Before Yoshimatsu, Japanese food in Tucson was relegated to tempura this and teriyaki that. Then along came Yoshimatsu, bearing a new breed of Japanese fare billing itself as healthy, with more vegetables and no MSG. Try any of the bento boxes, the steaming udon noodle soups, the Japanese pizzas or the ice cream smoothies. Yoshimatsu has the best brown rice in Tucson--and perhaps in Arizona. The takikomi brown rice is cooked with tofu skin, carrot, hijiki seaweed, yam cake, cooking sake and soy sauce. It's a mound of wholesome, rustic, nutty goodness. Pick up some Hello Kitty souvenirs or postcards. Tucson, Tokyo--what's the difference?
2. Sakura, 6534 E. Tanque Verde Road, 298-7777, sakuratucson.com
3. Takamatsu, 5532 E. Speedway Blvd., 512-0800, takatucson.net