never-ending menu of genuine Japanese curiosities like grilled beef tongue and deep-fried mackerel bones. In less than a year, Sekisui has raised the bar for St. Louis sushi joints.