Sushi Yasuda - need your input!
I'm planning on going to Sushi Yasuda sometime soon hopefully. Based on posts that I've read, it seems like for omakase dinner for two, people have spent anywhere from under $200 to over $300. Additionally, some people eat until they're stuffed, and others leave hungry...all around the same price tags.
Are certain cuts/fishes way more expensive than others at Yasuda? Considering it's all chef's pick, how do you find a compromise? I'd like to spend MAXIMUM $200-250 (including tax/tip for 2 people) but would still like to try some of Yasuda's best offers AND still be reasonably full. Not necessarily stuffed, but I definitely don't want to leave hungry.
Also, is there a big difference between ordering a la carte and doing omakase? Obviously the price is a huge difference, but is the quality significantly better for omakase for the price to be worth it?
Lastly, how far in advance should I make reservations if I want to sit in front of Yasuda at the bar? Does he work weekends too?
He works on saturday, and it is harder to get reservations on friday/saturday. I have been able to get reservations on weekdays usually on a couple of days notice but I don't care when I eat...
Toro is obviously going to be amongst the most expensive cuts. What I would do is ask Yasuda what is fresh and tell him your budget and go ahead.
I have a huge appetite and I can't say how much you can eat but usually $150/person is good for most normal people. Your budget is short of that, so drink water.
BTW the food is so good here, if I were on your budget, I would still go even knowing I would leave hungry (I eat anywhere from 40-60 pieces of sushi in a sitting depending on how fast Yasuda is and spend at least your budget just on myself) - if you never had amazing sushi before, it is a revelation and something you will not forget...
You can load up on amazing cheap food later if you are hungry.
Wow, tpigeon, that's an impressive amount of food. The couple of times I've been, I get 15-20 pieces plus an appetizer and spend around $100 after tax and tip. My friends eat about the same, some eat a little less, some a little more. I don't usually consider myself a light eater, but man if you eat at least 40 pieces in a meal...
Eating sushi at Yasuda truly is a revelation. I couldn't imagine that the sushi could be particularly better for the increased price, but I would pay even more for it. Every bite is perfectly flavored and textured and distinct. And I agree with tpigeon, figure out what you can spend before tax and tip and give Yasuda that number. He'll figure out what to give you.
I've had one omakase experience and one off-the-menu experience and I spent the same amount both times. They put red circles next to the recommended sushi that evening so even if you don't know what anything is, you'll know what's freshest (not that there's anything less than perfection there). Start out with a low-priced omakase and then, once you've got a feel for what you like and don't like, add pieces one at a time until either you're full or have hit your spending limit.
ive found that when i take people there for the first time, i go to the bar...it costs more because its sort of out of your control. for friends who regularly go with me, we go to the tables now because the quality is pretty much the same and we order only the pieces that we want...as opposed to the few random pieces yr chef will make you try to see if you like it.
anyone ever had the grass sushi that hiro makes? that was a bit of a waste.
i was envious when i first saw that grass sushi being served to the dinners next to me. then i was served it some time after that. it was to cleanse our palette the chef advised. i would guess that it's relatively inexpensive and they charge accordingly. glad i got to try it but i agree i can do without it from now on.
Work on the basis of $4.50 (or $5 if you want to be completely safe) per piece of sushi, $8 per hand/cut roll and $10 per small carafe of sake. Tax+tip on top of course. Accordingly, unless you do a mix of sashimi and sushi, then $100-120 per person should be fine.
Even if you're at the counter, you'll be given the white sheet of paper with the sushi selections and prices listed and the recommendations of the day are circled in red. Sure you can leave it all up to Yasuda san but I think it's much better to make it a 2 way street by taking his recs but also making some choices yourself. That way, especially as a first timer, you give him a sense of your preferences which is helpful to him in terms of making recs.
Sit at the bar. Tell your chef what your maximum is (figure out what tax/tip will be and deduct it) and let the chef do his thing. I was there recently and spent under $300 for 2 people with sake and tax and tip and was full and satisfied.
I have never touched that sheet of paper when sitting at Yasuda's station - the point is to let him wow you. He's a very sweet guy, just tell him what you're interested in and what your budget it and he will take care of you.