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JAPANESE 

HANA JAPANESE RESTAURANT
8116 Hampson St. 865-1634
Solid and well regarded for its fresh fish, Hana's customers monopolize the small sushi bar and coveted tables. You can count on Hana for blood-red tuna, translucent snapper and crispy tempura. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

Horinoya
920 Poydras St. 561-8914; www.horinoyarestaurant.com
Downtown workers and tourists know about this five-year-old restaurant that serves traditional Japanese food, such as teriyaki. Locals like it too, showing up for the sushi, which one staff member proudly claims is "the very best in town." Reservations accepted at dinner. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

JIPANG
814 Gravier St. 565-5322
Jipang offers a large buffet-style breakfast and lunch for Japanese food-starved workers in the CBD, complete with sushi, a deli, and catering. No reservations. Delivery available. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

KANNO SUSHI
3205 Edenborn Ave., Metairie 455-5730
This demure, unpretentious sushi house in Fat City is where the Japanese in the city come for sushi. Chef "Elvis" Suzuki wields a knife skillfully to make simple but artful sushi presentations. Sit down and ask him to "feed me" and prepare to dine like an emperor. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

KYOTO
4920 Prytania St. 891-3644
Sushi lovers have been waiting in line nightly for a coveted table since Kyoto reopened at the beginning of October, with Uptown patrons devouring rolls and rolls of sushi, crunchy tempura and tender noodle bowls. Reservations recommended for parties of six or more. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LITTLE TOKYO
590 Asbury Drive, Mandeville (985) 727-1532
Chef Yeoh delivers the goods with fresh fish and seasoned rice for his sushi favorites. Enjoy a piece of toro and feel like you've found the Holy Grail. Dainty soba noodles lie in wait to be twirled with your chopsticks in steamy bowls of broth. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

LITTLE TOKYO RESTAURANT
1521 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie 831-6788
If you see Godzilla Steak on the menu, you know you're in for a Japanese adventure. The large sushi menu focuses on hardcore sushi, with tender chunks of salmon, tuna, yellowtail — the list goes on and on. Balance it out with a giant bowl of ramen or a seaweed salad. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

Mikimoto
3301 S. Carrollton Ave. 488-1881; www.mikimotosushi.com
Sushi and more is served up in a commerce-heavy part of South Carrollton Avenue. The staff recommends the Fuji shrimp, fried shrimp in a ginger sauce, for folks who forgo the raw in favor of the deep-fried. It's not all raw, but the whimsical South Carrollton roll includes tuna tataki, avocado and snow crab for an Uptown-meets-Far-East taste experience. Reservations accepted for groups of five or more. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Delivery available. Credit cards. $

NINJA
8433 Oak St. 866-1119
Sushi aficionados flock here for the Ninja Roll, a bounty of seafood with salmon, shrimp, eel, tuna and smelt roe. The uncomplicated beauty of simple sushi can be seen in the nigiri and sashimi. To ward off the cold, hot bowls of noodles offer solace and warmth. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

OKI NAGO
2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie 780-8588; www.okinago.com
Experience a visual feast when you peruse the all-you-can-eat buffet. Eat your way through sushi rolls, hot pots, egg rolls, salad, calamari, shrimp and crab legs. You can fill up on sushi without emptying your wallet. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFÉ
817 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner 468-8829; 4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 779-7253
All locations of this hip sushi house are open, and they stay jam-packed most of the time. Many of the regulars are connoisseurs who want to taste simple sushi classics. They leave satisfied with the sushi and sashimi skillfully prepared for them. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFé UPTOWN
2830 Magazine St. 894-0033; www.sakecafeuptown.com
One of the first restaurants to reopen Uptown, Sake Café still attracts a lounge-cool crowd that huddles at the bar sipping sake while waiting for a coveted spot at the sushi bar. The Dragon Roll is a work of art, while the octopus sushi is perfectly chewy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SEKISUI SAMURAI SUSHI
239 Decatur St. 525-9595
Tucked away in a tiny space, this sushi spot feels like a retreat from the trappings of the Quarter. You'll want to linger and dine on noodles, tempura and box dinners. A large order of sushi will be theatrically splayed on the deck of a foot-long wooden boat. Hey, it's cheaper than a cruise. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SHOGUN JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND STEAK HOUSE
2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 833-7477
When the name Shogun is heard, one imagines a Japanese warrior slicing up food and throwing it on a flame-stoked grill. Well, the performing cooks aren't warriors, but they will prepare steak, chicken and vegetables at a tableside hibachi. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

TENNOU SUSHI BAR
818 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey 366-3898
Tennou has made a name for itself by offering big rolls of sushi. Lunch is a big draw, with traditional offerings of chicken teriyaki and vegetable dishes. The aroma from heaping bowls of noodles in hot pots proves irresistible. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

Tokyo Bistro
1612 St. Charles Ave. 581-4449
Tokyo Bistro's pretty St. Charles space houses a kitchen that turns out traditional Japanese food and sushi. Rolls and nigiri, with contrasting tastes and textures, are popular choices here, as well the Japanese specialties — no Asian fusion here. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

YUJIN
323 N. New Hampshire St., Covington (985) 809-3840
Chef Rigo's Burning Man keeps gaining popularity. This sushi roll is stuffed with spicy tuna, tempura batter and rolled with pepper and avocado on the outside. Heat it up with some extra wasabi and feel the burn. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

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