BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT - 2010
Let's face it: We shouldn't have sushi in Minnesota. As a landlocked northern state best known for growing corn, we're at a serious disadvantage in the seafood department. For helping us forget this sad fact with sushi so fresh you'd think you were in Japan (or at least Hawaii), there's Fuji-Ya, which opened in 1959 and is credited as the Twin Cities' first Japanese restaurant. Hipsters flock to the Uptown location and willingly shed their Chuck Taylors and Frye boots as they enter one of its three private zashiki rooms to dine on sumashi (clear fish broth), kaiso (seaweed), and bulgogi (thinly sliced rib eye). Meanwhile, the downtown St. Paul venue proves that sashimi is the great equalizer—the pre-show choice of Ordway patrons and Wild fans alike. The happy hour is legitimately happy, running "late" until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday in Minneapolis and Monday through Thursday in St. Paul, with discounts on beer, wine, and sushi, as well as daily sake and martini features. The bluefin tuna is sustainable, Godzilla movies play on the flat screen, and, most importantly, it's fun to say real fast—Fuji-Ya!