Over the past couple years, it seems like everywhere you look in Stanislaus County, there’s been sushi.
From rolls in your neighborhood supermarket to world-class sushi bars appearing all over Turlock and Modesto, there’s no doubt that we’re in the midst of a sushi invasion.
But with all of these options, how do you find the perfect roll you’re hungry for?
Easy! Just let Contentment Health do the work. And trust us, when that work is eating sushi, we’re definitely up to the challenge.
We visited a few of the most popular sushi restaurants around and ordered one common roll—the ever-popular spicy tuna roll—and one other favorite item, then rated each restaurant on taste, value, presentation, décor and service.
Find our results—and our top picks—below!
2100 Standiford Ave, Ste 8
This roomy sushi bar and restaurant, located near the intersection of Tully and Standiford in Modesto, served a large plate of sushi that featured phenomenal flavor and simple presentation. Great fresh tasting tuna and a moderate amount of spice made this roll one of our judge’s favorites. The sashimi is not to be missed, and happy hour prices make this an affordable option, even for a big eater.
Perfect for: the hungry sushi lover.
Don’t miss: happy hour!
1300 Sylvan Ave.
This unassuming restaurant scored high for style with our judges. The décor was incredibly cute with wood paneling throughout and a comfy sushi bar, but the prompt service and HUGE menu of special rolls packed with mouthwatering images were the stars here. The spicy tuna underwhelmed our judges with light spice and a ground-tuna texture, but a delicious miso soup and excellent Modesto roll saved the day. Plus, you can’t go wrong with $0.99 sake bombs.
Perfect for: the adventurous eater looking for a new favorite roll.
Don’t miss: ultra cheap sake bombs!
Raw Sushi Bistro
1200 I Street
The newest restaurant on our list, Raw also scored top for flavor, service and presentation. In fact, judges named these the best rolls we tasted during our tour. The spicy tuna wowed with a delicate sauce that blended spice, sweet and umami into a crescendo of flavor that left us panting for more while a special hot and cold roll with sautéed asparagus and caviar absolutely floored every one of our judges. An incredible showing, but be prepared to pay for this kind of quality.
Perfect for: everyone from a sushi novice to a confirmed sushi lover.
Don’t miss: the accompanying sauces! They’re absolutely brilliant.
Kobe Sushi Buffet
Kobe Sushi holds a unique position as the only buffet in our tour. At this sizeable restaurant in McHenry village, most of the seating centers on an enormous sushi bar where an ever-moving chain of wooden boats offers a constantly-refreshed selection of edamame, seaweed salad and all the rolls you can eat. A more traditional buffet selection located in the back of the restaurant adds everything from potstickers and pork buns to sesame chicken to the offerings, making Kobe the standout value of the tour. A special-ordered spicy tuna roll was a disappointment and added $2 to the buffet price, special orders of sashimi were an additional $5.
Perfect for: the sushi newbie. Don’t know what you like? Try everything!
Don’t miss: plucking fresh-made sushi from a passing boat just feels so right.
Sushi Garden II
170 Monte Vista Ave
Often cited as the area’s favorite sushi restaurant, Sushi Garden II had a lot to live up to with our judges and it did not disappoint. Located just across from the CSU Stanislaus campus, this restaurant is the offshoot of the equally-good Sushi Garden in Modesto. Fresh, perfectly executed rolls that balanced spice, flavor and texture into a phenomenal bite. Downside? The small digs mean you can expect a wait, especially at peak weekend times. Don’t worry, though, the larger-than-average rolls will definitely satisfy the hunger you built up.
Perfect for: the sushi connoisseur.
Don’t miss: the thick slabs of plucked-fresh-from-the-ocean sashimi.
3208 W. Monte Vista
Located in an unassuming space behind the Safeway in Monte Vista Crossings, Sushi Cuisine is a hidden gem in Turlock. The spicy tuna left a little to be desired, but the Lambada roll was a tempura-fried revelation for our judges. Special orders are no problem—except for their bento boxes—and service was lightning fast and always accompanied with a smile.
Perfect for: the sushi lover out for a shopping trip or in a time crunch.
Don’t miss: the amazing value of the bento boxes.