Top 2 sushi spots in Berkeley

With its high number of Asian residents and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, it is no wonder that the Bay Area is known across the country for its profusion of renowned sushi venues. In fact, according to SushiPro, San Francisco placed fourth on a list of the top North American sushi cities. That reputation, however, doesn't stop at San Francisco's borders - Berkeley has earned a reputation as a sushi destination as well. In fact, owners of real estate in Berkeley have many options available to them that can rival even some of the top spots in the City by the Bay.

Kirala is king
Historically, the sushi bar Kirala has been known as the Berkeley's top spot for raw fish and tempting sushi rolls. Located at 2100 Ward Street, this small eatery has been attracting some of the most knowledgeable sushi connoisseurs for years. In its more than 15 years of existence, Kirala has earned just about every sushi award Berkeley has come up with.

With a menu that features traditional favorites like Maguro, Uni and Inari as well as more specialty options like Ikura and Amaebi, it's easy to see why. Berkeley residents swarm Kirala at lunch and dinner and rely on the expert servers for recommendations. Because this restaurant doesn't take reservations, it fills up fast.

In addition to expertly prepared sushi, Kirala offers a full menu of other traditional Japanese offerings.

The rising stock of Joshu-ya
Although it has a much shorter history, Joshu-ya Brasserie has already made quite the name for itself. Restaurant review publication Gayot recently declared that the restaurant offers "fish so eye-poppingly fresh that you can practically feel the sea breeze on your face."

Clearly, this is high praise, but the food offered at Joshu-Ya, located at 2441 Dwight Way, has done much to earn it. Helmed by the young executive chef Jason Kwon, the restaurant offers a more diverse and less-traditional menu than its older forebear Kirala. A wide selection of tapas and cooked entrees ensure that the restaurant will satisfy even those who typically steer away from raw fish.

It is the sushi, though, that steals the show. Fresh big-eyed tuna and red snapper infuse the venue's rolls with the freshness that can only be found in a city so close to the ocean.

These two restaurants prove that you can't go wrong in Berkeley when sushi is on your mind.