Rule number one with neighborhood darling Kanoyama is to make a reservation, from the minute we sat down there were at least five people waiting for tables. Often the eager crowds spilled out on to the street. It's a small space and tight quarters with no real decor to speak of, but that's completely beside the point. Who needs fancy ambiance when the sushi is so pleasing to look at?
We all ordered the omakase sushi dinner which gets you eight pieces the freshest chef choice and a roll for a little over thirty dollars. The day we went, tuna heaven was offered on plate in the form of two different kinds of sushi and a roll which were all exceptional. The octopus was superb and the unagi was presented beautifully in a long fillet with just a bit of the sweet basting sauce.
The unagi probably most represents the exceptional difference between Kanoyama and cheaper sushi joints. The fish was fresh and smelled amazing, and it was prepared simply so you could actually taste the freshness. I usually like eel, but the overcooked, over sweetened typical versions will never taste the same after this experience.
I wish I could give you more information on the other types of sushi we sampled, but it was all really tasty and made me feel like I should have beens paying through the nose (which you would be at other places of this caliber).
Beware of the wasabi here, it is potent stuff, not like the weak stuff you find in take out deli boxes. Also beware the carafes, they hold a whole lotta sake and before you know it, you're swimming in Masumi or Oyama (both really good lower priced options). They also serve Ginga Kogen Beer, which is nice crisp beer served in a blue bottle with a deer on it and Hitachino when available.
If you're tired of deli sushi and want to remember what it's really supposed to taste like without spending a fortune, have a blast discovering Kanoyama.