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Jan 11, 2008 01:19 PM

Le Miu vs Kanoyama - Which should I choose

I am going to be going to the Comedy Cellar in a few weeks on a Saturday and decided I would start the evening off with a Sushi dinner for 2 before hand. I have narrowed my list of restaurants down to Le Miu or Kanoyama as both seem to fit in to my budget of $100-$150 - keeping in mind that we will not be spending too much on alcohol - in other words, no premium wine or Sake.

I would like people's feed back in terms of making a final selection.

1) Overall general question how does the Sushi and Sashimi compare between the 2?

2)Any strong recommendations as to what to order at each place, particularly from the sushi or sashimi side of things but also, is there anything from the Kitchen? I am looking for recommendations in terms of the not to be missed things on their menu!

Some questions about each place:

1) Kanoyama

They don't take reservations on Saturday according to the website but they claim there is not much waiting if we arrive before 7:30. So let's say I arrive between 6:15 and 6:45. Am I going to have to wait long for a dinner for 2?

2) Le Miu.

I read elsewhere on the board that they have declined and are not as good as they once were. What do people think. Is it still a great place? Is there any sense that it is riding on past reputations? I am particularly interested in the quality of their sushi and sashimi and the variety.

Cheers and thanks to everyone! Very much looking forward to this coming trip to Manhattan!

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  1. Kanoyama, period. No questions.

    1. Hi medicinejar,

      Since I responded in your previous post, I thought I will complete the mission and post my thoughts here:

      Kanoyama is really a tradional sushi restaurant that happens to serve cooked food (to appeal to wider audience), while Le Miu is a contemporary Japanese restaurant that also serve sushi and sashimi. With that in mind, I would not say in definite terms that one is better than the other, as they excel in different things. It is more about what appeals to you more.

      Going back to your questions:
      1) & 2) Given that Kanoyama is a sushi restaurant, the sushi and sashimi is higher in quality and better in variety than Le Miu. The sushi are served in traditional way (undorned), and both the fish and the rice are properly prepared by the skilled sushi chef. If you are truly into sushi and price isn't an issue, you should sit at the sushi bar and ask the chef for omakase. They also have a "omakase" sushi or sashimi on the menu, but it is more of a chef's choice sushi/sashimi platter. They don't compromise the quality even if the platter is only $35, but of course you are not going to get the very exquisite / special items (they will include otoro or chutoro in the platter though). One way to order is to order the platter and add some daily special items that appeal to you. I always order extra anago which is served in a whole piece (about 7"-8" long), and some extra orders tai (kinmedai, akashidai, etc.) or kinki as I am a sucker for those.

      Cooked dishes at Kanoyama are also carefully prepared, albeit a bit generic. The usual miso-glazed cod or hamachi kama shioyaki are delicious and are the safe bet. Worth noting is their tempura which is on par with Inagiku in midtown which specializes in tempura. If they have the anago tempura you must order it! It is served with the fried bone of the anago, and it is so decadent and meaty! If you have tried the anago tempura at Aburiya Kinnosuke you will immediately notice that this is a few notches better!

      As for Le Miu, cooked dishes is where they really excel. In my past visits, I have enjoyed their tartare, foie gras custard, white miso clam cappuccino. The best is the miso cod in phyllo jacket. The cod was very rich and sweet (from the miso), and the mushroom underneath absorbed all the flavors. The phyllo jacket was a nice touch! Something different from the common miso cod you see everywhere.
      If you go to Le Miu, you should try the new style sashimi as I think going there to have traditional sushi almost defends the whole purpose of going there.

      Another 1): Kanoyama is never too crowded before 7pm, so going there at around 6:30 should be no problem. I wouldn't risk 7pm as it starts getting crowded at that time, particularly during weekends.

      2) Never have a problem getting table there. And I haven't heard about the decline, so may be other hounds can chime in.

      Hope this help!

      1. Thanks so much to both of you for your responses and especially to you, kobetobiko, for your detailed suggestions. I am definitely now going to Kanoyama and will be ordering some of the items you suggested. Very much looking forward to it.


        1. I thinking about going to Kanoyama. How many pieces do you get in the rolls?

          1. can't do a comparison for you but, I was somewhat disappointed with my meal at le miu (about a year ago); we got the tasting of their new-style sushi, plus various pieces ordered a la carte, and maybe some other apps/starters/entrees and the experience was underwhelming; can't quite even remember what we had, to be honest, but expecting something very interesting and different stuff and while, it was different, not particularly tasty.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bigjeff

              Would anyone be able to tell me what is in the new-style sashimi? I'm looking to go to Le Miu (trying to tackle all the worthy places) and I'm told the regular sushi is not worth it, better to get the new style sashimi. Also, is the trio of tartares worth the $18 pricetag? It looks like 3 tiny mouthfuls...

              1. re: hamstrman

                New style sashimi = nontraditional stylings, including dressing, accompaniments, etc.

                For example, I have had:
                a sea scallop with cracked red peppercorns, served on a slice of lime
                a piece of yellowtail with jalapeno and salmon roe
                tuna carpaccio wrapped in a tiny piece of lettuce with a soy basalmic reduction and sprinkled with cheese