all you can eat sushi in NYC
Is there an affordable place (with reliable fish) to do all-you-can-eat sushi in brooklyn or lower manhattan?
I totally understand what's behind your question (saving money and not walking away hungry), but of all the places where I'm looking to cut food costs, I wouldn't dream of doing it with sushi. Raw fish can be dangerous if not stored properly and eaten quickly, and sushi-grade raw fish is expensive, as is the talent to cut and serve it properly. That's just the way it is. I'd really hate to think about the quality of the fish at a cheap all-you-can-eat place.
You don't have to spend $200 to have excellent sushi and plenty of it. Two weeks ago I had omakase at ISO in the Village; $59 (I think) and it was fantastic and amazingly filling. And many places have lunch specials around $20.
Hey, if someone I trusted told me I could get buckets of decent sushi super-cheaply, I'd be there with bells on. But I don't think such a place exists. I'd be delighted to have some other hound prove me wrong, though.
P.S. How about using a more distinctive name than Sue? (Sushi Sue?) We're a community here, but there are a lot of posters (including some other Sue's), and it's hard to get to know someone with such an indistinctive name.
re: Beth P.
You might want to learn how to make it yourself. I took a sushi class at the New School in Chelsea, where, by the way, you get to eat and drink a good amount as part of the class. They will also tell you where to get sushi quality fish in NY(I get mine in NJ). You'll certainly have all you can eat, and there's no tax or tip!
As an aside, my favorite sushi bars are Tatany on 3rd Av and 26th St and Yama on Irving Pl.
Two places. The first is somewhat well known as a major Asian food market, particularly Japanese; I think it's called the Yohan Market. It is a few miles south of Fort Lee on River Rd, probably in Edgewater.
The second is, hold your breath, my Kings in Verona. It has a particularly good fish market, and they get sushi tuna, which is not just their freshest tuna in the case. It is sushi grade tuna the comes separately packaged. I would guess that the other Kings have it or can get it. BTW, they don't always have it so it is better to call the fish counter before you come to ask if they have it or can get it. My recollection is that it was about $16 a pound. At Yohan, they have all kinds of fish with variable sushi grades and prices. They also have octopus, which I like.
re: Beth P.
now that i've become a bona fide sushi snob, i wouldn't date eat all-you-can eat sushi... although i will hunt a bargain.
SushiDen (west side location) used to have 1/2 price sushi on the first Saturday of the month (no reservations) which was great. they discontinued it for a while, and i'm afraid the discontinue is permanent.
for the most-part, i don't even bother with "mid-priced" sushi places, because the bill is still usually 30+ without sides or alcoholic beverages and the quality pales compared to some of the better sushi places like Sushi Den (east side is better than west side) and Blue Ribbon, etc.
a lot of bad sushi places are popular -- don't trust the crowd mentality. Monster Sushi is awful. i ate there in desparation one night and had such a bad meal that i refused to pay for it -- plus i got sick (and i have a stomach of cast iron).
not always, but often the places that give the "big fish" are not of as good quality.
however, there is one sushi bargain in town that i recommend -- i've been going for over two years, and it has a fairly regular crowd. sometimes i've gone as often as twice a week, occaisionally i don't go for months. i'm sure i've eaten there 50 times (at least) over the past two and a half years. it's a dump, and you would never notice it from the outside ... but they have decent quality sushi at half-price DAILY (weekdays) from 4-7pm. the people are very nice, and i'm pleased to say the quality has IMPROVED over the last year. sometimes it is inconsistant. i've had a few disappointing meals there and stayed away for a while... but i've also had some nice meals there that beat popular mid-priced places at less cost.
it's one of those Chinese restaurants with a Japanese sushi counter. i've never had their Chinese, but the menu seems pretty Americanized. however, the sushi is generally good and occasionally excellent. they have yellowtail which is usually amazing, and better than any other yellowtail i've ever had. they carry a "toro" which isn't truly toro, but is often a nice, fattier bit of tuna than the standard.
the staff is incredibly nice and will get to know you over time. and they are happy to make special requests with instock items. and if you are a regular enough, they will look for special requests for you.
i think it's called "osaka" for the sushi bar and something else for the Chinese. it's on 3rd Ave on the west side of the street, one entrace south of 26th street (there is an Irish bar/restaurant on the corner).
it's not the best sushi in the world, but it's better than a lot of places where you will spend more money. if i want better, i'm prepared to pay the price.
price gauge: my last meal there included a spicy, crunchy scallop roll; salmon avocado shisho roll; 1 pc each of unagi, anago, fresh salmon, yellowtail, and "toro" and was $13 before tip.
re: Beth P.
You should try Kinokos on West 72nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam.
They charge 19.95 and have a tremendous amount of different pieces and rolls on the all you can eat menu.
I agree that it is a little 'nervy' trying to find reliable sushi restaurants you can trust but I have been going to Kinokos since 1993 and have always been very happy with the quality and fish to rice ratio
I've never had all-you-can-eat sushi because I've heard from friends that the amount of fish is miniscule and you're mostly served rice. One restaurant wouldn't serve more sushi pieces until everything was eaten on the plate. If the manager/wait staff saw you discarding ANY rice, you were charged for other pieces as you asked for them. Doesn't sound like a good deal to me - if I want rice, I'll have it at home.
I have passed a sushi place on 7th Avenue and Bleecker Street that offers all you can eat for about $17.95-18.95 but that's all I can say. It never seems that busy either so I don't know how the freshness/turnover is. I concur with other hounds on this one: all-you-can-eat is no bargain.
don't know of a place in nyc, but there is a rather decent place in nj..little ferry, nj to be exact..
it's called minado, and they have other japanese food too..it's reasonable and fresh..great desserts too!