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best sushi high end best sushi day to day

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Hi there I was wondering what the thoughts were regarding this..

some of the contenders I am hoping to hear about are

high end (not including masa or nobu)
sushi of gari
jewel bako

day to day
tomoe sushi
ushi wakamaru

enjoy the debate!

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  1. I think Jewel Bako will be off your list soon. My understanding is that Jewel Bako is being transformed into JB Makimono. I haven't been to JB since Makimono closed but I think that is the plan since Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar has now closed it's doors.

    7 Replies
    1. re: KTinNYC

      They are not transforming Jewel Bako into makimono. They've expanded the menu at Jewel Bako to offer some of the lower-priced rolls, nigiri, etc. options that were available at Makimono and will continue to offer their higher end and unique offerings as well.
      MMMMM. Omakase.

      1. re: sashimi_forever

        I heard that JB's sushi chef of the last two years (at least) has left... is this right? I had friends who went Friday night and said he wasn't there. They also said it was below typical JB standards of excellence.

        I'm no hater, and have posted many times about JB's awesomeness:


        I'm just a little sad at this turn of events.

        1. re: bill_p

          it's more likely that Masato-san is on vacation...i was there a couple months ago and remember him telling me that he would be spending a few weeks in Tokyo at some point: so perhaps (hopefully!) that's the reason for his absence...

          1. re: bill_p

            I just reread your post from your Omakase and it seriously made my mouth water. Thank you for that mid-day treat.

            I understand the sadness (although have no idea if the chef left or not, and is so, it would be a serious cause for sadness). I panic everytime I hear a rumor that Jewel Bako might be closing or transforming into something else.

            1. re: sashimi_forever

              I'm sorry to report that Masato-san has left Jewel Bako. I agree it's a sad development for the NY sushi scene.

              1. re: sashimi_forever

                Does anyone know where Masato went?

                For that matter, where is Yoshida now... is he still at Geisha?

                1. re: sashimi_forever

                  Responding to BILL_P:

                  If I am not mistaken my hairdresser, who is a friend of Yoshida, told me he has left Geisha, but he could not tell me where he went. He told me that he does not like to stay at one place too long. This may not be 100% accuarate as my hairdresser just moved here from Toyko 10 months ago and his English was not so great.

                  He did say something about Ichimura on 54th and 2nd, but I don't know if it was related to Yoshida or not.

          2. Tomoe, my old favorite, went downhill quickly after Ken stopped working the sushi bar. Very sad. Went for Omakase at Sushi of Gari earlier this summer and it was heavenly.


            1. The food at Nobu is very good, but sushi is the weakest part of their menu. IMO, the sushi at Nobu isn't in the top twenty in New York.

              1. There's been quite a bit of debate on this board regarding Yasuda vs. JB vs. the others. Yasuda is astoundingly delicious, and will top my list if JB is really going away. Yasuda and Sushi of Gari are very different and could be summed up as classic vs. innovative.

                My favorite day-to-day sushi place is Natori. Best value in the city for great sushi, I believe. If I'm wrong, I would love to hear of other options.

                1. in addition to natori, i like takahachi and esashi (both on avenue a) for day-to-day sushi.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: wleatherette

                    i had a meal at Esashi a couple weeks ago: i hadn't been there in a while and wanted to check it out again (the meals i'd had a few years ago there had been solid)...this time, the fish was very mediocre and i'm unlikely to return soon...has it gone into decline?

                    1. re: Simon

                      the last few times i've been i've had hot food, so it's been a little while since i've tried their sushi. i hope your experience isn't indicative of a decline, as it's one of my favorite neighborhood spots.

                      1. re: wleatherette

                        I used to have a lot better meal there a couple years ago when the owner was there all the time...I mean, then, I used to think the place was underrated. Now I go to Sachiko's on Clinton when I'm in that area and don't want to spend $$$ at Le Miu. The price went down, and they make good makimonos. I also like the garden in the back.

