Possible to get great sushi after 9 or 10 p.m.?
I'm a late diner because of my work schedule. I love sushi passionately. My understanding is that all the good fish goes early in the evening. Are we (great sushi dinners and I) star-crossed lovers who will never be? Can anyone name a place that holds in reserve really nice cuts for those who dine late? (I know Blue Ribbon Sushi stays open into the wee hours, but I don't think I've ever had truly good sushi there early or late.)
Sushi Seki on 1st Ave and 61 or 62nd St. The sushi bar is open till 2 am and the quality is high.
What about Le Miu on Avenue A? They tend to crowded much later in the night than other places. It's practically empty at 7pm, but buzzing at 10pm.
I think (though not 100% sure) it depends on what day of the week you go as well. A lot of the times restauarants will "stock" more fresh items on Friday in anticipation of the weekend crowds, so it is likely that they have more fresh items available even in late hours. However, on Sunday, when most of the weekend "stocks" are sold out and before then new shipment comes in, then no matter what time you go, you are likely to be served with something not of premium freshness. That said, if it is a high-end restaurant, it will probably have fresh fish coming in everyday and should have enough to serve you even at late night (and in NYC, 9 or 10pm isn't too late anyway =D). Also seating at the sushi bar definitely helps, as you can see the fish and seafood available and ask the sushi chefs directly for recommendations, and choose accordingly. They will not want to serve you something bad right in front of you and complaint to him in front of other customers! =D
Also, if the restaurants open late (many open longer hours on weekends), then their sushi bar are likely to have more fresh cuts. A few ones that I like include Kanoyama in East Village, Ushiwaka Maru on W. Houston St, both open till midnight over weekends. Aburiya Kinnosuke and Sakagura, though not straightly sushi restaurants per se, serve some excellent sashimi and open late at night. At Aburiya Kinnosuke, the variety of sashimi available is smaller, but the quality is surprisingly good, and is definitely superior to a lot of the Japanese restaurants that called themselves sushi specialists. Try their toro when available! If anything, you can always order the cooked dishes as backup ;)
For Sakagura, I have only tried omakase and it was excellent. They are also very good at pairing dishes and sushi / sashimi with sake, which adds as an extra bonus!
Hope you have some wonderful late night sushi in the very near future! And be sure to report back! I ALWAYS enjoy your reviews very very much! =D