Best Japanese 

Angelfish

Tucked into a well-appointed strip mall on the south end of Alameda, tiny Angelfish serves the standard complement of Japanese entrées (tonkatsu, udon, teriyaki) and sushi that tastes as if it were pulled straight from the water: thick, sweet slabs of buttery hamachi, crunchy, savory salmon-skin rolls, and uni so fresh that it tastes more like a scoop of deep-sea ice cream than red-tide scum. Owner Takao Minatoya runs a relaxed sushi bar, joking with patrons and slipping treats to the regulars. Even if you can't sit at the bar, order from the specials menu, which often showcases what simple, elegant Japanese technique can do with seasonal California ingredients. Evidence of the restaurant's allure: We know a San Franciscan who routinely offers to drive her pals to the Oakland Airport just so she has an excuse to slip across to the island for an Angelfish fix.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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