                      2. re: Simon

                        I just ate at Esashi for the first time last night. I ordered the Sushi and Sashimi Combination, which came with 8 pieces of sashimi, 6 sushi, and a California roll. I thought the salmon and the hamachi were stellar - buttery, melt in your mouth pieces.

                    2. yasuda and seki are my 2 favorite places in the city. i like to just set a spending limit and leave it to chef. i've been more than satisfied at $50 for seki and at $75 for yasuda (wish i had to budget to not cap the price). both are different experiences, creative or traditional, as mentioned.

                      i need to try gari east and ushi wakamaru!

                      1. I would add Shimizu. Could go on either list. I've had a great Omakase there but also a lunch special for around $24 that included toro. A real pleasure.


                        1. I am a huge fan of Yama. I guess you could put it under the "every day" category, but I treat myself on special occaisions. There are three locations in manhattan, but I find the best to be the one on Irving Pl.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Lauren1017

                            Do they still serve monster sized sushi slices? I don't find this very appealing anymore. It's not very authentic, and even kind of gross.

                            For regular sushi on the UES I found Poke and Ichiro and Sachi alright.

                            1. re: jeanki

                              Their sushi and sashimi is far bigger than many other sushi restaurants and I think it is amazing! I'd rather have a few large pieces of sushi then order 5 peices for $4 each!

                              1. re: Lauren1017

                                You wouldn't say that if you'd ever had Sushi of Gari's omakase (each gem is roughly $7 and worth every penny). But to be fair that is certainly outside most normal meal budgets including my own.

                                Still, bigger is definitely not better in the world of sushi. Authentic Japanese sushi is supposed to be bite-sized. It's part of the gestalt.

                          2. miyami (west 3rd at 6th ave) is decent everyday sushi, probably the best near wash sq., agree that tomoe went way downhill.

                            also on ave A(i think) and 3rd street, there is a good every-day sushi place, can't recall the name.

                            cube63 is another good one (usually), though the last time i was there is was just so-so.

                            1. I would add Sushi Sen-nin to your list and place it between high-end and day-to-day. I go to the new location on E. 33 St. between Park and Madison, and have always loved the freshest sushi/sashimi. The new location is quite dramatic and service has always been very good.

                              1. Sharaku on 9th st and 3rd ave for just plain ol' dinner. They run early bird and late night specials.

                                1. 10th For moderately priced sushi, I really like:

                                  Le Miu - Ave A and like 5th Street?
                                  Lan - 3rd Ave & 10th Street
                                  Kirara - Carmine and, uh something.

                                  Is Sushi Seki what Sushi Hatsu turned into? 1st and 60-something? I used to go to Hatsu maybe in 1999 or 2000 and it was very sparse full of japanese people and open very late and had an incredible menu - oh and only took amex. Then I tried again in like 2005 and it looked totally remodelled with neon lights or something and a menu with spicy tuna rolls and lots of white people inside.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: hotpot1

                                    1-Seki remodeled the rear room. It sorely needed it and it is very nice now.

                                    2-The front is exactly the same including the sign from the fish market over the sushi bar.

                                    3-They changed the sign outside.

                                    4-Many Japanese customers won't go there because Seki is not Japanese.

                                    5-His fish is the same quality as the old Sushihatsu and he is very talented. The food is amazing.

                                    1. re: sushiman

                                      Maybe I looked at the wrong place? The restaurant I thought I saw in Hatsu's old space - right by a Greek diner (?) turned into a big modern looking Japanese restaurant with neon lights and big picture windows overlooking the street? Maybe another sushi place opened on the same block? Or maybe I was havign a nightmare, I don't know. I'll try again

                                  2. Oh, so I took one look at it from the outside, and caught a cab back downtown, and tried that place on Houston and Thompson'ish - have no idea what the name is, and it was pretty good

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: hotpot1


                                      When the "old man" is there and attending you directly, the omakase is very good. Not top tier with Yasuda, Kuruma and Sushi of Gari, but just below it. Catch them on a good day, though, and you can be blown away by the quality.

                                      1. re: jinhua

                                        How does one recognize the "old man"? Does he stand closest of the three chefs to the window, and he is of slighter build than the larger man in the middle?

