East Village Sushi
Hi - i am looking for a sushi place to go to dinner in the east village, ideally in alphabet city.
I have my favorite sushi places- Esashi or Sapporo East but they don't have much going on in terms of atmosphere.
Any suggestions of where i could get could sushi and also have a drink and a leisurely dinner?
In order of fish quality:
Kanoyama (2nd and 11th)
Lan (3rd and 11th)
Le Miu (7th and A)
The latter two probably have the best atmosphere. Lan might require reservations on a weekend night; I ate at the sushi bar last weekend and really enjoyed my meal. E Eto has a report of a recent tasting menu, too. Do a search.
Kanoyama will definitely have a wait (they don't take reservations on weekend nights). It's a little cramped and crowded but I think the room is very warm and buzzy. And they have great specials from Japan.
Le Miu is better known for nouveau sashimi but if you sit at the sushi bar, you can chat it up with the ex-Nobu chefs, and the decor is very sleek. It's also more of a late night crowd.
Have heard good things about Nori, 2nd Ave between St Marks Pl & 7th St, but it's not got much in terms of interior decor. Jewel Bako is gorgeous but it just isn't the same since the really talented sushi chef left to open 15 East.
Nori is very good. Pretty serious Japanese sushi and would compare it to Ushiwakamaru, though not as much variety/crazy-Japanese-stuff at this point. But better rice. Really, really good rice. (Which is what really tells you the good places from the bad, if you ask me.)
When I went a couple weeks ago, it was me at the sushi bar and one table of two in the place. (Think it's seven seats at the bar, maybe 20 seats at tables.) So I had the sushi chefs attention, but it was very good. I had chawan mushi, a nice sashimi plate and about ten pieces of sushi, each served one piece at a time.
I got... fluke that had been marinated between sheets of kombu, giant clam, kampachi, something the chef called "golden eye" snapper that was blowtorched, very good o-toro, uni, house-made sea eel, ikura... I'm forgetting a couple I think. Everything was really good.
They make their own shoyu blend. No liquor license when I was there, it was byob or free Sapporo/house sake. (This may have changed since.) The owner, Nori, is very nice and really seems eager to make it work as an authentic Japanese-style sushi place. The sushi chef was friendly and helpful too. Maybe not lots in terms of atmosphere, but it's not unattractive.
Chawan mushi, four sashimi selections (two pieces each), and 8-10 pieces of sushi (probably 9) was $60 plus tax and tip. Beer was gratis, as I said. I'll be back.