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Best Japanese in Astoria?

  • c

Going along Broadway and 30th ave- there's a few Japanese places- I've been especially looking at the one on the corner of 34th street and 30 ave. And the one on Broadway and 37street. Any ideas? suggestions?


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  1. Actually, if you're talking about Go Wasabi on 34th and 30th, it's probably better for Korean food since it's a Korean-owned, Korean-style Japanese restaurant. I like their bibimbap the most. The sushi is pretty mediocre.

    According to my bf who is Japanese, Shima on Broadway is not that great either, but they have decent lunchboxes. Frankly, I think you have to really watch out for Japanese restaurants that are owned by Chinese or other non-Japanese people because the food is not really Japanese.

    Try Nebuta on Astoria Blvd and 31st (next to Dunkin Donuts). It is Japanese owned but is more fast food stuff like Japanese curry and tonkatsu. No sushi, but very nice owner and very authentic and tasty and cheap too!

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotdishandkimchi

      hmm, i have been past that place a few times and never thought to go in. i may just have to stop by.

      1. re: hotdishandkimchi

        i just went by nebuta. there was a sign up that said that they will be closed for the next week or two.

        1. re: hotdishandkimchi

          nebuta is back open. i went in and got tonkatsu. it was a very good tonkatsu. i'll be back.

        2. Try JJ's on 31st ave and about 37th street. The sushi is excellent, as are the rest of the dishes. It's not Japanese owned (the chef is Chinese) but everything there is a step above the other options in the neighborhood.

          1. we've been to Watawa on Ditmars (around 32nd or 33rd St) several times for sushi. It's a little difficult to find good sushi around there, but i think it's the best we've found in Astoria so far. certainly better than gowasabi. i'm not sure about the rest of the menu though. prices seem reasonable.

            1 Reply
            1. I've had consistantly good food at Watawa. I've eaten there maybe ten or fifteen times and have had delivery countless times. The dynamite roll is very good. The sushi and sashimi is always fresh. The staff is sometimes a little off. Not rude or bad, just confused sometimes (someone comes over and takes our order and then a minute later someone else asks if we're ready to order--that's happened to me twice there)

              1. Recently been trying Ginza, a hibachi joint that opened maybe a month ago on Steinway between Broadway and 31st (in what I guess used to be the KFC). The first week the sushi was just OK. Pieces too large (and odd) and of varying quality. In subsequent weeks it has been getting much, much better in terms of quality. No tremendous variety though and all the "speciality" rolls had tempura bits in them. No liquor license yet so some free saki was to be had. Lots of glass and marble, so it can get a bit noisy at peak dinner times. The upstairs hibachi restaurant is about a circus-y as that kind of stuff gets these days with lots of loud noises and chefs throwing fried zucchini towards your mouth (not really my thing but I guess a kind of Chucky Cheese by way of Blue Man Group or Stomp from grown ups and families). I like them well enough and will return.

                I used to frequent Bai (on Broadway between 39 and 38 I think) and the aforementioned Shima more often. In fact, I had a great meal at Shima about 10 days ago. Both places are pleasant, no ordering confusion,and the fish is fine (in terms of quality, quantity, and choice). What has irked me is that on previous occasions the cost at both places suddenly became a bit more than I expected.

                1. I agree that Watawa has good to very good sushi and a lovely atmosphere, but be sure not to order any of their noodle soups.

                  1. Go Wasabi, might be good for vietnamese but i haven't tried. When i did try them though i didn't like their sushi. I like Watawa alot and recently i've been getting takeout from Kumo on Ditmars and 38th and can't really complain. Are they the best, no not really, but for a sushi fix when i don't feel like heading downtown, Watawa or Kumo will do.

                    -Will be trying Ginza soon though, thanks for the positive on it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: flooz

                      go wasabi is korean, not vietnamese.

                      it's a fine place to go if you want cheap sushi; there's nothing better in the neighborhood.

                      personally, i generally just pass on it. cheap sushi isn't a fave of mine.

