MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Which restaurant was voted Best Sushi in Minnesota?

It’s a place that’s been serving up the freshest fish for more than 20 years — Origami in Minneapolis’ North Loop.

As sushi’s popularity has exploded over the last decade in Minnesota, Origami stands out.

“Price doesn’t matter to us more,” manager Tim Theobald said. “It’s more about quality.”

That means the very best ingredients. And that’s something you can credit to Origami’s owner, a man affectionately called Ichi.

“He’s almost like the Godfather of sushi in the Twin Cities,” Theobald said.

Origami’s able to offer things that you just don’t find on most menus — like fugu.

“We’re one of only 18 restaurants in the U.S. to have the blow fish,” Theobald said.

And even more exclusive than that … something you can only get in Japan, in New York, and at Origami.

“We also have fugu testicles, which is the blow fish testicles,” Theobald said.

But you don’t have to be a sushi fanatic to eat here. They’re happy to work with customers new to the cuisine.

For additional moral support, I invited Sara Pelissero, co-founder of the WCCO sushi club. She’s also serves as a sushi spirit guide as Brickman begins his journey starting at square one.

“Tuna, salmon and yellow tail,” Theobald said. “Those are fishes that most people have had, most of the times cooked.”

Brickman’s a texture eater. So if it’s not cooked, won’t it be chewy?

“If you’re eating something chewy from a fish, usually it’s not good,” Theobald said.

So Theobald rolls out an option with “tempura aparagus, chives, cilantro, tuna on the inside, then tuna and avocado on the outside.”

Origami also has a new location next to the Lagoon Theater in Uptown.