Nix the SPicy Tuna Roll - The Next Sushi Wave Advances into Tradition and Fusion

Chicago: HEAT, 1507 N. Sedgwick St., (312) 397-9818
If you crave a California roll, look elsewhere. Chicago’s most buzzed-about sushi purveyor specializes in fish carved to order from tanks of live eel, flounder, and rockfish. While the “live kill” selections prove firm and fresh, the previously prepared stuff is tops, too. Reserve a spot at the sushi bar to observe chef/owner Kee Chan’s culinary artwork. And do reserve — the eatery only holds 40.

Nashville: 6º, 601 12th Ave. S., (615) 244-3888
Nashville’s new scene-maker in the fringe Gulch district, 6º takes maki rolls globe-trotting, combining truffle-oil-poached scallops, for example, with the requisite rice and seaweed paper. The roll reinvention tempts novices, while aficionados savor sashimi at the communal sushi table in this warehouse-size quasi-club. The dining room menu touts American fare, including feast-worthy shellfish platters.

New York: SUSHI SAMBA 7, 87 Seventh Ave., (212) 691-7885
The food of Japanese immigrants in Brazil and Peru inspired this high-energy, West Village eatery, with both a sushi chef and a “samba chef” (aka South American cook). Their specialties intersect in the ceviche menu featuring combos like bass, miso, and lemon. Start with inventive maki and move on to seared tuna in sugar cane juice, a São Paulo street favorite. —