If you’re going to whine about how you can’t get sushi in the desert, we don’t want to hear it. Clearly, you haven’t been to Shohko Café, which Hiro Fukuda and his wife, Shohko, founded more than three decades ago to teach Santa Fe what excellent sushi tastes like. And it worked: Since 1975, the fragrance-free Shohko Café has set the bar for Japanese cuisine good enough to rival that of any major city (outside of Tokyo, maybe). Served by a self-effacing staff in a beautiful, serene space, the menu is a lesson in elegance and precision. Hand-rolled sushi tastes impossibly fresh; the tempura is light and fluffy, without a hint of greasiness; and aspects of the menu hint gently at the local environs (green chile tempura, for instance). All told, Shohko Café offers a perfect example of seamless unity, with the ingredients harmonizing perfectly with the setting and overall experience. So, if you’ve ever whined about sushi in the desert, drop everything and go to Shohko.
321 Johnson St., 982-9708
Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner Monday-Saturday. $25-$40