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Aug 28, 1998 03:32 AM

Best Sushi Places?

  • g

Hi, I was just wondering what everyone thought were the best sushi places in Manhattan...for cheap to moderately expensive prices...

Thanks a lot,
Grace Toy

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  1. Tomoe, down in the village, also ther's another great placeon 54th st. between 6th and 7th ave, directly across the st from the rihga hotel, downstairs, its fab. also another place on east 7th, or east 9th st in the east village, Hanada?? I forget the name, e-mail me direct if you wish. also blue ribbon sushi. designer sushi at bond st.

    10 Replies
    1. re: stephen kaye

      place on east 9th st is called Hasaki. also try Omen, also Nobu.

      1. re: stephen kaye

        Hasaki is good, but the lines are always long. One of my favorite places is called Marumi on Laguardia Street off of Bleeker. It is not in Zagat's and I have never seen a review, but it is always full of Japanese diners, which I take to be a good sign. Very cheap and reliable.

        I also went to Japonica for the first time last night. First rate sushi - absolutely gigantic pieces. But you have to get past the hokey menu (pictures of possible dinner selections and a primer to everything Japanese).

        Other good places include Choisi in Gramercy Park, Yama (the Irving Street location, Sushisay (but very, very expensive). I think the HOuston street branch does not compare).

        Keep away from ISO at all costs. Overrated, crowded and horrible service.

        1. re: Alex
          Josh Mittleman

          The best way to deal with Japonica is to order the
          daily specials or to sit at the bar and simply ask them
          to make you $30 worth of dinner. If they aren't
          terribly busy, they'll do it, and it will be better
          than you would have picked out for yourself.

          1. re: Josh Mittleman

            I'm loyal to Tomoe, I love sitting at the sushi bar.

            I also like a place directly below the restaurant called "Around The Clock" on Styvessant Oval near 9th St. and Third Avenue (forgot the name).

            I am not a fan of ISO, and, as I've written here before , I am convinced that their popularity is due to the fact that their name is spelled in CAPITAL LETTERS in the Zagat guide, hence, everyone thinks their among the top-notch rated places.

            But, THEY spell it like that. It's the only capitalized restaurant in "the Ziggy-Zag" book that didn't earn it's capitalization from readers. What a way to put a spin on a restaurant's image! Those guys over there are genius!

            1. re: amy tarshis

              I like Sushi Masa on 47th and Third. It's well-priced,
              small and full of Japanese ambassadors from the U.N.
              Service is quite lovely and the fish is the freshest
              I've ever had.

              1. re: cathy

                Many of the restaurants mentioned are wonderful,
                especially Tomoe. However, by its nature sushi is not
                a good food to go cheap on. If you want to pay more,
                nothing in New York comes close to Kuruma Zushi on
                46th bet. 5th and Mad. It rivals anything I've had in
                Tokyo, but the prices at Kuruma are the same as in
                Tokyo. Go especially for the different cuts of toro.

                1. re: Scott Reiner
                  Dan Sonenberg

                  One of my favorites, and one on the Upper West
                  Side--that bastion of nothing-but-awful-restaurants--is
                  Jo An, on 103rd and Broadway. They serve wonderfully
                  fresh, huge pieces of sushi for startlingly reasonable
                  prices (the deluxe platter, which is BIG, is about
                  $16.95). The service is always friendly, and the wait
                  staff is probably the most sincere I've seen in the
                  city. Not all of their non-sushi options are great,
                  although they make a very nice oshitashi (spinach
                  appetizer). It's also never all that crowded.
                  Definitely as good or better than ISO, and blows away
                  any other Japanese on the dreaded UWS (where I live).

                  1. re: Dan Sonenberg

                    Yama's Houston location, I believe, is probably the best sushi value in the city. Yes, the chefs at Yama off of Irving Place are slightly better, but it is far more cramped, and the waits are ridiculous (topped only by the insane Tomoe scene). You can easily walk into Yama and get a spacious booth for 4 people (when there's an hour wait at the Irving Place location) and then walk out an hour later, *stuffed* and amazed, for $30 a person. And the pieces are the biggest (if size is your thing) in the city, plus they are among the freshest. Easily the best handrolls in the city, too, I think. The #7 handroll, a Hotate clam, spicy mayonnaise, and flying fish roe contraption, is out of this world.

                    Overall, as I said, the best value in the city.

                    One more note, this one on Tomoe vs. Yama-- Yama Houston is around the corner from Tomoe, and the mind is just boggled by people waiting an hour+ to get into a jam-packed, uncomfortable Tomoe at 6pm on a Saturday, when they could walk around the corner and be seated immediately at Yama, where the sushi is nearly as good.

                    1. re: Marc

                      I agree, YAMA (Houston St) is the best sushi place in
                      NYC. The owner/head chef Huge is one of the most
                      accomadating chefs in the city. Go often and he'll
                      never forget your name or your fav's!

                      1. re: Jason

                        I have to disagree with you about Yama on Houston. I
                        went there once b/c I was tired of the lines on Irving
                        Pl. but it just doesn't compare. The sushi was chewy
                        and the pieces weren't as big. I like Haru on 76th and
                        3rd. There is usually a line after 7pm and its a little
                        pricey but definitely worth it. Also Sushihana on 2nd
                        and 78th (?) is a good substitute, and its less of a

    2. b
      Bill Schwartz

      Most of you have already hit on my favorites but one
      place deserving of mention is Taka, on Grove St. just
      of 7th Ave. South. The sushi chef is a woman who
      makes her own ceramic plates (which are a huge
      improvement on the usual wooden boards) and the
      presentation is beautiful. The fish is incredibly
      fresh. The only downside is that the service has been
      horrible the past two times I've gone so I've kind of
      sworn off it for a while.

      My favorite is still Blue Ribbon (although it's a
      little expensive).