                    2. We just moved to Astoria from Manhattan a week ago, and ended up eating at Gowasabi twice and Watawa once (ok, it's taking us awhile to unpack our kitchen stuff). I like Gowasabi because, while the fish isn't the best (about what you would get at a mid-level sushi place in Manhattan), there are some interesting rolls (although they are a bit too excited about the use of tempura batter and tempura flakes), and more importantly, some of the rolls (especially the aptly named "Sumo" rolls) are huge and cheap. A Sumo lunch special is under ten bucks and is quite a lot of food. If you do want to "cross the streams" of tempura and sushi, I recommend the tempura spicy tuna roll (the whole roll is covered in tempura batter - a good time). So you get a lot of food for your money.

                      The fish at Watawa is definitely higher grade, and not that much more expensive (it may not be any more expensive, depending on what you order). I found that they are not as creative regarding special rolls as Gowasabi, but the sushi is higher quality.

                      1. Go Wasabi is not a good place for sushi. I have not tried anything else there but their rolls and each time they have been subpar. the fish was so bad, i had to choke it down. watawa is not excellent, but a lot better than go wasabi for rolls.

                        1. Bai is defintitely the answer to this question. Not the greatest ambience, but the quality of the sushi is superior to Shima and JJ's, etc. The Korean-born chef had an acclaimed sushi restaurant in Cleveland before coming here.

                          1. Bai is also my favorite Astoria Sushi place. If you stop in often eough the chefs will make you some very exciting and yummy not-on-the-menu treats!

                            1. I haven't been to Bai--is it better than Watawa? because Watawa is better than the others you mention, too, I think.

                              also, where is Bai located?

                              1. I went to Nebuta. Food is yummy and cheap!
                                I like their Karaage(Japanese fried chicken)box and Tonkatsu curry box. I love the nice Japanese owner too! I want to go there again in this week.

                                1. Can anyone who knows city sushi to give a place comparable to Watawa for both price and quality of fish? Is it a safe assumption that that is considered the best sushi in Astoria/LIC? I've been living in the area for a couple months now, but haven't attempted sushi yet... Thanks!

                                  1. I prefer my local Tokyo II to Go Wasabi. The ambience is not as sleek and shiny, but I find their sushi fresh and the portions generous. They also own Tokyo in the Ditmars area and I believe Samurai on 34th Avenue (I wasn't as impressed by a lunch special I got at Samurai; it looked like it was prepared in a rush although it tasted fine).

                                    I like Tokyo II better than Shima, which I went to after a recommendation from an acquaintance. Their service was a lot slower than Tokyo's, and Shima doesn't seem to give its sushi arrangements the tender loving care that Tokyo does. And don't get me started on Happy Kitchen in Jackson Heights. Overpriced, small portions (could I at least get more than a pea-sized portion of wasabi with a $10 lunch special?) and some of the slowest service I've encountered. I still go there occasionally because there isn't much choice in that neighborhood if sushi's what I'm in the mood for, but I resent the fact that it isn't one of my favorite Astoria places when I do.

                                    1. Watawa- order the miso chilean sea bass and rock shrimp cool, young atmosphere

                                      1. On the newer side, check out Linn on B'way. Beautiful space with japanese artists displaying art that's also for sale. Food was very, very fresh, authenticly prepared standards & imaginative twists on rolls. Sushi was not cheap, but fairly priced for the high quality.


                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: LHT


                                          Are you seeing a decent amount of business at Linn lately? I haven't been in a while, and I just can't believe they are making it in this economy.

                                          1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens

                                            There are actually two new sushi places right up the block (closer to Crescent) from Linn- Iji and osaka (I think). I went to both of them- my original plan was to go to Linn, but these were nominally closer to me, and had the appeal of being bright-shiny-new.

                                            Iji is beautiful and the sushi was delicious. The lunch special was decent too- comparable to the other two I mentioned. They are still waiting for a liquor license, and are currently byo.

                                            The sushi at Osaka was good, but we went in literally the day after it opened, and it smelled so badly of fumes. The decor was no match for Iji either, though the lunch special was about $.50 cheaper.

                                            The girls I went with and I decided we liked Iji significantly better. I'd still like to try Linn one of these days though!

                                            1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens

                                              I was there about a week ago. Around 9pm on a Thursday and there were a few other tables. The quality of the food really is excellent. We tried the pork belly this time which was rich but well cooked/seasoned. The chirashi was great, excellent quality fish. Fresh grated wasabi, warm sushi rice. Without a doubt the best quality Japanese food in Astoria.