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sasabune

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we sat at the sushi bar. the chef and 2 people on staff were all nice and helpful. no menu, $60 omakase:

started with a generous portion of albacore in citrus soy, sushi parings: bluefin from italy and yellowfin, fluke and red snapper, 2x yellowtail from japan, salmon and piece i can't recall, then a oversized bluecrab handroll. we added uni to end it (sweet and perfect texture, tasted of santa barbara).

there are about 6 seats at the bar, 5 tables in the front -- all of which were full. more tables in the back that were not being seated.

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  1. Is there now a Sasabune in NYC?????

    3 Replies
    1. re: Treece

      yes.... 73rd and 1st
      http://www.thrillist.com/archives/200...

      1. re: kesues

        That is SO great. Sasabune was a favorite when I lived in LA, and a few years ago I got to visit the Honolulu restaurant. I love it. That crab roll is heavenly. Like dessert.

        1. re: Treece

          When did you live in LA? I thought Sasabune was quite good back in the late 1990s but in the past few years it declined to the point where it isn't even ok. That has been pretty much the consensus of the LA board for a while. The op's menu looks suspiciously like every 'omakase' I had at Sasabune the past decade, from the albacore to the crab hand roll. Also I am wondering about the op's subsequent note about the rice being 'intentionally warmer than usual'. It sounds as if he or she was pitched about the authenticity of the place, with the temperature of the rice being touted as a key index. I say this because I remember hearing that pitch delivered at Sasabune in LA to diners who clearly felt (as intended) that Sasabune was the some edo sushi temple. I hope that these comparisons prove incidental and that the NYC Sasabune turns out to be great and will look forward to more reports.

    2. Santa Barbara has phenomenal uni. Thanks for the heads-up on a restaurant that will remind me of that glorious place.

      1. so how does it compare to the city's heavyweights aka yasuda, kuruma, gari, shimizu, jewel bako? $60 omakase is 1/2 of most of the aforementioned.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fulminating

          $60 was enough that we didn't leave hungry. i don't know how to best compare to top places... the tuna were prepped with soy, some pieces had garnishes, others were left alone. what's most unique here is that the rice is intentionally warmer than usual. my favorite regardless of style is still yasuda. although, it's very good here and i plan to go back to this new contender in ny.

          oh, the other pieces we had were sea scallop with our salmon. also, i noticed not everyone were served the same dishes and sushi.

        2. oh man good thing that place wasnt open when i was living at 69 and 1st. would have been broke!

          1. I felt obligated to write this post after my dinner last night. The omakase at Sasabune was one of the most harmonious meals I have ever had the opportunity to experience. The fish is supremely fresh. Their yellowtail was flown in from Japan, and the red snapper from New Zealand - fish so fresh it melts with all it's protein-y goodness in your mouth. I fell in love with sushi all over again. The atmosphere is all business, zero scene. One thing I found whimsical was that one of the waitresses couldn't pronounce some of the english words for certain types of fish - not that I minded - but the head waiter came by and sort of off handedly apologized saying, "Sorry, she's new". The food was so good, I wouldn't have cared if she'd been mentally handicapped. And with affirmative action, she just might've been!

            1. I have been a couple of times. I was not impressed by the rice, and was quite disappointed to be served inferior wasabi and not fresh. I was also handed a very crude "crab salad" roll toward the end that was completely uninteresting. The fish was mostly good quality, but does not compare with the top places in the city. I also thought the pacing at the bar was much too fast and rushed. That being said, it's not expensive. You get what you pay for.

              1. War between LA and NYC? that's a no brainer. To paraphrase Woody, now that we have Sasabune in the city, LA has lost it's only other cultural advantage, that of being able to turn right on a red light.

                Having eaten at Sasabune in LA at BOTH its incarnations (the little house on Sawtelle and now the somewhat ugly office building on Wilshire), I can humbly (HA) affirm that it IS the most perfectly luxurious, pure, sushi experience in EITHER LA or NYC. And at prices that DON'T require a Wall St. bonus to enjoy.

                While Masa, Nobu, Blue Ribbon, and all the others may offer wilder takes on sushi, and Nozawa in LA still reigns as the Sushi Nazi of the Coast, Sasabune offers only wonderful, velvety fish, simply presented.

                We've been awaiting its arrival in the city for months and now that it's here, the UES can now claim the finest Sushi-ya in america.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ddenoff10021

                  hehe...nice humble post...*smiles*...i posted my Sasabune-specific thoughts earlier/above...

                  Have you done the omakase at Ushi Wakamaru, sitting in front of Hideo-san the chef/owner?...it's my favorite in the city...i recently went there with an LA buddy who eats at Nozawa once or twice a week...he thought UshiWakamaru was both better culinarily and (obviously) much more pleasant/fun...

                  Maybe i'll give the NY Sasabune a shot this week, and do my old LA order: sashimi omakase plus a crab roll...then again, i'm a downtown snob and i only venture above 17thSt on lil field trips...

                  1. re: Simon

                    Give Sasabune NYC a try, I'll be interested to hear what you think.

                    For the record (and I've been living in NYC for 18 months) Ushiwakamaru remains my overall favourite sushi bar - all my meals there have been top quality which gives it the edge over the other contenders in the same category (Seki, Yasuda, Kanoyama) where the dining experience has, once in a while, dipped. Ushiwak also happens to be in my hood which is a great advantage as you say!

                    1. re: oonth

                      Love Ushi