                                    2. KurumaZushi, IMO, is in the same league as Yasuda, and the fish can be stellar. The otoro and hamachi at Karuma is the best I've had. Yasuda's rice is what raises it above other places. 14 piece omakase lunch there yesterday was a 9.5/10.

                                      Sushi of Gari is my even favorite with Yasuda, but for a different style of sushi. The omakase, piece by piece, is one of the best eating experiences in NYC.

                                      1. Sushi Seki wins all. Been to Sushi Gari and it wins all. Esp the omakase plate.

                                        As for everyday sushi, try this TINY place called Matsu - 70 (1stA/York). Not much to look at or move in, but really great sushi, fresh, and cheap!

                                        1. On the high end:
                                          - Kuruma (i think this is the best for pure sushi)
                                          - Yasuda (great overall)
                                          - Sushi of Gari (omakase is the reason to go)
                                          - Jewel Bako (very good)
                                          - Sushi Seki (very good)

                                          On day to day, I really like Hasaki on 9th...excellent and really not that expensive

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Lau

                                            Hasaki was my favorite sushi place for years...but lately I have been disappointed with the quality of the everyday stuff, like the "sashimi for two" off the regular menu, not bad, just not very good.

                                            What has happened is they seem to have maintained great quality on the high end and the price of that has gone up ($40 for the chef's selection of about 4 pieces sashimi, for instance). It's great stuff but pretty soon you are paying Sushi of Gari prices for your meal. They use real wasabi with the chef special and the powdered paste with the regular menu stuff--it's a two-tier place.

                                            Everything else on the specials menu, cooked dishes, veg, etc is reliably interesting and good. From the regular menu kinuta hamachi (hamachi and shrimp rolled in cucumber) and chawan mushi are my favorites.

                                            Also we have been really sad that they seem to have taken anmitsu (dessert of fruit, ice cream and agar cubes in sugar syrup) off the regular menu.

                                            1. re: Lau

                                              That is an interesting list Lau, but why Jewel Bako? Weak selection of fish, out of season specials...

                                              I find it interesting how many hounds love Kuruma Zushi and Jewel Bako, neither of which seem to make much effort to impress the seasoned sushi fan.

                                            2. for high end i think yasuda wins hands down.

                                              for everyday, i like mishima on 30th and lexington. eat upstairs rather than downstairs. downstairs is geared towards takeout and the sushi-chef/owner is the sushi chef upstairs only.

                                              1. Everyday candidate: Taka (Grove at 7th Ave)

                                                We ate there last night and had app special ($12): 2 perfect tiny kumamoto oysters with a touch of yuzu and scallion, asparagus with miso, and ankimo in ponzu (a bit salty)

                                                Chef's selection sashimi ($30) is a great selection of textures and flavors and a good value, I think: toro (melt in your mouth delicious), tuna, white tuna, jack mackerel, seared amberjack, chopped hamachi ball in flying fish roe, sockeye salmon, scottish salmon rolled with cucumber in daikon, sweet shrimp including the fried head, fluke, giant clam, octopus. Served with real wasabi.

                                                Everything was fresh and very good. Got some uni too and it was also good.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: kenito799

                                                  I'm so glad you posted about Taka. I was there Friday night, and I'm starting to get worried because there always seem to be so few customers there. I was a fan of this place when Taka-san was the chef; after she left, I have to admit, I think it's gotten even better. The fish is impeccably fresh, and I love the traditional modest-sized pieces. And the fresh wasabi, of course (I think they only give you the fresh-grated stuff at the sushi bar; tables get the paste, I believe). One tiny quibble: Sometimes the fish is a little too cold. Other than that, this place is perfect.

                                                  I've been reluctant to post about Taka because I enjoy being able to walk in and sit right down without waiting, but I do think he could use more customers, especially those who appreciate the traditional style of sushi. Although you can get the silly roll creations there, too.

