Al Mancini’s top five spots for roll-free sushi

Custom Search 2

<p>Bluefin tuna, live sea urchins and a sweet omelette at Kabuto. PHOTO: BILL HUGHES</p>

FORGET GIANT FRIED ROLLS full of cream cheese. When I go to a sushi restaurant, I want sashimi or nigiri. And here’s where I enjoy that most.

1. KABUTO This tiny Chinatown spot is the closest you’ll come in Las Vegas to the experience detailed in the 2012 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. You’ll find fish that’s available no place else in town (except, perhaps, Bar Masa), prepared perfectly, at very reasonable prices. (5040 Spring Mountain Road, 676-1044)

2. BAR MASA You should only dine here if you meet three criteria: You want the best; you can’t get into Kabuto; and someone else is paying. It’s obscenely expensive — but amazing. (Aria, 3744 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 877-230-2742)

3. rm SEAFOOD Rick Moonen offers the only 100 percent sustainable sushi menu in town. Sure, the selection is small and unconventional. But once you try these fish, you’ll ask your local joint to carry them, and perhaps the oceans will survive long enough for your kids to eat sushi. (Mandalay Place, 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 632-9300)

4. SUSHI MON When I moved to Las Vegas in 2001, there was the super-expensive sushi at Nobu, and a lot of shitty neighborhood joints. Then I discovered Sushi Mon, which was on par with what I used to eat in New York at a reasonable price. A dozen years later, it still delivers. (Various locations)

5. HIKARI This is purely a value play, and it has its limitations. It’s the only place I know that includes sashimi in an all-you-can-eat deal, so you can get more fish without filling up on rice. The fish is top-of-the-line (but skip the amaebi). Caveat: The rushed chefs don’t take a lot of care preparing it, and the cuts can be rough. (4175 S. Buffalo Drive, 889-6660)