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Yasuda: Worth a try?

There is some crazy mad reverence for Yasudo-san on this board. Is it worth it or is this another "Don't Believe the Hype" thing? At $100+ a head is it going to be two or three times as awesome as my neighborhood place? Is it going to be ten times more awesome than killing it on Terriyaki Boy?

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  1. The short answer is - yes.

    1. i don't know. if you can be satisfied with Teriyaki Boy, and depending on the quality of your "neighborhood" place, maybe the answer is no for you.

      because of places like Yasuda and other high caliber places (many of which seem to come and go and not stay solid for long), i am a complete sushi snob. for me, the answer is yes. but i also would no longer eat at Teriyaki Boy, and rarely try neighborhood sushi places because they don't usually pass my inspection of their fish through their sushi-counter-glass.

      but i will say that you can have a great "starter" meal at Yasuda for well under $30. you can have their "pre-fixe" sashimi/sushi combo which gives you 3 sets of sashmi, chefs choice (usually a tuna, a whitefish, and a makarel), 4 peices of sushi of your choice from a limited-sushi menu, plus a roll of your choice from same limited menu for $22.50 i think.

      the limited menu will usually still have some of the "recommended" fish from the big list, and good peices and a decent variety. it won't have any of the more expensive or specialty peices.

      you can then supplement with something different -- and Yasuda has plenty of fish that you will not see at most sushi places in NYC or even the US. i recommend the uni, the wild-eel (i particularly like the lemon/sea salt one versus the dark, sweet soy), and the peace passage oyster.

      when i eat there, i do ask them to abstain from putting soy-sauce on my fish, as i prefer lemon and sea salt. for me, the exceptions to this rule are only tuna (where i prefer to dress it with a touch of soy myself, although i'm sure their allocation is fine), and if i opt to have eel in the dark, sweet soy.


      3 Replies
      1. re: charlie_b

        Really good take on the OP's question. OP -- do the starter meal first and then decide whether you want to go all out at Yasuda. It's not for everyone.

          1. re: charlie_b

            Thanks a lot! I need a good way to think abou it. Terriyaki Boy really is McDonald's so is only satisfying in the way that fries and a shake are, and the other sushi places I go to are generally something like Haru, Poke, 'Moto, etc. and I'm always drinking and always getting the same thing. Just not sure how to approach this place but it gets a lot of love so I'd like to give it a shot. For example I have no clue what the whole "Uni" thing is.

          2. If the question is whether it's worth a try, I would say yes without hesitation. Even if you end up not thinking it worth the extra money (which I doubt), you will have come to that decision having at least eaten some really phenomenal sushi.

            Yasuda is definitely a splurge for me and one I can't make too often. And Iove neighborhood sushi as much as the next girl. BUT when I got to Yasuda I each eat piece with my eyes closed, and then before taking the next bite, my boyfriend and I look at each other and laugh about how incredible the last piece was. It is literally that good.


            1 Reply
            1. re: bladerobbins

              That sounds like us! We go to Ichi Ro once a week for our "cheap sushi" fix, but Yasuda is a different universe.

            2. YASUDA IS DEFINITELY WORTH A TRY!!! But here's a tip -- definitely sit at the sushi bar but DON'T sit in front of Yasuda. My partner and I go often, and we've discovered that Yasuda seems to charge a 'premium' -- we eat about the same amount each time we go, but we've found that there's a $20-50 difference in our total bill when we sit in front of Yasuda versus the other chefs. Hiro is our favorite. The sushi there is the best I've ever had.

              1. Will be going for the first time next month. There will be 3 of us. Should we sit in the sushi bar or table?

                10 Replies
                1. re: theskyflyer

                  Sushi bar. You always get the best fish at the bar at a real sushi place.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    This is an urban myth. It's the same fish. Sitting at the bar simply gives you an opportunity to have more interaction with the chef.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      FWIW, I've only eaten at a table at Yasuda, and the fish has always been superb.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        I also wonder since we're coming with a friend visiting from London, perhaps table is better. Sitting three people in a sushi bar is not really ideal for conversation, IMHO.

                        1. re: theskyflyer

                          I agree - that's why we tend to sit at a table - even when it's just the two of us. By the way, there are a number of good threads on Yasuda about what to order - and following your server's suggestions, if that would be helpful to you.

                          1. re: theskyflyer

                            We get a lot of extra enjoyment by sitting at the bar and talking with the chefs. Each time we've been, we've learned so much from whichever chef serves us and it makes it all the more fun. At Yasuda, talk to the chefs and visit with the friend later!

                    2. re: theskyflyer

                      sit at the bar - we confirmed this the last time we were there...all sushi chefs know that freshly cut fish, served right away, one piece at a time tastes MUCH BETTER than ordering a bunch of pieces together, having them sit there for a while, waiting to be served to the tables...

                      1. re: papergirl1234

                        Please, NOW I know some of you people are hallucinating. That 10 minute wait is going to change the taste SO MUCH versus the far more palpable change occuring when the fish is caught, prepared at Tsujiki, and transported many dozens of hours over to Yasuda and prepared yet again for the day. Right.

                        1. re: broccoli

                          We sat at the sushi bar in front of Yasuda on Thursday night and asked him this very question about the difference between sitting at the bar and at a table. The argument is not exactly that the fish is fresher at the bar as compared to at a table. Rather it is that the relationship between the slightly warm rice and the cold sushi will not be optimal if the sushi waits around to be brought to your table. Yasuda believes that the dance between these two temperatures is at its prime five seconds after it is made. It's been a while since I ate at a table at Yasuda (although I remember being thrilled by each piece), but eating at the bar the other night was the usual transcendent experience, and I do believe that a large part of that is the interaction between the rice and the fish...


                          1. re: bladerobbins

                            I prefer sashimi with a bowl of rice. I can only imagine the glower Yasuda would toss me.

                    3. if you're really cash-strapped, and want a taste, yasuda has a prix fixe of under $30/head, i believe.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: e_ting

                        Yasuda is the best....besides the fish market in Tokyo.
                        went there with my wife for a little splurging...sat right in front of Yasuda.
                        like gettin box row seats to the yankees....the fish is delicate and fresh, rice is perfect size..probably same thing anyone will evere say about the place...
                        its not cheap and its definitely a splurge but good sushi in the city should run you around $100 anyway....

                      2. I generally dislike sushi and the whole hysteria surrounding it. But I loved this place. Delicious. Eat at the counter if, like me, you don't know much about the different types of sushi and the whole choreography behind eating sushi.