Is Joe Rogan’s ‘Best Sushi Of All-Time’-Spot As Good As He Claims?

The distance from the road to the front door of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is roughly three miles. The drive down the tranquil, tree-lined path located outside of Austin, Texas, fills you with excitement: for lounging in the peaceful resort nestled in the Texas wilderness, for a relaxing massage in the luxurious spa, and, perhaps most of all, for sushi. The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is the home of Sushi by Scratch, a popular omakase restaurant from acclaimed chefs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee that’s a favorite of many, including the world’s most popular podcaster.

“HOLY FUCK was this good. Just absolutely incredible,” Joe Rogan wrote on his Instagram last year. “I can’t recommend this place enough. Just absolutely sensational.”

In another post from April of this year, he called it the “best sushi on earth.” Rogan again preached the virtues of Sushi by Scratch’s during a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, telling guest Elon Musk that it’s “the best sushi you’ll ever eat” and “the best sushi of all time.”

I’m no fan of Joe Rogan (for spreading misinformation, for wanting Tucker Carlson to run for president, for claiming The Hangover is the last “really good” comedy movie) or Elon Musk (for… how long do you have?), and I would rather eat a gallon of Popeyes coleslaw than listen to them talk for three hours. But I am a fan of things being called the “best” ever.

So I made a trip to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa for my inaugural visit to Sushi by Scratch.

After walking through the aforementioned grounds and the cozy interior of the resort, you head upstairs to a waiting room where you’re greeted with a complimentary cocktail. Once it’s time for your reservation, you’re ushered into a private dining room with less than a dozen seats. Behind the sushi chefs is a board listing out that night’s tasting menu: hamachi, toro, madai, kanpachi, wagyu, melts-in-your-mouth bone marrow, etc. There were 17 courses total (with an option for more at the end), all with thoughtful flavor profiles that made me forget Austin is a land-locked city. I could taste the salty sea in the escolar; even the hotate, which I’m generally not a fan of (call me a scallop skeptic), went down easy. It was light and almost sweet.

The pacing was just right between the courses; I never felt too hungry or too full. In the dining room, there was an expectation to talk to your fellow patrons and the friendly chefs, but no pressure. The only time I heard the young duo to my right say anything, other than to each other, was an audible, Homer Simpson-style “mmm” from a guy after he finished a bite of sushi.

Sushi by Scratch, which also offers a beverage pairing with an emphasis on sake, whiskey, and Japanese-inspired cocktails, isn’t the most traditional omakase (Lee has acknowledged as such, calling himself “some young, white kid” in an interview with Eater Chicago). But between the food, the drinks, and the experience, it’s worth the cost, especially if you spend the night at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa.

Joe Rogan has been known to… stretch the truth about some things. Not here: Sushi by Scratch is as good as he claims. It completely lives up to the hype.

To make a reservation for Sushi by Scratch, click here. You can also book a stay for Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, which is currently all decked out for the holidays.