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Superior spring rolls, delicious grilled quail, and oustanding duck hot pot. Call ahead for Vietnamese specialties, including duck, goat, and seafood hot pot. -- Mark Jones (12/08)
Goro's Sushi is one of San Antonio's most popular Japanese dining experiences due to the unusual rolls that chef Goro creates using only the freshest fish.
One of the running jokes in National Public Radio's "Prairie Home Companion" is the reticence of the folks of Lake Wobegone. In the taciturn Wobegone World there seem to be no superlatives, only "pretty goods" and "not so bads." There is not, you betcha, a sushi bar in Lake Wobegone. For obvious reasons. But if the Marriott Rivercenter's Hanatei were there, "pretty good" and "not so bad" would be about bang-on. The same terminology goes for San Antonio, a city not necessarily known for its reluctance to express an opinion. Hanatei is the kind of place that seems perfectly competent, without inspiring either superlatives or invectives. - Ron Bechtol

; The bento box is a bomb. The “Japanese” noodles are decently flavored but mushy, the overcooked sesame chicken breast and “Asian” vegetables tasted of tart soy sauce and steam table, and the brown rice was bland — though if you added it to the chicken the whole was almost tolerable. Only the marinated cucumber survived unscathed.


; Quality sushi and Japanese comfort food served with passion, with all-you-can-eat Sushi Rolls (Fri-Sun). Best bets: Shrimp Tempura, Sake-Rita.

Koi Kawa Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar on Broadway creates the most palatable palette of sushi this side of the San Antonio River — unless you're looking for atmosphere, which clearly is the domain of Niki's Tokyo Inn. But back to Koi Kawa: Choice cuts of chilled tuna, mackerel, salmon, shrimp, squid, and octopus rest delicately upon lightly vinegared beds of sticky white rice, or are skillfully tucked into rice and rolled in crisp skins of seaweed. In a delicious display of sushi chef artistry, mouthwatering medleys of avocado, cucumber, green onion, and smelt eggs meld with raw seafood for a refreshingly fresh fish dish. For all the simplicity of sushi, Koi Kawa complicates flavors beautifully with specialty rolls. - Wendi Kimura
Niki’s carpet is older than our President, which may discourage you from the traditional seating areas, but settle in the pink naugahyde bar chairs and sample fresh, traditional sushi sans gimmicks. Put yourself in the chef’s hands.

; Snuggled into still-growing Quarry district, Piranha serves respectable assortment of sushi (easy on the  digestive aid escolar!) and lunchtime bento boxes. Young crowd, bright colors, reasonable prices.

Samurai Sushi shines with some seafood dishes, and stumbles over certain sushi rolls, but delivers value and freshness on all fronts. The uni was particularly fresh, and the Seafood Dynamite lived up to its name. -- Ron Bechtol (01/09)
When you enter Sushi Zushi, assuming it's not a jam-packed Saturday night, you'll be greeted with a chorus of shouts in Japanese from the waitstaff and sushi chefs. As startling as it may seem (and many potential diners took great pains to ignore it), "Welcome!" is their message. (Irasshaimase!, if you prefer.) Yes, with exclamation points. And it's typical of the restaurant's enthusiastic attitude. Get used to it. ;The exuberance spills over into other areas as well. Despite a pleasant, minimalist decor featuring melon-toned walls, a laminate floor intended to emulate wide-board pine, and some black-and-white images of the sushi-making art, SZ doesn't come across as understated shibui. You can't sit at a counter to watch sushi masters assemble your order with deft hand and quiet dignity. In the place of deferential waitresses in traditional garb, there are kids in grey polos and black pants. And numerous items on the almost intimidatingly long menu, feature chipotle mayonnaise. Get used to that, too. - Ron Bechtol
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