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Sushi at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Have you recently stopped to think about how much raw seafood is around us? Almost every other new restaurant seems to have some kind of uncooked fish on its menu. Personally, I've been noticing a lot of Italian crudo, but sushi is still the most popular. Just consider the hundreds of established sushi restaurants, not to mention all-you-can-eat sushi buffets and numerous grab-and-go options available at grocery stores like Jewel-Osco and Whole Foods. But is all this raw fish equal?

I don't think it is. But what sets a certain sushi restaurants apart? Obviously, price is a huge factor, but is the most expensive sushi always the best, or are you just paying a premium for atmosphere? And what about creatively topped sushi? Does this show how talented a chef is, or is he just covering up mediocre fish?

Do you have a go-to spot for sushi? Do you prefer sushi pristine and stripped of ornamentation, or are you a fan of the wild creations found at places like Tanoshii, where Sushi Mike reigns supreme? Let me know in the comments!

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