I think we all can agree that sushi is the best food on Planet Earth. Okay, so maybe we’re a bit biased, but just look where we live. At the foot of the Gulf of Mexico, fresh fish is caught daily and local chefs are constantly pushing the envelope with innovative ways to fuse ingredients in a way that sets them apart from the rest.
As one of the most creative cuisines out there, sushi can be likened to art.
Here’s a look at some favorite spots that are changing the game.
“Hang loose” isn’t just the namesake of this Inlet beach hot spot, it’s a way of life. And it can be felt in the laidback vibes stretching from the covered patio to their beautiful indoor sushi bar. From classic sushi and sashimi to signature rolls and fan favorites like California Dreamin’, Double Red Flag, and Locals Only they fuse fresh fish and veggies and even work in wild card ingredients like bacon, hanger steak, and housemade aioli. For another fun change of pace, try their Jaws Roll, a rice-less roll with tuna, yellowtail, and fresh salmon that’s sure to impress. Don’t forget to stop by their new Grab n’ Go Market for easy access to your favorite classic Shaka rolls, plus build-your-own poké bowls, Asian market-style snacks, and a full bar.
At the foot of the Choctawhatchee Bay sits this family-friendly, open-air restaurant specializing in Southern Gulf Coast cuisine, and, of course, the reason we’re all here: really good sushi.
Made fresh to order, their sushi menu is small but mighty, boasting favorites like the Kelli Roll, Jon The 2nd Roll, and the Hot Mess Roll, which features jumbo lump crab, spicy crab salad, and avocado, breaded in panko, deep-fried and topped off with spicy mayo and eel sauce. Keep the night going with their 12-draft beer system, varied wine selections, and inventive cocktails. And be sure to swing by for their Wednesday Night Bonfires with live music changing weekly as well as Sunday Pickin’ with Mike Whitty and friends where you can enjoy great tunes by the water.
Noodles, poké, and sushi… oh my! If you’re looking for Asian cuisine with a Southern flair, look no further than Nanbu Noodle Bar. What originally drew people in with their fresh noods, mouthwatering steamed buns and handmade dumplings is now wowing customers with their brand new sushi menu. Launched in 2021, each roll is a work of art with aesthetics that are just as important as the quality of their ingredients. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Chef and Owner Nikhil Abuvala, who began his culinary career as an apprentice sushi chef at the age of 13. Be on the lookout for popular rolls like their Shrimp Tempura Roll and Kim Bap Veggie Roll, as well as our personal favorite, the Grayton Sunburst Roll featuring a clean catch of fresh jumbo lump crab, mango, chili aioli, yuzu tobiko, avocado, scallion, cucumber, unagi sauce, and ponzu.
When a restaurant has over 20 years under their belt, you know they’re doing something right. And for this long-time staple of Blue Mountain Beach, they certainly fit the bill.
Nestled in the tall pines overlooking Draper Lake, Basmati’s is regarded for its unique menu that marries beloved Asian flavors with fresh, local ingredients.
Come for the sushi, a favorite among South Walton locals, and stay for popular dishes like their panko-crusted Red Snapper and Firecracker Grouper. Innovative rolls like their Truffled Tuna, Feeling Frisky, and “For the Health of It” are sure to delight and surprise. Open for dinner nightly from 5 to 10 PM.
A nod to Old Florida soul, this new and improved spot combines a little bit of everything making it a great spot where families of all shapes and sizes can especially thrive. With green space, an open patio, and a dock that overlooks beautiful Eastern Lake, the views are enough of a draw. Enter Chef DJ McCracken and his equally beautiful and delicious sushi creations and see why locals are saying he’s changing the sushi game in the area. Grab your chopsticks (though hands and fingers are encouraged too) and explore their menu of sashimi, nigiri, and specialties like the Bluefin Roll, Broiled King Crab, and Land and Sea Roll topped with A5 Hokkaido Wagyu.
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Posted by 30A on Tuesday, 8 December 2020
For many, Chef Andy of Destin-based Sushimoto is quickly becoming a household name. Born in New York to first-generation Japanese immigrants and raised in Miami, he brings to the Emerald Coast a uniquely fresh take on Japanese fare that keeps his customers coming back for more. Though this family-owned restaurant isn’t located on 30A, we had to include it on our list because it’s just that good. From classic rolls any sushi fiend would know and love, to traditional Chirashi and innovative rolls like the Volcano Roll and MotoRolla, the freshness and pizzazz can be tasted in every bite. Spicy lovers, try the XXX Roll with Thai pepper, jalapeño, habanero, and a touch of ghost pepper… if you dare.