Osaka Asian Bistro, MerrimacStandout Qualities: A repertoire that goes well beyond the standard tuna and salmon (though those are exceptionally fresh as well). The menu occasionally offers live scallops, white tuna, and Kumomoto oysters.
What’s Unique: Their lovely presentation, including a glowing LED display with the sushi boat for two.
Insider Tip: Explore the small but thoughtful list of sakes by the bottle or enjoy some good cocktails.
32-34 Broad St., Merrimac, 978-346-8828, osakamerrimac.com
Readers’ Choice (Tie)
Koto Grill & Sushi, SalemInsider Tip: You’ll often find area chefs from other restaurants here, drawn by the rock ’n’ roll vibe, fresh fish, and late hours.
90 Washington St., Salem, 978-594-8681, kotogrillandsushi.comMaki Sushi Bar & Grill, PeabodyInsider Tip: Weekday happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m. offers several menu favorites for just $3.50.
43 Main St., Peabody, 978-854-5426, makisushibar.net