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Best Sushi St. Louis 2006 - Cha Yoon - CLOSED

Cha Yoon

Cha Yoon

4 N. Euclid Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63108


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Readers' Choice: The Drunken Fish
Life is too short to eat subpar sushi. That's what brings us, again and again, to tiny Ch? Yoon. The restaurant more than makes up for its postage-stamp space with a larger-than-life menu. Sashimi is fleshy, tender and full of flavor, while seaweed-wrapped thin rolls and reasonably priced medium rolls don't skimp on the fillings. (We highly recommend the white tuna avocado delicacy.) Ch? Yoon's specialty rolls—including the caterpillar, wrapped in thick wedges of fresh avocado, and the dragon, with its sharp scallion accents—are even more filling. Even the appetizers are a notch above the rest: Warm, plump edamame come with a separate dish of salt, a nice touch. As we go to press, Cha Yoon is changing its name to Chi and rebranding itself as a sushi, sake and martini bar—a development that promises more lunch and dinner sushi specials.
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Actually, the renaming/rebranding sounds like it's edging away from being a sushi restaurant and towards being a copy of Drunken Fish with better sushi and fewer patrons.

Guess what? It's probably a good idea. I'm not sure what the reviewers were smoking when they picked this Korean sushi bar with the *ridiculously* small selection of fish and appetizers as the best sushi in St. Louis. Note to RFT: If you're judging sushi places by the size of their rolls and soybeans rather than the quality and variety of their nigiri/sashimi, you've missed the point entirely.

That's not to say that the fish isn't good at Cha Yoon -- it is, at least the few old standby types that they stock. But they've decided that they want to be a hipster bar first and foremost, and I think that's playing to their strengths. I'll consider coming back for their sake bar when they finish reworking the place, but when I'm in the mood for sushi sans alcohol (sacrelige!), I'll be heading elsewhere.


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