In days of yore, I'd never eat raw fish that seemed to
be a bargain; I'd be too paranoid. But I've been okay
so far. My favorite cheap sushi used to be at Empire
Szechuan Greenwich (I know, I know -- Szechuan is not a
province of Japan, but they still have sushi at this
place), but now it's Edo on 17th street. Lovely
friendly staff, all the basic rolls done freshly, and a
I tend to shy away from those all-you-can-eat sushi
places, which are usually more like all-you-can-eat
rice! The East chain varies a lot in quality between
the different locations, but the good ones are an
excellent bargain (half price!) during their happy
hours on weekdays. The one on third ave between 26th
and 27th is pretty reliable.
For Upper West Siders and Lincoln Center groupies, Empire Szechwan Kyoto at Columbus between 69th and 68th is hard to beat. Sushi consumed on premises is half price meaning the $16. deluxe combination place is $8. Real value I think somewhere in between which means bargain. Pretty good and my kids adore it.
Amy, as far as I'm concerned, cheap sushi is like
cheap brain surgery. It's probably possible to find,
but why take a chance?
Of course, expensive sushi--even ultrafresh expensive
sushi--can also contain parasites.
Check my "when bad food happens to good people" page
for some new sushi lowdown...
My favorite sushi? Has to be Esashi Japanese Restaurant
(Ave. A at 3rd Street). They're small, intimate,
reasonably priced (you can come in for the early bird
special for like $9.95, or order a la carte) and clean.
Oh, and their sushi is great and their waiters are
helpful - they don't laugh at you if you forget
momentarily the difference between hijiki and kukicha.
Beth (using Frank's account)
re: Frank Language
I was dragged to this restaurant on the Upper East Side
where there is an All-You-Can-Eat sushi deal for $20.
The downside is that if any food is left on the table,
the regualr price is charged. For the sake of saving a
few bucks, I gorged myself with raw fish. Haven't eaten
at a Japanese restaurant since.
re: Kai Lui
I am not sure if it fits the "cheap sushi"
category, but one of my favorite summer
activities is what we call "sushi-baseball."
The JPN (formerly Shogun) restaurant in
downtown Baltimore has an "all-you-can-eat"
deal at the sushi bar on Wednesdays. So I try
to get my Oriole tickets on Wednesdays, so we
can go to the game (if it is a day game) and
cap the day with some great sushi. Or, if it
is a night game, it is sushi first, then baseball.
The sushi is very good, the people are very nice,
and the concept really appeals to me. For
one hour, you sit at the sushi bar and order
anything that you want--nigiri, maki, etc...
The first time, we ate too much too fast, but
an hour is enough time to eat your fill...
without stuffing yourself. One thing to keep
in mind is that some of the fancier combination
rolls tend to fill you up; I concentrate
on the simpler preparations.
The tab is $23.95 and I am sure that they are
losing money on me...And this Wednesday is
Jim Zurer -- Washington DC
re: Jim Zurer
Sounds good -- the only drawback being that you have to
watch the Orioles. KIDDING!
Jim, I agree -- the concept of cheap sushi is a little
scary -- but you know, the fact is there are lots of
little places that don't have such a high overhead and
can do good, basic sushi really, really well. Meanwhile
the much-touted Nobu is a big pile of crap. Gimme a
nice guy in a big hat that chats with me while making
my negihamachi roll anytime.
There's a place that has all you can eat at 6th ave
around Bleeker. Can't remember the name, but I had fun
there too. It's like $16.95? something like that.