Best Of 2006

Best Sushi: Jo-To Japanese Restaurant

Associated with but still independent of the Jo-To Japanese Steakhouses that are scattered around town, this South Tampa mainstay has stockpiled its own fair share of Weekly Planet Best Of the Bays, attracting the notice of pundits and readers alike by serving consistently superior sushi for more than two decades. Presented on rice, in seaweed-wrapped rolls or as sashimi — without any accompaniment — each piece of Jo-To sushi possesses all the qualities that fresh and well-prepared sushi should: The salmon is firm but melts on your tongue; the tuna is a deep, healthy pink; the octopus is chewy and free of sliminess; and the grilled eel is crispy but tender, its basting sauce delicately sweet. The prices are reasonable (for $16.50, you can enjoy a deluxe sushi dinner complete with soup and salad), the atmosphere is tranquil, the traditional Japanese décor is tasteful and elegant, and the kimono-wearing waitresses are pleasant and courteous at all times. Jo-To unquestionably lives up to its name, which, in Japanese, means “superior” or “the best.”