Inase - hidden sushi gem on the UES
Inase is a small japanese restaurant that I've never really heard much about before on the upper eastside (1586 1st ave). My gf lives on the upper eastside, so we decided to try it tonight b/c it looked like an authentic sushi joint.
The bottom line was that it was a great choice esp for the UES and this is probably the only time I'm going to say this about a meal that cost $80 (i ordered the $80 omakase, there are $60, $80 and $100 options), but I think that this might be the "best price / value / quality sushi restaurant in the city". This is definitely a new sushi place that needs to be put on the map especially for people who live on the UES. Their english was not that good and I thought I misheard them when they told me what I get in the $80 omakase, but i didnt mishear them and it was an insane amt of food. On top of that you weren't giving up any quality for the amt of food you got, I mean this is probably a top 10 sushi place in the city...not top 5, but definitely makes the top 10 and I've eaten at literally every great sushi restaurant in the city (probably rate it similar to ushi wakamura, which also happens to be a good price / value place).
The sushi was very solid (not Yasuda good, but definitely high quality) and they gave me so much food is was ridiculous...i was just laughing at the end b/c i was like how much more food can u guys bring out.
Literally this is what I got for $80:
- lotus root appetizer
- 12 pieces of sashmi
- 12 pieces of sushi
- 1 handroll
- a pork belly and bamboo dish
- a chawan mushi (i.e. hot egg custard) topped with uni
- a bowl of red miso soup
I'm not going to go through every piece of sashmi and sushi, but some of the standouts were the:
- medium fat toro
- horse mackerel
- spanish mackeral
- giant clam (one was sashmi and one was slightly cooked, the slightly cooked was very good)
- salmon skin handroll
Some interesting things that i also got were:
- japanese eggplant - it was served raw, but i think had been somewhat pickled; wasnt a huge fan, but ive never had eggplant like that
- Sayori - a fish (japanese halfbeak) that I dont see alot and it was excellent
- botan ebi - jumbo sweet shrimp
Ive attached pictures of most of the food (I forgot to take pics of a couple things). Anyhow, if you're on the UES I definitely recommend trying this place out although I have to say I'm bursting at the seams right now from that $80 omakase...I'd probably order a la carte next time haha.
Five friends and I visited Inase the past Saturday evening. I will concede that the fish was fresh and delicious, and the service friendly and attentive. However, I'm afraid that we all found the portions of both the sushi/sashimi and the accompanying items to be meager, as compared to any of the many NYC establishments in which we’ve enjoyed sushi. This applied to both omakase, and entrees. Though again quite fresh and flavorful, it amounted essentially to a $500 snack, and we were sorely disappointed. Better luck next time, though for us, elsewhere.