Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 17, 2008 12:58 AM

Sushi Question

I like sushi, but am not any kind of expert or afficionada. Last year we ate at Sushi of Gari, and I was absolutely blown away by it. I'd never seen sushi treated in this modern style, with all the flavorful sauces and condiments, and I loved it. I can understand why sushi purists might have a problem with it, though.

We're coming to NY again this year, and I want to go to a good sushi place. My question is, does Gari represent an authentic Japanese style, or is it a New York creation? Are there other places that do sushi like Gari does, and are worth trying (as opposed to going back to Gari?). Sushi Seki, I understand, is a similar style. On the other side of the spectrum, I guess Yasuda does a more traditional style, although I've heard whisperings that Sushiden actually does the best traditional sushi in NY.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yasuda the best choice-i did not like sushi seki at all! service was awful and we were treated in the most disrespectful manner there at sushi counter. No chef so be that obnoxious!

    1 Reply
    1. re: UES Mayor

      I'm not a fan of sushi seki either - unless I want good sushi v. late - they are open until 3am. Would just as soon go to Gari. I'd try Yasuda this time if I were the OP.

    2. There are two locations of Sushiden, which are local branches of a small chain from Japan. They recieve very good comments (often better than Yasuda) on Japanese user sites. If you opt to go to a Sushiden, please post. Very little coverage here of them... Yasuda is very good and would be my first choice as I think that namesake places usually trump chains- but not always.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Silverjay

        Gari is great and is a modern take on sushi and I would not qualify it as authentic Japanese style sushi. Yasuda is absolutely wonderful, traditional sushi, no creative sauces or fusion flavors, just top-notch fresh fish, fantastic rice and incredible service. I am such a big fan of Yasuda because i am more of a sushi "purist", and as much as i love it, I know several friends here in NY that are more into the creative and fushion-style sushi, and they have told me that they were not as impressed with Yasuda. I guess what I am trying to say is that the sushi place you pick might be a more memorable experiece if it aligns to what you enjoy in sushi, if you really appreciate and enjoy creative flavors and integration of novel ingredeints in sushi, Gari is a great pick. If you can swing and enjoy both ends of the "fusion-purist" sushi spectrum, Yasuda or Sushiden are going to be great experiences for you.

      2. I am also a Sushi of Gari caucasian, and took a Japanese friend to S of G, who in-between swooning and appreciating/loving the arc of cool to warm & back to cool in the Omakase, exclaimed that she'd never experienced sushi like this. Embrace your predilection for creative sushi (which also happens to be VERY fresh...Gari sources from Tsukijii Market and 2 other sources---I asked him). Another place in a similar vain is Soto on 6th Ave.

        1 Reply
        1. re: drumwine

          Thanks for the Soto reminder - love Gari.

        2. Quality fish shouldn't need Americanizing. I am not a fan of Gari or Morimoto (Philadelphia locale) at all. It's like the steak saying, all a good steak needs is salt and pepper, a great steak will stand on its own. I find the same applies with sushi. A sauce should compliment fish not over take it. Yasuda and Taro, both Japanese style. Both are minimalists in use of sauces and both have sauces that compliment not overwhelm.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bigmackdaddy

            What Gari & similar artists are doing has nothing to do with "Americanizing." It's about broadening the palate, and you certainly don't have a contract to have to like it. I happen to respond to Gari's inventions, and illustrated that my Japanese friend, reared with traditional sushi, did as well. 'nuff said.

            1. re: drumwine

              You call it artistic I call it a short cut to making mediocre fish presentable. But hey it's your money.

          2. +1 on Yasuda being tops for traditional sushi (my personal preference), but it can be steep depending on how much and what you eat - there are endless posts about this on CH you can reference. Since pieces can be priced very differently, if you want to play it safe with any itamae i.e. sushi chef, including Yasuda-san, just give them a budget for your omakase and then take into account that drinks, tax, and tip will be on top of that.
            For a similar style and slightly less expensive, though definitely not cheap, you could also try Shimizu. This is my go to place, also because Shimizu-san is a lot more, uhm, pleasant than Yasuda-san, and it's not a huge PITA to get a reservation at the bar.