Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 18, 2008 12:27 PM

Where to take a sushi snob?

Boyfriend's bro is in town after spending a couple of weeks in Tokyo. He is all about tasting the best sushi in NYC. Of course there is Nobu but wondering how the competition stacks up. Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Don't take him to Nobu for sushi, anelyson. I'd try Kuruma Zushi, Sushi Yasuda, and/or Soto (for something a little different).

    1 Reply
    1. re: cimui

      Agree. Nobu is fine for their nouveau (well, not so nouveau by now) dishes but not for their sushi.

    2. Sushi Yasuda, hands down. Nobu is good, but no competition. Nobu may have a the upper hand on the ambiance, but Sushi Yasuda has better food. They serve the freshest fish I've ever had, they fly it in from all over the world every morning. The place itself is very simple, but calming. The floor, walls, ceiling, tables and sushi bar are made of solid bamboo planks. Try their uni, toro and clam - they're blissfull. I'd recommend sitting at the bar, all their chefs are excellent. For an extra treat, see if you can get Yasuda himself. They're located on 43rd/2nd Ave.

      12 Replies
        1. re: john

          A caveat with Yasuda -- I also think it's the best in NYC (along with Kuruma). However, I've heard from people who've been to Tokyo that Yasuda is definitely a step below the best places in Tokyo. I haven't been to Tokyo so I can't comment on it myself.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            True, Miss Needle: sushi in NYC is never going to be as good as sushi in Tokyo. So maybe the answer to "Where do I take a sushi snob for sushi in NYC" is: "not to a sushi bar."

            Maybe... barbecue or smoked fish?

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Personally, I don't go along with that assertion. For me Sushi Yasuda is as good as any sushi I've had around the globe (including Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan) and their peace passage oyster nigiri is total and utter food heaven. What would make good sense to me is an assertion that across the board and at all price points sushi (and sashimi) in Tokyo/Japan is a LEAGUE above sushi (and sashimi) in New York or other non-Japanese city.

                The only flaw I have found in Yasuda's armoury to date is their nori which is soggy rather than crispy so I simply avoid any gunkan nigiri or rolls when eating there.

                1. re: oonth

                  Hey oonth- are you back slumming in NYC? Did you get to Soto yet?

                  1. re: guttergourmet

                    hey gutter. i was in NYC for a week in feb, i will shortly post a report with some thoughts on some of the places i visited/revisited, it was mostly a very fine week of scoffing. annoyingly i didn't make it to soto in spite of best intentions - i really needed it to be open at lunchtime as the evenings filled up quickly catching up with friends and i wasn't always in control of restaurant choices.

                    i've actually decided against moving back to NYC and am in the fortunate (or unfortunate) position of trying to work out where to go live (and work). i think a return to tokyo might be on the cards for the coming summer.

                  2. re: oonth

                    hey oonth! nice to see you. :)

                    i haven't spent as much time in tokyo as you (just two week stints at a time, mostly working), so haven't had time to explore the sushi scene as much. but for what it's worth, my strong impression, based on the places I tried there, is that the fish at yasuda would be considered good (maybe very good?), but not great, in tokyo. i think in part, it does affect the flavor a bit that all sashimi in the US has to be flash frozen.

                    if you are going back, i'll ask around for names of restaurants and post on the Asia board. (my memory for longer japanese restaurant names is pretty awful.)

                    1. re: cimui

                      hi cimui. yes please those recs would be appreciated. and thanks again for the NYC tips you gave me a few weeks back - i didn't end up getting to any of them i don't think (too many old faves to revisit) but i looked into them and it has helped me keep abreast of latest developments and goings on. i need people like you to be my culinary eyes and ears in NYC now that i am no longer living there.

                      1. re: oonth

                        hi oonth. your response, here:


                        there's plenty of time for you to come back and try new places in NYC, so no worries on that front. and it sounds to me like you were quite productive with your time. you hit up yasuda twice in one visit, which is not too shoddy, y'know!

                    2. re: oonth

                      I think the nori at Yasuda is excellent. He uses a very high quality type on something that many sushi shops might shortcut. The time I went, I had a small discussion with him on the nori he uses. And his negi-toro maki for example, with meat his team scrapes from tuna bones wrapped in that excellent nori, is terrific.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        The nori just didn't do it for me on my 2 most recent visits in mid Feb, I was surprised, I agree that Yasuda is a perfectionist and his refusal to take short cuts sets him apart from the competition.

                        I was paying particularly close attention to the sushi peripherals as had just had 3 weeks travelling around Japan eating lots of hosomaki amongst other things. We found gold standard nori in some unheralded sushi bar in Nagoya - apparently Aichi prefecture is renowned for high grade seaweed - it was wonderfully crisp and flavoursome. Nowhere else on our travels did we find that standard and the stuff at Yasuda was not in the same league.

                        Maybe just a blip and it certainly won't put me off revisiting many times in the future, in every other respect I found his perfectionism to be intact.

              2. I'd say kuruma, yasuda, soto, 15 east and ushi wakamaru.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: guttergourmet

                    i'm suprised at the 15 East reco....I though that place very weak, dumded down, gringoized, its an insult to Yasuda to put 15 East on the same level...I'd even go to the non-tradition Sushi of Gari way before 15 East....I concur on the others however....Jewel Bako still any good?

                    1. re: Cpalms

                      Interesting you say that 15 East is weak, as the chef there is ex-Jewel Bako.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        didnt know that....15 East is still uninspired and very expensive

                    2. That he spent 2 weeks in Tokyo does not mean that he necessarily had good sushi there. But average sushi and sashimi there is as good as the better places here. To an earlier poster, most fish is flash frozen in Japan too, i.e. the tuna and salmon. I would not go to 15 east or Soto, here he'd probably scoff that he can get the same for much less in Japan. Rather I'd go to Yasuda, Ushi Wakamaru or Shimizu

                      1 Reply
                      1. Sushi Yasuda and Seki both AMAZING!!!!!!!