Photo by Roberto Rodriguez

Nobu's Japanese Restaurant

Noboru Kidera has been serving sushi in St. Louis for almost 30 years, and the restaurant’s University City location, an old International House of Pancakes, is iconic. Nobu’s Japanese Restaurant is no relic, though. Sitting at the bar here, as I prefer to do, watching Kidera work brings you back to the simple, essential beauty of sushi. Forget the overloaded Americanized rolls. Order a piece of tai (Japanese red snapper) nigiri and admire the exact cut of the fish, the proper seasoning of the rice and, crucially, the dot of sour-plum sauce that Kidera applies as an accent.