                                                2. I find it funny that after 37 replies all you sushi afficinados fail to mention one of the originals that is uber-hi-quality, long-running, consistent, the original home of Gari, and easy to reserve with a phenomenal friendly sushi master. Why no mention of Ise on Pine St folks? Must be the hipster-unfriendly location...

                                                  High-end at its finest and cheaper than the other hi-end contenders mentioned. For shame, Chowhounds.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: was

                                                    Yes, good place, I didn't mention it as day to day because I am not down there much. We used to meet there when partner worked in Wall St. Don't call me a hipster, I live in Queens (and not even Astoria, LIC or Sunnyside!)

                                                    1. re: kenito799

                                                      i work across the street from Ise and i think it's real real bad. sushi is definitely not top tier, not even mediocre. in fact, most of the pieces i've had there have been very stringy and foul tasting. their rolls are atrocious, suops are too salty, service unpleasant and it is not a good value. they use a wasabi mix and ginger straight out of those packets you get at Go Sushi! for the same price you can definitely eat much better at ushiwakamaru or even yasuda.

                                                      1. re: jon

                                                        Yo, Ise is NOT priced at the same level as Yasuda. That's why I would propose it as a "day to day" spot not "high end". I have had perfectly decent sushi there, and it is a reliable place for sweet shrimp with the fried head alongside..or at least it was about a year ago. If it has plummeted in quality, that is useful info.

                                                    2. re: was

                                                      Ise is by far the best sushi option in the financial district. It is very solid, especially for the price. It is not in the same league as Sushi of Gari or Sushi Yasuda, but it doesn't have to be.

                                                      1. re: was

                                                        Gari did indeed work at Ise before Sushi of Gari, but before that, he worked at Kabuki, on lower Broadway (now defunct), and before that at Tan Go, on west 54th Street (now defunct). He's been in New York for 25 years.

                                                      2. Ise is as good as ever. You have to sit at the bar and go Omakase. If you don't, I can see where you may not get the very best cuts. Everything else in 'jon's' post is way off mark. "Foul", "real real bad" and "unpleasant"? No, never, unimaginable. Wasabi mix? Ginger from packets? You are referring to a different place. This is Ise on Pine Street, not some corner bodega. You are either mistaken or confused.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: was

                                                          Ise, on pine street, behind the Deutsche Bank building, i know it and have been there a few times and have never had a good meal there. the pieces i've had are not choice cuts and the rolls are atrocious. the prices are exorbitant for what you get and yes, the wasabi is a mix and the ginger does come in packets. if day to day sushi means dropping $40+ on lunch (and they don't have lunch specials), then maybe it is a good value, but i know you can have a great lunch meal at yasuda for under $30. i actually walked by ise today and considered giving it another shot but remembered how much i disliked the food.

                                                        2. For the high end Ive had a great omakase at jewel bako

                                                          But, i think i just found a new favorite for day to day went on a friday night to Kitaya on 31st and suprisingly not that crowded. There were mostly japanese people dining there(a good sign) and very reasonable prices and fresh.
                                                          They had stellar baby yellow tail hamachi and hamachi belly

                                                          1. Day to day, my vote goes to Tenzan. Awesome prices and great sushi.

                                                            1. I've been to Jewel Bako, Yasuda, and Sushi of Gari.
                                                              Hands down, the omikase at Sushi of Gari is the best sushi I've ever had in my life. Also the most expensive- didn't realize what I was in for (NY Mag est. $80) and spent about $400 for two people- not including tip! This can be avoided if you're more cautious than I and remember to tell the waiter your price limit- or remember to stop after a few courses. Still, even after that shocking and somewhat upsetting moment with the check, I've been back and love it. It's nothing fancy- Jewel Bako is better for that- and the service is only decent. However, I've found the fish to be exquisite and that omikase! Really wonderful combinations. Took a well-known chef to this spot and even he was impressed...

                                                              1. One of my regular sushi restaurants is Onigashima, on the north side of 55th I think, between 5th and 6th, and up on the second floor (so you have to look UP to see the sign). I never need a reserve, never have to wait, and the sushi is always very good, and reasonably priced.