100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Sushi Sono

At Columbia’s Sushi Sono, a whole aji (horse mackerel) is deep-fried with salt and served as sushi or sashimi. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Be prepared to spring for the good stuff at this busy lakefront restaurant. That’s not to say you can’t have an enjoyable meal otherwise—the sushi is well sliced and fashioned with care—but the pleasures here are heightened when you order off the specials list and splurge on the more expensive rolls. Among the former: a whole aji, or horse mackerel, presented two ways—nigiri on one side, sashimi on the other—and both exceptional. Actually, three ways is more accurate, because you’ll be asked whether you’d like the carcass turned into a soup or deep-fried (go for fried; the bones crunch like chips and are addictive with a sprinkle of sea salt). The maki list includes some of the most attractive and inventive rolls in the area, among them a head-turning dragon roll, made with lobster.

Open: Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Bridal Veil roll, with spicy lobster salad; Neptune Garden roll, with shrimp, crab, masago roe, and avocado; sushi and sashimi, including white tuna, yellowtail and fatty tuna.

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