Don't Go to Sasabune!
I know, I know...I raved and went on and on about how great it is the other day. But after returning with a guest in tow, I could not believe the rudeness of the chef and staff. I was literally five minutes late to a 7 PM reservation at the sushi bar. The people there were just getting up so the seats weren't even empty yet. Coming in: no hello, no greeting, just back and forth talking between the hostess and Kinji. Not an even a basic acknowledgement. Then, I gave our name and asked to be seated. Again, the same stupid look of non-comprehension. And then chef Kinji, before he realized it was their mistake, started accusing us of misrepresenting the rsvp, saying "We don't do that" very loudly in front of the entire restaurant and embarassing us in the process. Long story short, they had crossed out our names because we were five minutes late. The seats weren't even cold from the people who left. So when they realized it was their mistake, they began to seat us, but at that point we were so disgusted and left. We went on to have amazing omakase at Tsuki two blocks away at half the price, which was pretty incredible by the way. Anyway, I'm never going back to Sasabune!!
Brava! Anywhere that gives me anything resembling attitude is to be boycotted. I'll check out Tsuki. A great meal is about its being presented with some semblance of kindness or hospitality. There are many venues where they serve with hostility, and that can't be nourishing on any level. I've heard similar tales of Sasabune from friends. It isn't worth it, given all the options in NYC.
I had luch there today, and was fortunate enough to have good service. But, the sushi did not float my boat. The rice was very warm ( I actually like it a little warm, but not not with my sushi)and somewhat mushy (wet). The rice overtook flavors and textures in the raw fish, which from what I could tell was very good, not the best, but very good.
I tried Sasabune several times in the past but haven't been back in months and don't intend to based on these key bad experiences:
-Same omakase menu each time.
-Warm rice is ok but rice falls apart when picked up.
-Inconsistant service. It might have been understaffed on some nights but it took more then 20 min waiting between servings.
talk about overrated restaurants,,,, Sasabuni the sushi nazi spinoff from LA,,,the fish is fresh, but not much from japan mostly local fish. The rice is too warm and it falls apart. ive been eating sushi for many years and in japan also ,, the sushi chef tells me i cant eat his sushi with my hands i must use chop stick or it will fall apart ,,, sushi rice should be near body temperature, you can cook the fish on Sasabuni's rice its so hot,,,, the chef was actually cordial to us but said it was because noone was around and usually he is mean. It's all part of the act.