Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature foods really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Long Island has had much success cultivating great restaurants and creating a substantial market for Sushi. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at popular Nisen or at Kotobuki, a major player in the field. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about!

Contrary to what you may have read in Sunday school, all is not lost in Babylon. Its saving grace, in this instance, is sushi. Inside this inventive little eatery, the chefs are not afraid to experiment. This fact becomes apparent when you glance at the menu, which features colorfully-named items like the UFO Roll and the McRoll (don't worry, fastfood naysayers, it's made with mackerel!). Seating is limited, so it's best to arrive early, especially on weekends. (631-321-8387)

When the need for sushi hits, this friendly Miller Place restaurant is just what the doctor ordered. Here, patrons appease their cravings for food touched with wasabi and soy, courtesy of a skilled kitchen. Fresh ingredients go into each dish, whether it's nigiri, sashimi, or a hot entree. Courteous service and an unassuming atmosphere make it easy to hang out and enjoy the experience for a few hours. (631-209-2414)

This Commack gem hits homeruns from both sides of the plate, so to speak, thanks to spectacular sushi and well-portioned hot entrees. The understated interior reveals a touch of minimalism: indigo walls, light-stained woods, and modest pieces of original Japanese art. Immensely popular are the lunchbox specials — great deals and, with seaweed salad and a handful of maki rolls, more than enough food for one person. Takeout orders are available. (631-499-0400)

Yuki's Palette
Located in a shopping center, this sushi joint draws crowds daily with delicious rolls that have become a Westbury addiction. Expect service to be topnotch and friendly and the atmosphere to be laid back and causal. The kitchen carefully prepares everything from maki to sashimi, along with a few surprises like the Boston roll (shrimp and cucumber) and Philly roll (smoked salmon and cream cheese). In addition, Yuki's serves hot entrees like shrimp tempura, chicken teriyaki, and salmon shioyaki. (516-334-5009)

Located in an elegant old home on New York Avenue, this Huntington sushi place gets stellar marks from locals for its authentic cuisine. Of course, KuraBarn's rolls garner the highest acclaim, thanks to such offerings as the five-piece Sushi-Sashimi Combo, gigantic Futomaki, and Chirashi (a colorful selection of fresh fish and vegetables beautifully arranged on a bed of rice). For those not wanting to go the raw route, the kitchen serves steamed salmon, skewered scallops, and sukiyaki. (631-673-0060)

Great-tasting raw fish and friendly, energetic service have helped this Long Beach fave earn its popularity over the years. Aside from terrific sushi, the menu features teriyaki-marinated beef, chicken, salmon, and flounder — each posing a difficult choice for hungry diners. Add to the mix equally tempting tempura, katsu, and negimayaki dishes, and the decision gets that much harder. Fortunately, there's no pretense at Nagahama, and the atmosphere is casual and friendly, allowing even first-timers to feel at home. NB Nagahama means Long Beach in Japanese. (516-432-6446)

Boasting a courteous staff and warm, inviting atmosphere, Nisen goes the extra mile to ensure that folks enjoy as authentic a dining experience as possible without leaving Suffolk County. From the kimono-wearing servers to the artfully presented fare, it's clear they haven't fired an errant shot. Start with an order of garlic butter yaki with shrimp or asparagus, and for your main dish, make a tough choice: A sushi entree like Hamachi Don (yellowtail slices over rice with miso soup) or something like lobster tail tempura, chicken negimaki, or shrimp sukiyaki? Sushi and sashimi are available à la carte as well. NB Another location in Woodbury (7697 Jericho Tpke). (631-462-1000, 631-462-3233)

Where can you try some of LI's tastiest Japanese cuisine? Many locals regard this Westbury stalwart as their favorite, thanks to teppanyaki-style grilled steaks, chicken, and seafood. In addition, skilled chefs entertain nearly as well as they cook, playing up to diners settled around the hibachi. The result is a brilliantly-prepared meal you won't soon forget. Sushi and sashimi are also available. Reservations are accepted. Great for groups. (516-222-6091)

Tomo Sushi
Smithtowners know where to direct folks when the subject of sushi arises: Tomo on East Main, where the friendly waitstaff, Eastern-inspired setting, and reasonable prices make everybody feel at ease. What's more, the kitchen staff always manages to hit its mark, whether with a teriyaki, tempura, or hibachi entree or a special sushi dish — the Dancing Shrimp (topped with avocado and rolled crabmeat) or Crazy Flying Dragon (spicy tuna topped with a sizzling cut of eel) have more than their fair share of fans. (631-724-1100)

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Maps and Directions

Kotobuki 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Neighborhood: Babylon
Cost: $$
Benten 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$
Kurofune 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$
Yuki's Palette 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi, Vegetarian
Cost: $$
KuraBarn 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi, Vegetarian
Cost: $$
Nagahama 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$
Nisen 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$
Benihana 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$$
Tomo Sushi 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Cost: $$
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