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Apr 18, 2007 10:04 AM

Sushi of Gari...good sushi choice?

I've read a lot of the sushi posts and decided on Sushi of Gari. When I called (last night for a next Friday reservation…it’s my husbands birthday) for a reservation, I opted for a table b/c I didn’t want to wait until 9:30 to eat at the sushi bar (i hope the table will be ok..thoughts??). Based on what chowhounders have said, I chose Gari b/c it seems more innovative (someone else’s word, not mine) than Yasuda. I’ll be honest, we like some accompaniments with raw fish. I have a couple questions…we’re not planning on doing the omakase, but can anyone remember some great items to order a la carte (and I’m guessing not on the menu). I read that it’s great idea to point to other peoples plates and order like that, which I don’t mind doing, but would love some suggestions. Also, are most of their items sushi and sashimi or do they do ‘creative rolls’ as well… Bottom line, I’d like a memorable fun meal with my husband for his birthday. Thanks for the advice…and if you have a better suggestion that Gari, let me know.

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  1. I love Sushi of Gari - assuming you are talking about the one on the UES? First - the only roll I like there is the fried oyster roll. My husband is always (or did for a long time) asking them if they have any special rolls, and they really don't. If you like tuna, there is something called Tuna of Gari or something like that - around $40 - that has a v. nice selection of different tunas (sushi, plus a spicey tuna roll). I'll try to find an old post of mine with the list of items I like, because to my mind, the really good things are off menu. We pretty much only order nigiri sushi there, not sashimi - although we like sashimi and eat it often elsewhere. Because it can sometimes take a while to get the sushi bar items, we sometimes get the tempura calamari to tide us over - excellent.

    Edit - I found my list - copying and pasting it here:

    Salmon with cooked tomato
    Salmon with raw tomato (they each have a different sauce as well)
    Chopped eel and avocado
    Tuna - there are a lot of interesting preparations, which I always confuse - best thing to do is to try the Tuna Platter or whatever they call it - different kinds of tuna, prepared different ways - some seared etc., with different "toppings".
    Cooked salmon with miso sauce.
    There's a fish with a jalapeno topping - maybe yellowtail?
    I like Spanish mackeral and ask for the "special one".
    My husband always gets some uni.
    There's a squid that is excellent as well - maybe broiled?

    If there are other kinds of fish that you like, you can ask for them and ask if they have any special ways of preparing them. An order is one piece, and I think they average about $5.

    Enjoy - I'm jealous!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      thanks so much for the recommendations. we are going to the one the UES. i appreciate the suggestions. i'll report back on the experience.

    2. Have you ever been to Yasuda? If not it is a more memorable place than Gari. Also, wait for the sushi bar at eitheir place. It is well worth it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: madsab

        To me, they are two different experiences, both of which I very much enjoy.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Some people have said that Sushi of Gari can seem unremarkable unless you get the omakase directly at the sushi bar, so order at your own peril. (I found the omakase stunning and worth every penny.)

          1. re: jeanki

            I've actually never eaten at the sushi bar at Gari, so I can't compare, but have always enjoyed what I've had at the table - and not found it unremarkable. Just my experience.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Have eaten off the menu on UES, but have to say it can't compare to the omakase (which I had on UWS) -- now can't say which omakase is better since I didn't try UES one, but I have fond memories of Gari on UWS.

              1. re: 1uc7

                Ditto re the UWS Gari, although I found the service cold rather than polite.

            2. re: jeanki

              I've had items off the menu at Gari, and it was complete nonsense -- no better than any sushi hack you can find on any block in the city. So, it didn't entice us to come back for the omakase. At Yasuda, on the other hand, I've had nothing but stunning fish. It's a different style (purist), sure, but at least you're getting essentially the same fish even if you're not sitting at the sushi bar. The stuff I got ordering off the menu at Gari left me baffled by the glowing reviews I'd heard beforehand. I guess I take issue with being served inferior food if I don't order "the right way".

              1. re: thadp

                I agree that the sushi that is on the menu is not great - I have no idea why that it is, and have always found it strange, given that the omakase is so very good.

        2. just to follow up....
          the meal was excellent. i ordered tuni of gari and my husband ordered the gari's choice. the waiter was really nice and attentive and explained omakase vs. 'gari's choice' (basically the same except gari's choice comes all at once and omakase comes as 3 or more courses). i can't really even recount what was on each of our dishes but it was excellent. we sat at a table in the mini room the right of the sushi bar and thought it was great. there was a big party in the other room so it was a little noisey but our room was serene. thanks for the suggestions, greatly appreciated...

          4 Replies
          1. re: katechow

            Instead of ordering individual pieces I would get the sushi omakase, you'll get the best pieces they have... you can do 12 pieces and then order more if you want. At Gari the best way to go is with the omakase. Make sure you ask for the salmon with cooked tomato, seared tuna and chopped eel, those are great.

            1. re: sf0518

              and know that if you order additional sushi after the first part of the omakase has been delivered, it gets truly pricey. our last time there, we spent over $500 for four of us.

              1. re: tsiblis

                Wow - I don't think we've ever managed that! I agree about the chopped eel - think I may have omitted it in my list above.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  my husband said he'd have the omakase and the waiter said, can i bring it all on one plate (therefore making it 'gari's choice'). it was the same he assured us... we did get a lot of the pairings MMRuth suggested (so that makes me think it was the same), although we didn't get the eel. the roasted tomato and salmon was excellent.
                  as for price, ours was what we expected (we didn't order any additional sushi)....i did overhear that the 2 guys behind us spent $450...and the definitely ordered more after their omakase.

          2. omakase yes!
            one of the most enjoyable meals i have ever eaten in nyc..

            1 Reply
            1. I am a very discerning foodie, having read Gourmet magazine since preschool (eons ago) and raised with the finest of fish (Hawaii) Although nothing would compare to the fish in Hawaii the point is I know fresh and good seafood-Gari's sushi experience wins hands down and would eat there every night if someone willing to foot the bill-any takers? Last visit we had omakase at sushi bar and bill was almost $500 for two-worth every penny-since my date Baji paid! (she is now collecting food stamps) Can't wait til I go back!! Yasuda comes in a close second but not far behind-its more for the purist who likes great sashimi unadulterated.