Millions of visitors come to Myrtle Beach each year for the sand, surf, sun, fun and fresh seafood. But while the large crowds flock to the all-you-can-eat buffets, others prefer to steer clear of the fried stuff and find some tasty sushi straight from the sea. Sushi lovers visiting the Grand Strand have come to the right place, as new Japanese-style restaurants are offering the best in raw seafood rolls and slices of sashimi. For our guests at the Dayton House Resort, here are the top five sushi spots in the area:
* ART Burger Sushi Bar: The name says it all, and it's more than a mouthful. Yes, this charming little cafe on the downtown oceanfront also doubles as an art gallery featuring the works of local artists. But the culinary offerings are equally diverse, with specialties that include creative sushi rolls and thick, juicy burgers. The concept is designed for parties with mixed taste buds, perfect for groups who are divided between lovers of more traditional American cuisine and the adventurous types who love sushi. The menu is filled with artistic sushi creations, but we recommend saying the word the "omakase" — giving the chef creative license to build a roll around your favorite ingredients. One thing on the menu everyone can agree on is the house-made ice cream, which is concocted using a liquid nitrogen tank.
* King Kong Sushi: Go big or go home. That's the general rule of thumb for sushi lovers who visit this Broadway at the Beach establishment. Featuring rolls nearly as jumbo-sized as the restaurant's namesake, King Kong also offers a wide selection of other Japanese cuisine for those who prefer stir fry or hibachi over the raw stuff. The 12-piece rolls are perfect for large parties to share, especially the popular Tuna Mania — a spicy tuna roll covered in slices of tuna sashimi and lightly charred with a blow torch. King Kong offers outdoor seating overlooking Lake Broadway, and it is a common gathering place for drinks before a night out at nearby Celebrity Square.
* Mr. Fish: This is where the locals go for some sushi, sake and seafood dishes. Located less than a 10-minute drive north of the Dayton House, this locally owned and operated restaurant has a small sushi bar in the back where you can relax and order off the sushi and regular menus, as well as nightly specials featuring the freshest catches. Featuring a wide variety of sushi rolls, Mr. Fish has also earned a reputation for excellent raw-bar items, such as local oysters and soft-shell crabs. Mr. Fish also has a seafood market next door, so you can fill up the cooler and take some seafood back home.
* Soho: Located just a few blocks away from the Dayton House, this trendy cafe is a popular gathering spot for happy hour and late nights. Featuring an extensive menu of international cuisine, the sushi is the star. In addition to the main restaurant on 21st Avenue North, Soho now offers Rooftop 21 right across the street, the perfect place to enjoy sushi, drinks and a fantastic view of the downtown district. The extensive menu features something for all taste buds.
* Wahoo's Fish House: If you find yourself on the south side of the Strand in Murrells Inlet and have a hankering for some of the best sushi on the Carolina coast, check out this hot spot on the MarshWalk. Situated in the "Seafood Capital of South Carolina," Wahoo's offers a wide selection of sushi dishes and other seafood specials in a scenic location along the waterfront. The outdoor bar and patio deck offer live music and wonderful views of the inlet.
After enjoying your sushi feast, head back to the Dayton House for a relaxing stay during your fall getaway. We look forward to hosting you and your crew for a perfect Myrtle Beach vacation.