Sushigo in Boca Raton offers pristine, but expensive sushi in a simple setting

Sung Gook Joe, a/k/a Chef Joe

You’ll find some of the freshest tasting sushi in South Florida in this tiny eatery, but be prepared to pay for it

From the first time I heard about Sushigo, I had to go, if only for lunch.

That’s because this small, unassuming sushi den in a strip center opposite Mizner Park on Federal Highway in Boca Raton is as well known as well for its fine raw fish as its high prices.

Sushigo’s exterior

Park right out in front and walk in (no valets, thank heaven). There are but 29 seats inside two outside. There’s nothing fancy here. Just very good sushi at expensive prices. An omakase (chef’s choice) menu that in the evening can run $350 per person!

The story of Sushigo has been told often in print and in social media. Readers of the Sun-Sentinel voted it the best sushi restaurant in South Florida in a 2017 poll. The restaurant’s story, in abbreviated form, goes like this: Korean-born Sung Gook Joe, a/k/a Chef Joe, who presides over Sushigo, has 30 years of sushi-making experience, including time at Nobu in Miami Beach. Some of his fish are flown in from Japan, and are kept in a minus-80-degree blast freezer. Joe serves up the kinds of things you would get at Nobu or Masa in New York City, both highly regarded sushi parlors for big spenders. Nobu, among the world’s most recognized Japanese restaurants, is known for its innovative new style sushi and a hip crowd and celebrity following

Suhsho’s interior

As I said, Sushigo is expensive — I could never afford to dine there for dinner. Even lunch does not come cheap. Two of us dined on gyoza and sushi for about $70. A lunch special, a combo sushi plate of just seven pieces and a California roll, cost $29.99.  A few years ago, the plate consisted of 9 pieces and was priced at $18.99, according to a review from 2016. I guess food costs have gone up.

I started with miso soup, included in the special. It was more flavorful than any I’ve ever previously had.

The dumplings, steamed, came with a sesame-flavored dipping sauce, but were nothing out of the ordinary. 

The fish, on the other hand, was terrific with a decided difference in quality with that of other sushi eateries and significantly more than the supermarket variety.

Lunch sushi combo

Hamachi jalapeno roll

The Sushigo sushi lunch special was a plate of two slices  each of tuna and salmon and three slices of hamachi each about a half-inch thick. They arrived with a spoonful of freshly grated wasabi and a California roll — moist sushi rice wrapped around seaweed, avocado, cucumber and imitation crab. It barely held together. Each piece of hamachi, or Japanese Yellowtail, received a different garnish, one with a jalapeño salsa —jalapeños, onions and grape seed oil, another with razor-thin jalapeño  slices, and a third with edible gold flakes. These accoutrements made for some extra tastiness.

For those who go for sushi rolls, there are plenty of specialty rolls to choose from. The hamachi Jalapeño roll ($24)—featuring sliced hamachi and jalapeños with yuzu soy sauce, had a nice citrus tang, a decided difference from the ordinary.

Good sake, also is expensive, despite Sushigo’s gentle double-retail markups. The least expensive bottle on the premium list was a Kurosawa Junmai, $21.99 for 300ml; a 720ml bottle of Dewazakura Yukimanman Daiginjo aged sake was $233. With our bill adding up quickly (it was my son’s treat), we drank ice water.  

By the way, there is a 10 percent discount for cash. 

If you’re like me, you’ll want to go to Sushigo to find out what it’s all about. If money is no object,  by all means, go for dinner. If you’re not a Rockefeller scion, give it a try for lunch. You’ll be pleased.


477 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton


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  1. Helen says:

    Two and a half years ago, I was a regular customer. Then it was time to renew his lease, which led to his first hefty increase in prices. Sushigo is head and shoulders above any place in Palm Beach County and Broward. I could go on about the different cuts of toro, hamachi belly, salmon belly, his use of grapeseed oil, truffle oil, garlic and just his wonderful creativity. But he’s effectively priced me out of the restaurant.

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