Chiba

8312 Oak St., (504) 826-9119; chiba-nola.com

This Oak Street spot doesn't feel traditional, not with its late hours, its happy-hour roll specials, and its appetizer list of ceviches and bao. But since the departure of Horinoya from the scene this year, Chiba has become the sushi bar to beat. Formal touches add up (rice and fish are the right temperatures), while the original rolls can be boldly modern (as with yellowtail finished with cilantro and olive oil, or the scallop, tuna and strawberry roll). For purists, or those exploring with a ready wallet, it's possible to assemble your own vertical tasting of tuna (regular, white, "super white" and multiple ascending grades of the toro belly cut). Lunch Wednesday-Saturday, dinner Monday-Saturday, late-night Friday-Saturday. $$$

+5 

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- The grilled sushi imperial at Daiwa Sushi Bar & Japanese Cuisine in Marrero. 

Matthew Hinton

Daiwa Sushi Bar & Japanese Cuisine

5033 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, (504) 875-4203; daiwasushi.com

Daiwa draws on the style, verve and (at times) irreverence of the sushi scene in Hong Kong, rather than Tokyo. Well-hidden in the back of a Marrero strip mall, it’s a family-casual spot that mixes first-rate raw materials with a cheeky attitude and stands out from the increasingly crowded sushi pack. All the dozens of house specialties from the kitchen and sushi bar are detailed across a colorful (and helpful) illustrated menu. Daiwa even makes “grilled sushi,” seared just enough to tighten the surface. In back, there’s a corral of karaoke rooms, decorated in black and gold or Hello Kitty pink for the next time you want to sing with your sushi. Lunch and dinner daily. $$

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