Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

Planet Sushi Café, and some notes about sushi in Paris

55, Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris (Map)
Phone: 01 40 13 10 10
Métro: Sentier, Étienne Marcel

First, a note about sushi in Paris. In my experience, while most sushi restaurants in Paris are good or very good, there seems to be a much more limited selection of types of fish that are available, so if you're a sushi connaisseur, be aware of this fact. For example, when I'm in the States I go out for sushi pretty often and I usually try to order both a few standard types of fish (you know, salmon, tuna, eel, etc.) and one or two I've never had before; some restaurants have a long list of the fish that are available that day, and many times there are a few I'm not familiar with. It seem that in France, no matter the quality of the restaurant, the list is very limited and basically just sticks to the standards (the aforementioned salmon, tuna, eel, etc.). I have to imagine there are some higher-end sushi restaurants in Paris that do have a more interesting variety, but I've never found them. So, in general, my experience with sushi places in France is that there's much less variety than in the States, in terms of the menu, and also less variety in the quality, the price, and the decor. This isn't necessarily a bad thing! Just worth mentioning if you're a huge fan of sushi. It's actually pretty cool that the quality tends to be pretty consistent everywhere I've eaten, whereas in the States you can be easily surprised to find that the sushi is either terrible or amazing in a place you're not familiar with. I've never had bad sushi in Paris (but of course that's not to say it doesn't exist).

Most sushi places in Paris are Japanese restaurants all with the same, standard Japanese decor; wood, paper, kanji, lanterns, etc. This is totally fine, but I'm an ambience junkie, so I generally try to find something a little more interesting when I can...

Now then, Planet Sushi is my favorite sushi place in Paris, and I eat there about once a week with my girlfriend, partly just because it's close to our apartment, and we love the hip/modern/ridiculous decor; lots of pink lights everywhere, flatscreen tvs in the walls usually playing fashion shows, dancepop music blaring (although one time we heard Guns N' Roses), etc. The clientele swings toward young, hip, well-dressed, and international; it seems like I'm always seated next to someone who's speaking an interesting language. The staff are attractive, young French and Eastern European women, and they're always very nice and friendly. The food is very good, with a few interesting, fusion-y things on the menu (but the same old fish, as in my note above about). The price is little bit higher than the typical Japanese restaurants in Paris, but I'm happy to pay a little extra for the cool atmosphere. Our bill is usually around 50-70 Euros for two people, and that's for sushi, a bottle of wine, and dessert; this is maybe 10%-20% higher than in a typical Japanese restaurant in Paris. This figure could also be much lower if you don't drink, or much higher if you're very hungry. My only complaint about the place is that one time we ordered one of the lower-end bottles of white wine and were surprised to be served a bottle with a twist-off cap. This is less common (and less acceptable) in France than in the States, and it definitely kills the illusion the place is going for, that this is a swanky, hip, upscale kind of place. Fortunately we don't need that illusion and it was no problem — we're snobs but we're not THAT snobby — and we simply make sure to order a better bottle nowadays. I still go to Planet Sushi very often, because it's in my neighborhood and because I really enjoy the atmosphere and the food.